Queens Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 8, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Katz Accepting Applications To Serve On Queens Community Boards

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is accepting applications from qualified and civic-minded individuals who are interested in serving on one of the borough’s 14 Community Boards.

Community boards play an important advisory role in considering land use and zoning matters in their respective districts. The Boards also hold hearings and issue recommendations about the city budget, municipal service delivery and numerous other matters that impact their communities.

 “Our borough is stronger when residents from across Queens who care deeply about their neighborhood make their voices heard by joining their local community board,” said Katz. “Serving on a community board can be demanding in both time and energy, but our government is more effective and accountable when it can draw upon the knowledge and expertise of active, engaged community members.”

The Community Board membership application is available online at www.queensbp.org/community-boards. The deadline for prospective and current Community Board members to submit completed, signed and notarized applications to the Borough President’s office is Friday, February 8, 2019. For the upcoming round of appointments, the two-year term of service will begin on Monday, April 1, 2019.

Koo, Espinal, Local Businesses Rally In Support Of Awnings Act

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Members Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) and Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn) today will rally in support of the Awnings Act, which is expected to come before the council for a vote tomorrow.

The legislation, which both lawmakers have not released for public view yet, comes as it was set for a vote two weeks ago, but was pulled off the council agenda for a rewrite.

The measure comes as local businesses on Union Street, Flushing were recently subjected to thousands of dollars in Department of Buildings fines for improper signage. As a result, the once vibrant corridor of Flushing has now removed all of its signage leaving behind a barren strip of exposed brick and concrete storefronts. (Before/After pictures attached).

Council Members and businesses will call on the City Council to support the Awnings Act in order to ease the punitive burden on small businesses.

The rally is slated for 1:30 p.m., today, Jan. 8  at 36-41 Union Street in Flushing.

Addabbo Hosts Grant Writing Workshop At Woodhaven Library

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) tomorrow will host a Grant Writing Workshop to help groups and organizations prepare their applications for a Neighborhood Grant.

“This is a great opportunity for community organizations to apply for the Neighborhood Grant and bring in some money to fund a community project,” said Addabbo. “Often times, local organizations need a little boost to get a specific project off the ground. In previous years this grant has been given to some credible organizations that put the money to good use for the entire community. I would like to thank the Citizens Committee for New York City for allowing me to partner with them and bring this event to my district.”

Organizations such as block associations, tenants’ associations (including NYCHA), civic groups, student groups, PTAs, and many others are eligible to apply for this grant. These groups may be long-standing, newly established or in the process of forming, and are not required to have non-profit or 501(c)(3) status.

If you feel your organization could benefit from a $3,000 grant, come out to this workshop and get your application in before the January 21, 2019 deadline. For more information about the grant, grant writing process, and your group’s eligibility, visit https://www.citizensnyc.org/grants.

The workshop is slated for between 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Woodhaven Library, 85-41 Forest Parkway in Woodhaven.

Sanders to Host Debate: How Will the Legalization of Marijuana Affect Our Community?

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park) next month will host a debate regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York State.

The debate comes as many of Sanders’ constituents have expressed concerns and posed questions regarding this topic.

As a result, Sanders has decided to bring experts together for this event in order to tackle some of the issues related to making marijuana legal. These include possible abuse and addiction, taxation of the product, small business owners having a hand in the market, expunging records of individuals who were arrested for marijuana-related offenses, and how this law will positively and negatively impact our community.

The debate is slated for between 3-5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Black Spectrum Theatre (inside Roy Wilkins Park), 177-01 Baisley Boulevard in Jamaica. RSVP to attend by calling Senator Sanders’ Office at 718-523-3069 or 718-327-7017.

Van Bramer Issues Annual Report

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside) for the 9th year in a row recently shared his annual report with constituents via his newsletter.

“This report details much of the work we have accomplished during the past 12 months, from investing historic funding in libraries and culture, improving the safety of our streets, securing new schools and parks, and standing up for our #QueensValues,” Van Bramer wrote.

“Over the past year, I’ve worked on numerous pieces of legislation that will make New Yorkers’ lives better and fought for a fair and equitable city budget. We increased capital funding in libraries to record levels. We also invested record levels of funding yet again in our cultural institutions and organizations and invested millions of more dollars in our parks, schools, streets, and public housing.

“In this divisive political era, I am proud that our community continues to put our Queens values to work, embracing empathy and compassion for one another. In 2018, we did this by resisting the Trump Administration’s attacks on immigrant families, marching for those affected by gun violence and family separation, mobilizing against corporate welfare for Amazon, and celebrating the diversity of our community. In this borough, we know that our differences make us stronger. I will continue to make that message heard loudly and clearly in 2019 as we continue to fight for our values.

“I have also worked with my colleagues on important citywide issues, including expanding protections against sexual harassment and assault for all New Yorkers, keeping children safe from pesticides in parks, increasing transparency at facilities that serve runaway and homeless youth, and demanding justice for public housing residents across our city.

“Finally, we worked hard to improve our quality of life here in Western Queens, helping tens of thousands of constituents with housing, sanitation, transportation, parks, schools, and other issues.

Van Bramer invites all constituents that ever need assistance to contact his staff or himself at his office anytime at (718) 383-9566 or to email [email protected] and stay connected via TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.