Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 13, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Katz, Kim On Fatal Shooting Of NYPD Detective In Richmond Hill

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
Assembly Member Ron Kim

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D) and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) were among those that mourned yesterday’s shooting death of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen and the wounding of an NYPD sergeant while responding to an armed robbery tonight near Atlantic Avenue and 121st Street in Richmond Hill.

“The heart of Queens is with the wife and family of Detective Brian Simonsen, an 18-year NYPD veteran killed in the line of duty while responding to an armed robbery in Richmond Hill tonight,” said Katz. “Detective Simonsen devoted his entire career to the 102nd Precinct here in Queens. We deeply mourn the loss of someone who selflessly put his life on the line without hesitation to protect the rest of us. We wish the wounded sergeant a speedy and full recovery. Detective Simonsen’s family will have the full support of this grateful borough and city.”

Kim said he was deeply saddened by the loss of one New York’s bravest who was killed in the line of duty following an armed robbery in Queens.

“As the facts continue to emerge, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the detective. This tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the danger that members of the NYPD face on a daily basis,” said Kim.

Hevesi Gets City Council Support For His Home Stability Support Legislation

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi

Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Ridgewood, Middle Village) today will receive major city council support for his proposed state legislation that will provide statewide rent supplement for New Yorkers facing eviction or homelessness.

Dubbed the Home Stability Support Act (HSS), the thinking behind the measure is that it will stem the tide of displacement that is driving large numbers of families and individuals into homelessness. HSS would create a new rent supplement for residents who are eligible for public assistance benefits and facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing because of domestic violence or dangerous living conditions.

City Council Member Barry Grodenchik (D-Bayside, Queens, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) is among the council members leading the charge in support of the state legislation.

Council Members will hold a rally at 12 noon, today, Feb. 13 at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan.

Constantinides to Announce Legislation Creating New York City Department of Sustainability

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, part of Long Island City, Rikers Island, Woodside) today will announce a bill to create the New York City Department of Sustainability, making a major statement about the Big Apple’s commitment to fighting climate change.

The commissioner-led department will carry out the City’s sustainability and resiliency policies, such as the historic goal to reduce greenhouse gases 80% by 2050. Establishing this agency is particularly important given the recent IPCC report and National Climate Assessment, which both warned of global turmoil unless the effects of climate change are addressed.

Constantinides will make the official announcement for the legislation at 10:30 a.m., today, Feb. 13 at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan.

Van Bramer, LGBT & Progressive Caucus Reiterate Calls For Diaz Sr. To Resign 

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside), chair of the council’s LGBT Caucus, yesterday joined members of that caucus as well as the council’s Progressive Caucuse, members of the LGBTQ community, and progressive groups to denounce homophobia and to reiterate calls for City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx) to resign.

Diaz Diaz was quoted in an interview on a Spanish language radio program — picked up by NY1 — saying the city council is “controlled by the homosexual community.” He has refused to apologize for the remark.

“Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. must resign. I do not want an apology. We are past time for apologies. Words have consequences. And Council Member Diaz’s words happen to be part of a long history of homophobia and disgusting attacks on the LGBTQ community. The NYC Council cannot tolerate elected officials who use their power and authority to demonize, hurt, and incite violence against marginalized people,” said Van Bramer. 

“I am proud to have led this effort because I have an obligation as a gay man to speak up for my community and to protect and save the lives of LGBTQ youth. I call on Council Member Diaz to resign, not because I want to stifle his free speech or religious beliefs, but because I know all too well how homophobic smears like this are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth. Our community has been fighting for a seat at the table for generations. Now that we have rightly claimed our seats at the table, it is time to close the door on bigotry and hate once and for all,” he added.

QCP Correction: Yesterday’s Queens Lawmakers On The Move incorrectly reported that Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was holding a hearing tonight at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens on Queens Budget priorities. That hearing is slated for next Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the same time and place.