Queens Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 14, 2018

Queens County City Council News

James, Stringer & Koo On Amazon HQ2 Coming To LIC

Public Advocate Letitia James
City Council Member Peter Koo

Public Advocate Letitia James said yesterday her office will closely monitor the deal Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio made to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Long Island City, which includes Amazon getting upwards of $3 billion in direct and as-of-right subsidies.

“Any agreement of such large proportions must involve input from a diverse chorus of voices and I will be closely monitoring the deal with Amazon that was announced today. While the prospect of bringing thousands of new jobs to New York is thrilling, I am concerned about the potential impact it could have on our communities, particularly New Yorkers living in public housing. It is imperative that the voices of all our community members, Council Members, and the spirit of our land use process are taken into account and that all the relevant players have a seat at the table as this process moves forward,” said James.

Meanwhile, Comptroller Scott Stringer noted that Amazon was able to bypass the local rezoning process for their proposed site that significant construction projects like Hudson Yards and Cornell Tech had to face.    

“It is clear that this is a good deal for Amazon, but it must also benefit the countless New Yorkers who will feel the effects of Amazon’s massive presence in Long Island City by the way of congested roadways, stressed mass transit, and a severe shortage of affordable housing,” said Stringer.

I welcome the potential that economic development can bring to our City, but any company looking to tap into New York City’s talent pool and vast resources should be willing to make its case in a public, transparent way. We will continue to analyze the specifics of this deal, but before a shovel hits the ground or a lease is signed, Amazon, the City, and the State must engage in a community based planning process and make a commitment to connect local residents with good paying jobs,” he added.

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill), who chair’s the council’s Technology Committee, said while he always welcomes new tech job opportunities in Queens, the city must also make sure that Amazon’s HQ2 will also support local residents and mom and pop shops while also investing in infrastructure.

“The opportunity is here, and we will watch closely to make sure this development has the best interests of Queens and its current residents in mind,” he said.

Van Bramer, Gianaris Hold Rally Opposing Amazon Subsidies 

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer
State Senator Michael Gianaris

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills) and State Sen. Michael Gianaris, (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) today will speak out at a rally against the over $3 Billion in taxpayer subsidies that the richest corporation in the world will be receiving to set up shop in Long Island City.

Joining the two lawmakers include the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), Make the Road New York (MRNY), New York Communities for Change (NYCC), and local community activists.

The rally is slated for 11:30 a.m. today, Nov. 14 at the Gordon Triangle on the corner of 44th Drive and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.

Katz names Sharon Lee As Incoming Deputy Borough President

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz yesterday announced the appointment of Sharon Lee as Deputy Borough President, effective November 17. Lee will succeed Deputy Borough President Melva Miller.

“Sharon has been a trusted member of my senior leadership team for years and I could not think of a more prepared or knowledgeable person to serve as Deputy Borough President,” said Katz. “Her vast experience in New York City government, her deep relationships across the full spectrum of Queens communities and her passion for inclusion, equal opportunity, fairness and justice will prove invaluable for the future and direction of our great borough.”

Lee has served as Katz’s communications director since 2014, when she joined the office. She previously served as senior advisor and press secretary to New York City Comptroller John Liu. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and a Master’s degree in Labor Studies from the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (formerly known as the Joseph S. Murphy Institute at the CUNY School of Professional Studies).

Dromm Looks To Allow BIDs To Increase Amounts Of Money To Spend

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) chair of the council’s Finance Committee, will have the committee convene today.

Among the items on the agenda is a measure he introduced at the request of the mayor that would authorize 14 existing business improvement districts (“BIDs”) throughout the City to increase the amount they expend annually.

The meeting is slated for 10 a.m. today, Nov. 14 in the committee room at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Weprin Calls Medication Assisted Treatment in Correctional Facilities

Assembly member David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Rischmond Hill, Fresh Meadows) today will join  Assemblymembers Linda Rosenthal & Richard Gottfried for a press conference calling for medication assisted treatment in correctional facilities on the steps of City hall.

He then will hold a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committees on Correction, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Health examining the effectiveness of medication assisted treatment programs in state and local correctional facilities.

The hearing is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, Nov. 14 at 250 Broadway, 19th Floor in Lower Manhattan.