Queens Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 13,2018

Queens County City Council News

Koo Applauds Swim Agreement Extension At Corona Park Aquatic Center

City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) applauded an agreement to extend the contract for swim groups at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center.

On Tuesday, Koo received confirmation that the NYC Parks Department will grant a six month extension to the eight swim groups currently using the aquatic center. The swim groups were recently notified that they would be evicted on Jan. 1 by the Parks department who planned on expanding its programming in the coming months.

Koo asked Parks to provide the groups with an extension to the end of the Fiscal Year to ensure the fulfillment of City Council funding and also so the groups could fulfill their promised missions of providing services at the FMCP pool.

“I’m happy my office was able to broker an agreement with the Parks Department that will provide a six month extension to the eight groups currently using the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center. This will give the groups, some of which received City Council funding, time to plan necessary adjustments to their future operations without abruptly ending their current programming,” said Koo.

Addabbo To Chair NYS Senate Committee On Racing, Gaming & Wagering

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) was chosen by incoming Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins this week to serve as chairman of the NYS Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering in the new 2019 Legislative Session beginning in January.

One important issue that will come before the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee in the New Year will likely be the future of legal sports betting in New York. The Committee’s jurisdiction also includes oversight of the state’s racetracks, video lottery terminal placements, care of retired racehorses, off-track betting, the New York State Lottery, charitable gaming, and other issues associated with racing and wagering in New York.

In addition, the Committee oversees the operations and regulatory mission of the NYS Gaming Commission, as well as the work of the New York Racing Association (NYRA), which runs the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks.

“Having served as the ranking Democratic member of this committee for a number of years now, I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead this panel, and to help shape the future of the racing, gaming and wagering industries in New York State,” said Addabbo. “I thank Senator Stewart-Cousins for her confidence in me, and I look forward to getting to work on the committee,” said Addabbo.

“I look forward to hearing from stakeholders both inside and outside of government, including sports fans, those who work to combat problem gambling, horse racing interests, and, of course, my own constituents. We must all work together to promote strengths and identify weaknesses in these critical industries throughout our state,” added Addabbo.

Van Bramer Demands Transparency  In Amazon HQ2 Deal At Oversight Hearing

City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside), Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) today anou) voiced his concerns over the lack of transparency regarding the recent Amazon HQ2 Deal at yesterday’s City Council oversight hearing.

Over the last several months, Queens lawmakers have been voicing their concerns over the multi-billion dollar deal over its plan to give subsidies and tax breaks to the technology giant. Van Bramer alongside City Council members Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) and Brad Lander (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) most recently announced legislation aimed at preventing city officials from signing non-disclosure agreements with corporations doing business with the city, similar to those used in the controversial Amazon HQ2 deal struck by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

While the new legislation will not affect that deal, if passed, it will affect other such deals with large companies coming to the city and wanting a NDA.

“Transparency is a hallmark of good governance. So we should all be concerned they were eager to promise Amazon that they would bypass local land use review and agree to sign non-disclosure agreements while doing so. The memorandum of understanding is shocking and shameful in how much it gave to Amazon and how little it extracted from them for the community.

The Mayor signed on to the billions in subsidies. He approved of the secretive process. He even signed on to giving Bezos his damn helipad. This deal is a betrayal of core values. Now I need to admit that I was wrong to sign the letter supporting New York’s bid. But that makes this bad deal no less bad. Because the Council and the People of the City and the State were excluded from knowing any of the details of this deal, we must now reclaim our rightful oversight responsibilities and ask the tough questions of this administration under oath.

As I have said many times, this is a bad deal. This is bad for Long Island City, bad for Queens, and bad for New York City. The mayor and the governor caved to the richest man on earth, and then handed the bill to each and every New Yorker,” said Van Bramer.

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