Queens Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 25, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Katz To Deliver 2019 State Of The Borough Address

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz today will deliver her annual State of the Borough Address highlighting the borough’s priorities, milestones and continued growth over the course of her administration.

Arriving guests will enjoy music performed by a music ensemble from LaGuardia Community College. The program will begin with the presentation of colors by the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Ceremonial Unit, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Niyireth Valdes of the Mestizo Art Center in Elmhurst.

Following the program, a brief reception will feature the music ensemble and catering by MBJ LIC Catering and Wasserman’s.

Doors open at 10 a.m. today, Jan. 25 at the LaGuardia Community College Mainstage Theater, 31-10 Thomson Avenue (Entrance on Van Dam Street between 47th Avenue and Thomson Avenue) in Long Island City.

Sanders Hosts His Monthly Clergy Breakfast

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) yesterday hosted his monthly Clergy Breakfast at Friendship Baptist Church in Jamaica, where the topic was “Faith-Based Leadership: Preparing Faith-Based Leaders for Spiritual, Social and Economic Empowerment.”

Winnie Benjamin, CEO of Stewardship Masters International, Inc, was the guest speaker.

“Everything rises and falls based on leadership,” Sanders said. “Now, more than ever, faith-based leaders must unite for the common good.”

Faith-based leaders are united by God’s vision, which is to be prosperous, in good health and leave a sustainable legacy, Benjamin said. It is a vision, which is eternal and non-flexible. However, the world presents situations that are contrary to that vision. Under those conditions, leadership and teamwork must be structured to create solutions, she said.

Sanders’ Community Clergy Breakfasts tentatively take place on the third Thursday of each month from 8:30 – 11 a.m.. The next one is scheduled for February 21. More details will be announced as the date approaches.

Miller Statement On Passage of His Commuter Van Safety Act Addendum Legislation

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village and Springfield Gardens) yesterday thanked the council for its’ passage of his bill, Introduction 897, which prohibits the use of unlicensed commuter van drivers and penalizes commuter van owners and companies for failing to adhere to the law.

“Introduction 897 builds on the regulatory structure of my 2017 Commuter Van Safety Act, which has regulated the growth of the commuter van industry, stiffened penalties for rogue commuter van operators, and requires yearly reporting on commuter van safety. This latest measure demands accountability of companies and vehicle owners for unlicensed activity by expressly prohibiting anyone not licensed to drive a commuter van from ever getting behind the wheel, and imposes stiff penalties for any failure to adhere to this stipulation,” said Miller.

Miller said despite possessing the authority to regulate dollar van companies, the TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) continues to experience serious challenges to its efforts to rein in unlawful activity, making this bill vital to strengthening its ability to root out bad actors. I will continue to advocate for targeted and sensible regulations that promote safety within the industry and better distinguish companies that operate in a lawful manner from those that do not,” he added. 

Failure to adhere to the law will initially result in a penalty of $500 and a temporary suspension, including a one-year probation period for the van license holder. A second violation will result in the revocation of that holder’s license as well as a mandatory fifteen-day suspension of the service, including a probation period of six months. A third such violation within that period will result in the revocation of the service itself. The measure will take effect four months after it becomes law.

Weprin to Donate Food and Toiletries to Furloughed Federal Employees

Assemblymember David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica) and the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee today will donate 100 packages of food and toiletries to the Morris Brown A.M. E. Church Helping Hand food pantry to benefit furloughed federal workers in Queens.

Weprin and the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee were able to collect and prepare about 100 bags of necessities to support the furloughed federal workers affected by the government shutdown which is still ongoing. After 33 days and no end in sight, the nearly 800,000 federal workers affected by the shutdown have already missed two paychecks and evidence of their hardships are growing. Many now have to choose between paying their mortgage, paying for medical care, and paying for food.

The donation is slated for 2:30 p.m., today, Jan. 25 at the Morris Brown A.M. E. Church Helping Hand, 145-03 Rockaway Boulevard in Jamaica.

City Council Passes Lancman Bill Ensuring Domestic Violence and Abuse Survivors Receive Quality Services

City Councilman Rory Lancman.

City Council Member Rory Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) yesterday saw the city council unanimously pass his legislation, Intro. 542, that will require the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender Based Violence to provide individuals receiving services at Family Justice Centers (FJC) with service satisfaction surveys.

The satisfaction surveys, which are not mandatory and will remain anonymous, enable survivors to indicate which FJC services are useful, which need to be altered, and what changes must be made to better assist them. The city is required to submit an annual report to the council of survey questions asked and all survey data, broken down by borough and type of service received.

“Domestic violence and abuse survivors deserve our full support to help them in their time of need,” said Lancman. “Client feedback is essential to ensure that Family Justice Centers continue to provide effective and efficient services. My legislation will allow Family Justice Centers and survivors to work collaboratively to improve services and set priorities.”

Lancman’s legislation comes as domestic and gender-based violent crime rates have remained resistant to the steady reduction of the overall crime rate in this city. In 2017, the NYPD responded to more than 108,821 intimate-partner related domestic incidents, a 16% increase from the previous year.

New York City Family Justice Centers provide legal services, counseling, job training, and housing assistance to survivors of domestic abuse, human trafficking and elder abuse in all five boroughs. In 2017, the Family Justice Centers served 62,645 individuals.

Koo & DOE To Announce Upcoming Pre-K Information Session

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill) and School District 25 Superintendent Danielle DiMango today will announce an upcoming multilingual Pre-K Information Session on Feb. 12 for the community in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish.

The purpose of the session is to help parents prepare for the Pre-K application deadline on March 19.

The announcement is slated for 1 p.m., today, Jan. 25 at Koo’s district office, 135-27 38th Avenue, Suite 388 in Flushing.