Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 5, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Reintroduces Resolution Seeking House Recognition Of Lunar New Year

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) yesterday reintroduced a resolution that seeks the House of Representatives’ recognition of the Lunar New Year, as the Asian American community prepares to celebrate the holiday on Tuesday.

“Each year, more and more Americans, and more communities throughout the U.S., recognize and celebrate Lunar New Year,” said Meng. “With the holiday becoming more popular, and with the Asian American community continuing to grow, the time is right for the House to acknowledge this important celebration. Officially recognizing Lunar New Year would also show the House’s appreciation for the rich cultural and ethnic diversity that exists across our nation. I look forward to my resolution moving through the legislative process and I urge all of my colleagues to support it.”

Lunar New Year, which celebrates the heritage, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans, is the most significant time of the year for the Asian American community. This year will mark the Year of the Pig.

Meng’s resolution would recognize the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year, and express the deepest respect for Asian Americans and all individuals throughout the world who celebrate the holiday. The measure, which details the history and customs of Lunar New Year, would also wish Asian Americans and all who observe the Lunar celebration a happy and prosperous New Year.

In addition to the resolution, Meng on Tuesday will mark the anniversary of Lunar New Year becoming a school holiday in New York City, a public school holiday that she played a role in creating in 2016. The Congresswoman first proposed closing New York City schools for Lunar New Year when she was a member of the New York State Legislature in 2009.

Meeks Applauds Record-Breaking Decrease In City Evictions

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport) appluaded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement yesterday that residential evictions by marshals declined 37 percent since 2013, with approximately 18,000 evictions in 2018 compared to nearly 29,000 evictions in 2013.

In 2018 alone, evictions decreased 14 percent, with 3,000 households and more than 8,000 New Yorkers across the five boroughs able to remain in their homes as a result. Since 2013, more than 100,000 New Yorkers who might otherwise have faced evictions have been able to stay in their homes.

“When we came into office only one in a hundred tenants fighting for their homes in housing court had a lawyer and today it’s one in three,” said de Blasio. “To New Yorkers facing harassment and eviction: we have your back and you are not alone. We’re turning the tide against displacement by providing free legal services to people in need, since we believe tenants shouldn’t walk into Housing Court alone when their home is at stake.”

This decline in evictions follows a milestone in the Administration’s efforts to combat homelessness and protect housing stability through its commitment to providing legal services for tenants facing eviction and displacement: as of June 2018, the City has provided nearly a quarter million New Yorkers with legal representation, advice, or assistance in eviction and other housing-related matters through tenant legal services programs at the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice, including New York City’s Universal Access to Legal Counsel program, the nation’s first and largest initiative to ensure that every tenant facing eviction in Housing Court can access free legal services.

“Having a lawyer present for eviction proceedings can mean the difference between losing your home and staying in it. No matter your income or finances, every tenant should have that legal representation, and these statistics show what a positive impact the Mayors program has had on New Yorkers at risk of losing their residence. I applaud the results of the Mayors proven initiative,” said Meeks.

Katz To Host Her Annual Lunar New Year Celebration & Photo Contest

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz yesterday announced she will again host a Lunar New Year Celebration & Photo Contest to ring in the upcoming “Year of the Pig,” with the winning photos from the contest being displayed during the celebration on Feb. 27 at Queens Borough Hall.

“Lunar New Year is a time to honor important traditions and to celebrate with family and friends as we envision what the future holds for us,” said Katz. “It is my pleasure to host our annual Lunar New Year celebration, which will include the announcement of the winners of this year’s Lunar New Year photo contest. A picture is worth a thousand words, and everyone is encouraged to participate in the photo contest and join us at our celebration on February 27. May everyone celebrating Lunar New Year have a happy and safe time.”

This year’s photo contest invites the public to submit photos under the theme “NEW YEAR AND ME.” Each entrant’s photo must be submitted along with a completed online entry form by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Contest winners will be notified of their wins by email on February 19, 2019. Contest rules and an entry form are available online at: www.queensbp.org/2019lny.   

The contest winners will be announced during Borough President Katz’s Lunar New Year celebration on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

The February 27 celebration is free and open to the public. Space will be limited, so those who wish to attend should RSVP by visiting www.queensbp.org/rsvp or calling 718.286.2661.

This year’s celebration and photo contest are co-sponsored by Asian Americans for Equality, Bank of China, the Chinese-American Planning Council, East West Bank, the Flushing Chinese Business Association, the Forest Hills Asian Association, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Resorts World Casino New York City, SinoVision and The Korean Channel.

Vallone, Speaker Corey Johnson Host Successful Round Table Discussion With Korean-American Leaders

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) and Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) held a successful round table discussion at Korean Community Services with civic, business and non-profit leaders in the Korean American community last Thursday.

Vallone has held several round table discussions with these leaders, working to connect them with city resources and creating opportunities for discussion with the previous City Council Speaker and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

The meeting focused on exploring solutions to many common issues faced by Korean American organizations including language and cultural barriers, obtaining City Council contracts and funding and overcoming obstacles to receiving essential services.

In particular, Speaker Johnson and Council Member Vallone shared concerns about many city agencies lacking the foreign language speakers to effectively communicate and provide service to Korean American businesses and organizations.

In the past these meetings have created tangible results. Over the past five years, Council Member Vallone has secured more than $7 million in funding for Korean American organizations.

“Since I was elected, I have sought to create bridges for the Korean American community who make incredible contributions to our city both economically and culturally. I thank Speaker Johnson for joining us today as we work to support these organizations,” said Vallone. “Continuing the dialogue will be critical as the combined knowledge, experience, and passion expressed by all of the leaders present today will benefit not just the Korean American community but all of Northeast Queens.”