Queens Lawmakers On The Move March 18, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Miller Renounces Hatred After New Zealand Mosques Terror Attack

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) immediately denounced all attacks of hatred following the terrorists attack on two mosques in New Zealand which left 50 dead.

“We are reminded again of the fact there is hatred in this world, and such utter contempt for human life can manifest itself in horrific ways, as witnessed today in New Zealand. I thank the NYPD for its commitment to providing an enhanced and enduring security presence in our community’s mosques in light of today’s heinous attack,” said Miller.

“We must unambiguously renounce hatred because the words and attitudes we express towards our brothers and sisters can have lasting and fatal consequences. On behalf of the 27th Council District, I wish to express my condolences to all affected by these atrocities,” he added.

Katz, Borough Board To Vote On Budget Priorities

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Borough Board today will deliberate and vote on its package of budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20).

The priorities were developed largely from input received during the Board’s February 20 Public Hearing on the Mayor’s FY20 Preliminary Expense and Capital Budgets. Pursuant to the City Charter, the Borough Board must submit its budget priorities each year to the Mayor, the New York City Council and the City’s Office of Management and Budget.

In addition, the board will vote on a proposal by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to dispose of a City-owned lot at 10-37 Beach 21st Street in Far Rockaway. The EDC plans to lease the lot to a nonprofit developer that plans to develop 224 affordable housing units on the site along with commercial and community facility space.

The Borough Board is chaired by the Borough President under the New York City Charter and composed of the borough’s City Council members and the chairperson of each Community Board in the borough.

The meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m., tonight, March 18 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Koo Announces Human Trafficking Seminar In Flushing

City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook

City Council Member Peter Koo on Friday joined with the NYPD and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to announce an upcoming human trafficking seminar later this month.

The seminar comes in the wake of recent news in which a massage parlor raid in Florida resulted in the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Reports indicate that several women working at the massage parlor in Florida had addresses from Flushing.

“We are seeing this happen sporadically nationwide. Massage parlors are raided by law enforcement, and it later becomes clear that they can be traced back to Flushing. We are working to make sure that those trafficked have access to services, and that our community knows what to look out for,” said Koo.

“Sex trafficking needs to be addressed with tremendous sensitivity so victims can be sure they are safe. We want them to know they have the full support of law enforcement and government. We also welcome the eyes and ears of the community. If you see something, say something. This seminar will help explain services available to victims and educate our community about what to look out for,” he added.

Koo recently partnered with police, community businesses to identify and shut down several brothels posing as massage parlors on 40th Road across the street from a playground in Flushing. He has also been working with local women shelters to provide outreach services to potential victims.

While there was no immediate indication of trafficking at the 40th Road locations, Koo has worked with landlords and the city to shutter the locations acting as illicit massage parlors. The upcoming sex trafficking seminar aims to engage potential victims in Flushing and around New York City as well as community members who wish to know more about this issue.

The public awareness event is slated for between 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 29 at the Queens Library Flushing Branch, 41-17 Main Street in Flushing.

Gillibrand Announces Bipartisan Legislation To Combat Opioid Crisis

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) on Friday announced bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis.

The John S. McCain Opioid Addiction and Prevention Act would limit the supply of initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain to seven days. This bill is named after late-Senator John McCain, who was the Republican lead of this legislation last Congress.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly two million Americans misusing prescription opioids, and each day, 41 people die from an overdose related to these prescription painkillers. The CDC also found that in 2017, 68 percent of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid.

This bill would create a seven-day prescription limit for opioids so that no more than a seven-day supply may be prescribed to a patient at one time for acute pain, such as a wisdom tooth removal or a broken bone. This would help restrict the excess supply of opioids and help minimize the risk of abuse.

“Too many families throughout New York and our country have suffered from the devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic. No community has been left untouched, and we need to be proactive when it comes to ending this crisis,” said Gillibrand.

“One of the root causes of opioid abuse is the over-prescription of these powerful and addictive drugs. I’m proud to join with Senator Gardner to introduce bipartisan legislation that limits the over-prescription of opioids. This would help our communities combat opioid addiction, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass this bill,” she added.

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