Queens Lawmakers On The Move March 20, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Ramos Critical Of U.S. Supreme Court Immigrant Detention Decision

State Sen. Jessica Ramos

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) yesterday criticized the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the federal government can detain immigrants convicted of crimes without a bond hearing, even if they have been previously released and committed the crime years earlier.

The 5-4 decision fell along ideological lines. It reversed lower court rulings that found immigrants could only be subject to mandatory detention without a bond hearing if they were detained promptly upon their release from custody.

“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the federal government and ICE has the authority to detain documented immigrants who have committed certain crimes or have criminal records. This court decision means that ICE would be able to detain immigrants indefinitely, even months or years after they have paid their debt to society, without a bond hearing. This is an assault on our immigrant population, and is against the values we hold dear as Americans. Liberty and the right to due process are not selective rights. It is the law of the land,” said Ramos.

“We will not tolerate any presence of ICE in our community. The undocumented children of our community belong in schools, not in cages, and families belong together no matter their immigration status. My district is one of the most diverse in New York, and the rest of the world should take cue from us. They are our neighbors, our coworkers, part of our families, and the fabric of our communities, and they should be treated like no less,” the lawmaker added.

Koo Statement On 2019 Specialized High School Admission Number

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) yesterday called for more test prep and early education investments to even out the lack of diversity in the recent admissions into specialized high schools.

At Stuyvesant High School, one of eight schools that base admissions solely on a single standardized test, only seven black students were offered admissions to the incoming freshman class this year, compared to 10 students last year. The number of Latino students accepted increased slightly this year, to 33 from 27. The number of white students went up to 194 students from 151 students. The number of Asian students admitted to the school declined to 587 this year compared to 613 last year.

Overall, for all the specialized high schools, 51.1 percent of offers went to Asian students, compared to 51.7 percent last year; 4.0 percent went to black students, compared to 4.1 percent last year; 6.6 percent went to Latino students, compared to 6.3 percent last year; and 28.5 percent went to white students compared to 26.5 percent last year.

“The best way to make sure specialized high school admissions reflect the diversity of our city is by ensuring every family—no matter their race, color or financial status—has the opportunity to prepare their child for an advanced education,” said Koo.

“Engaging families and expanding test prep and early childhood gifted and talented programming in underrepresented school districts are all common sense first steps, but instead of addressing its own failures, this administration has chosen to attack the successes of specialized high school students. Increasing diversity shouldn’t penalize our highest performers,” he added.

Ulrich Calls Out DHS Commish At His Home

City Council Member Eric Ulrich

City Council Member Eric Ulrich (D-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven) this week led a protest in front of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Steven Banks’ home in Windsor Terrace to speak out against the de Blasio Administration’s failed homeless policies and called for Banks’ resignation.

“Steven Banks is the worst DHS Commissioner in New York City history. Tonight, more than 60,000 men, women and children will be sleeping in a City shelter – and thousands more on the streets and subways,” said Ulrich.”Creating new shelters has done nothing to address the homeless epidemic. We need real permanent housing programs for the people who need it most.”

The protest fueled an open letter from City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Brooklyn) criticizing Ulrich for having a protest in front of the home of Banks, a civil servant. However, the two lawmakers did not respond to QCP requests as to how many homeless shelters were slated for the Windsor Terrace, Park Slope neighborhoods under the de Blasio Administration.

Last month, de Blasio and DHS announced plans to bring a large-scale homeless shelter to Rockaway Park. Weeks later, DHS and the Mayor opened a 113-bed adult male shelter in the heart of Ozone Park. And just last year, community residents found out the City was secretly operating a hotel shelter out of two hotels on Redding Street in Ozone Park.

Ulrich will lead a second protest on the issue at 12 noon, this Sunday, March 24 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Addabbo To Host Flag Raising Ceremony Honoring Local Vietnam Vets

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 will host a flag raising ceremony to honor local Vietnam veterans ahead of this month’s National Vietnam War Veterans Day — which is observed every year on March 29.

Other elected officials invited to attend the ceremony include Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, Assemblyman Mike Miller, Councilman Eric Ulrich and Councilman Bob Holden.

“I believe a flag raising ceremony is a respectful way to celebrate our great veterans who have traveled around the globe to protect the freedoms that we as Americans hold dear,” Addabbo said. “Although many troops were not looked on favorably when they first returned home from the horrors of war in Vietnam, it is never too late to thank a veteran for their service, and I hope this small token of our gratitude will brighten these veterans’ days during a time when the country should be honoring them.”

The ceremony is slated for 1 p.m., this Friday, March 22 in the parking lot of the Medisys Health Network – Senior Health Center, 91-20 Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park. The flag, which Addabbo has donated, will be raised high above the building’s clock tower in honor of the veterans.

Sanders to Host Women’s Leadership Luncheon

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), this weekend will host a women’s leadership luncheon, where attendees will be able to receive guidance and direction on how to maximize their potential and perhaps seek positions of community or political service.

Female elected officials and community leaders will be on hand to impart their wisdom and advice. State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) is slated as the keynote speaker while Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) will be the guest speaker.

Special leadership training will be provided by Dr. Coralanne Griffith-Hunte, Founder of Created for Greatness Leadership Group, Inc.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for women who are seeking advancement in both career and life,” said Sanders.

The event is slated for between 2-5 p.m., Sunday, March 24 at the The Summerset at Locust Manor, 170-06 Baisley Blvd. in Jamaica. You must RSVP to attend. Please call Senator Sanders’ Office at 718-523-3069 or 718-327-7017 to reserve your seat.