Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 15, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng Happy With Bipartisan Spending Deal, Upset With Trump For Nat Emergency Threat

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), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, yesterday lauded Congress for its bipartisan government spending bill agreement, but took President Trump to task for his “reckless threat to declare a national emergency.”

“I applaud the bipartisan government spending deal that we secured on behalf of the American people to avert a second Trump Shutdown,” said Meng. “But I am outraged by President Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to build his medieval border wall. The facts are clear: there is no ‘national emergency’ concerning an ‘immigration crisis’ at the southern border.

“Democrats and Republicans can have policy differences, but for the President to declare a fake national emergency to get something Congress wouldn’t give him is not how our government works. It’s unconscionable that President Trump would threaten to take money Congress gave for disaster recovery programs in Puerto Rico, California, and Florida. President Trump’s fake national emergency will break like water crashing on a wall.”

Meng said she supports the bipartisan spending bill that includes a number of her key priorities. They include:

  • $17 billion in funding for new infrastructure investments and robust investments in housing, including $1.9 billion for Amtrak;
  • Supporting small businesses and restoring job-creating initiatives for economic and business development, including for minority and women-owned businesses;
  • $3.8 billion in the census—an increase of $1 billion—to ensure a fair and accurate count;
  • Over $9 billion in funding to protect clean water, clean air and public lands; and
  • More than $3 billion for state and local law enforcement to keep communities safe, including by addressing the opioid crisis, closing sexual assault kit backlogs, and hiring more police officers.

Addabbo Bill Creating Natural Disaster Task Force Passes Senate

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) this week saw the senate pass his measure,  S.1634, which creates a task force to examine and report on whether policyholders and communities have adequate insurance coverage and if they are able to rely upon that coverage in the event of a natural disaster.

“The devastation following Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene, brought to light the need for oversight of current insurance processes. Homeowners experienced long delays in the insurance process due to the large volume of claims received, and the obstacles presented by the storms to insurance companies,” Addabbo said. “These delays slowed the recovery process, and resulted in hardships for homeowners and communities seeking to perform repairs.”

Many policyholders were surprised to learn that they did not have adequate coverage for flood damage. There was confusion over what types of damages homeowners and flood policies cover, and what the coverage limits were under their policies. As a result, many policyholders received payments that were far less than the actual cost of the damages. These issues along with the increased frequency with which New York State is seeing destructive storms, stress the importance in examining how the insurance industry responds to disasters and what steps the industry can take to improve its response in the future.

“When a natural disaster hits, insurance companies must do everything they can to help reduce the long and complicated recovery processes for businesses and homeowners. The Task Force will help the public, the insurance industry and public officials determine how the insurance companies are doing in their response to disaster claims and what they can do in the future to improve actions,” added Addabbo.

The bill was sent to the Assembly.

Weprin to Donate Food to City Harvest

Assembly Member David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows) today will donate food collected from generous constituents in his district to City Harvest. Weprin’s office collected 5 boxes of various non-perishable items over the holiday season that will benefit food insecure New Yorkers.

Hunger is a large problem in the city with nearly 1.2 million residents being food insecure, which means that these residents are not getting enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Many rely on supplemental nutritional resources.

In Weprin’s district over 10% of residents in Community Boards 8, 9, & 10 rely on SNAP.

The food giveaway is slated for 9:30 a.m., today, Feb. 15 at City Harvest, 55-01 2nd Street in Long Island City.

Koo Has Mixed Feelings About Amazon Pullout

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone ) yesterday had mixed feeling regarding Amazon’s decision to pull out of the HQ2 development in Long Island City.

“This was never a perfect deal, but the lost opportunity of billions in tax revenue and thousands of high-paying jobs is painful for New York,” said Koo.

“It’s also a stark reminder to companies seeking economic development deals with the city that they need to listen to community concerns if they want their support.”

Braunstein Thanks Community For Record-Breaking Donations Towards Valentines For Vets Gift Drive

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) and the law offices of Ann-Margaret Carrozza, along with co-sponsor Community Board 11, thanked the community yesterday for the record-breaking 23rd Annual Valentines for Vets Gift Drive to honor hospitalized veterans for the sacrifices they have made to defend our nation.

Thousands of donations of handwritten cards, candy, new clothing items, playing cards, puzzles, and toiletries were received from 25 schools, as well as churches, civic organizations, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and many local residents.

Braunstein, his staff, and students and faculty from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School delivered the gifts on Valentine’s Day yesterday to the hospitalized men and women at the St. Albans VA Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated, especially our local schools, for once again supporting our community’s Valentines for Vets gift drive. These donations helped to brighten the day of hundreds of veterans by showing that we care about them and appreciate their sacrifices,” said Braunstein.

Among the schools and community organizations that contributed to this drive were:

Bayside Community Library, Bayside Kiwanis, Beech Hills Shareholders, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Bridge View Nursing Home, Cambria Heights Academy for New Literacies, Conron Girl Scout Troop of Whitestone, Daughters of the American Revolution, Deepdale CARES NORC, Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, Girl Scout Troop 4279, Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association, Holy Cross Troop 4175, Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, IS 25, Jefferson Democratic Club, MS 158, Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy, P.9, PS 21, PS 32, PS 41, PS 130, PS 159, PS 184, PS 193, PS 811, PS/MS 219, Q285-WJPS, Queensboro Hill Community Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, School District 25 Pre-K Centers, School District 30 Pre-K Center, St. Kevin Catholic Academy, St. Kevin Church Boy Scout Troop 75, St. Luke School, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Seniors, The Lowell School, and the William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School.