Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 6, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng Responds To Trump’s State Of The Union Address

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) last night agreed that bipartisanship is needed, but challenged President Trump to discontinue demonizing immigrants and others following the president’s State of the Union address.

“President Trump addressed the American people this evening and spoke of a new era of bipartisanship coupled with lofty policy goals. I believe Democrats and Republicans can and should work together on issues like rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. But the President will need to match words with deeds, and we will see if his desire for bipartisanship will align with his actions after tonight,” said Meng.

“I stand ready to work with the president. But I will not stand for attacks on hardworking middle class families, immigrant communities, and young people, and I will continue to fight against any proposals or policies that seek to harm them. In addition, the President’s selection of ‘Choosing Greatness’ as the theme of his speech was curious because America was great before his administration and will be great after his administration,” she added.

Meng’s guest at the State of the Union was Jin Park of Flushing, Queens, the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to be awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Park, 22, is a recent Harvard graduate and Define American Chapter Leader who won the scholarship for this fall at the University of Oxford in England. But since President Trump moved to end the DACA program, Park fears that he will not be permitted to re-enter the United States if he leaves the country to study at the school.

Meeks, Hyndman Endorse Blake For Public Advocate

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks
Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Roosedale,Cambria Heights,  Saint Albans,  Springfield Gardens, The  Rockaways, JFK Airport) and Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman (D-Laurelton,  Rosedale, St. Albans, Addisleigh Park, Hollis, Springfield Gardens, Jamaica ) were among a slew of public officials who endorsed Assembly Member Michael Blake (D-Bronx) for New York City Public Advocate in the upcoming Feb. 26 election.

“With division plaguing our federal government and impacting everyday services for New Yorkers, we need new leadership who can unite our city while providing results and Michael Blake is that leader. Michael has a strong record of delivering time and time again for New Yorkers while in the Assembly, building coalitions as a White House and campaign aide to former President Obama, and currently playing a leading role as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, mobilizing people in New York and across the country for our blue wave,” said Meeks.

“I’m proud to endorse Michael Blake for Public Advocate, and, I will do everything that I can to mobilize Southeast Queens to vote for him,” he added.

Hyndman said as a mother, a daughter of Caribbean immigrants, a former Community Education Council President, and a black woman, she believe that more focus on helping people keep their homes by addressing deed and mortgage theft that is hurting homeownership must be made.

“I trust Michael Blake to be the watchdog our city needs to protect homeowners, and he has my full support in this campaign for Public Advocate,” she said.

Vallone Announces DOE Doubling Down On School Safety

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) yesterday welcomed the news that the city’s Departmnet of Education (DOE) is doubling the previous capital plan’s Safety and Security Program Budget.

Vallone, who has been advocating for increases for months, received a letter from (DOE) Deputy Chancellor of the Division of School Planning and Development Karin Goldmark, who confirmed the city’s Five Year Capital Plan for FY 2020-2024 doubles the previous capital plan’s Safety and Security Program Budget. FY 2020 begins July 2019.

“I am thrilled to hear that the Department of Education’s and School Construction Authority’s Five-Year Capital Plan includes a doubling of funds – from $100 to $200 million – designated solely for the Safety and Security Program,” said Vallone. “Ensuring school safety requires capital investments, especially when a third of our schools continue to lack camera systems. This allocation will help ensure the safety of our students, who must always be our top priority.”

On September 5, 2018, Vallone penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, signed by 11 Council Members, calling on the city to increase capital funding to help ensure that all New York City K-12 public schools have access to the latest security technology.

These technologies include Internet Protocol Digital Video Surveillance (IPDVS) systems, communications upgrades and viewing stations. Council Member Vallone has allocated funding for these systems at several schools in his district, but installing them throughout the city will require large investments from the DOE. The increased funding in the DOE’s upcoming capital plan will go a long way towards achieving this goal.

Nolan Meets With Several Foster Youth Students

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Astoria, Woodside, Long Island City, Maspeth, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills Blissville) recently met with representatives of the Fostering Youth State Alliance (FYSA), a program that provides financial, personal and academic support to Foster Youth’s in college.

Several representatives from the program went to Albany on Jan. 29 to meet with legislators to shed light on this pertinent issue of foster care and to seek legislative support. There are currently 16,000 foster youth in New York alone and only about 20 percent of them ever enroll in college.

FYSA has and continues to impact the lives of so many foster students and are breaking down the barriers to self-sufficiency and success for many foster youths.  They are calling all the legislators to advocate and provide continued support to these individuals who are often forgotten.

“I would like to thank the students for visiting my legislative office in Albany” said Nolan.  “As the budget negotiations begin, it is imperative that we continue to advocate for programs like the Fostering Youth Alliance that work to keep foster students in college.”

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