Queens Lawmakers On The Move April 18, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Weprin Statement On Parole Of Judith Clark

Assemblymember David Weprin

Assemblymember David Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows) yesterday spoke up in favor of the state granting parole to Judith Clarke after serving 37 years in prison for being the getaway driver in the 1981 Brink’s robbery that left a guard and two Nyack police officers dead.

Clark, who had a history of radical activism, was one of three defendants who refused representation by counsel and disrupted the courtroom to the point that the judge ordered them removed. The three were sentenced to three consecutive 25-to-life terms.

After being implicated in an escape plan in 1985, Clark spent two years in solitary confinement, but then began a years-long transformation: She apologized and expressed remorse, publicly and repeatedly, earned a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in psychology and was certified as a chaplain. She led support programs for inmates with AIDS, for incarcerated moms and their kids on the outside, and helped set up an inmate board to bring college courses to the prison.

“Judith Clark has spent four decades in prison and during that time she has atoned and apologized for her past criminal actions. Since becoming Chair of the Assembly Committee on Correction, I have met with Ms. Clark who has become a model citizen whose accomplishments include the creation of an AIDS awareness program,” said Weprin.

“Every woman I meet who was formerly incarcerated at Bedford Hills has told me that Ms. Clark was influential in helping them through their period of incarceration and in helping them become a productive member of society. If there is anyone deserving of parole in New York State’s prison system it is Judith Clark,” he added.

Vallone Lobbies For City Director Of Ferry Operations

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone), yesterday, co-chaired a joint hearing of the Committees on Economic Development, Governmental Operations, and Transportation, where his bill (Int. No. 1512-2019) to establish a Director of Ferry Operations within the Department of Transportation was heard.

The legislation would amend current law under Chapter 71 of the New York City Charter to establish this position.

“We can agree that the ultimate goal is to establish a self-sustaining citywide ferry system that connects all five boroughs using the city’s abundant waterways,” said Vallone. Delegating a Director of Ferry Services to manage our waterways will ensure that we chart a smart, fiscally responsible course to an expanded and reliable ferry system.”

The Director of Ferry Services would be appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. The Director’s responsibilities would include the operation and maintenance of existing ferries, ferry route development and evaluation, identification and assessment of potential sites for expansion of ferry service, and public outreach and community engagement.

The Director would not be responsible for the Staten Island Ferry.

Constantinides, Advocates to Rally for Climate Mobilization Act

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, parts of Long Island City) today will join with Brooklyn Council Members Brad Lander, Rafael Espinal and Stephen Levin along with union leaders and environmental activists to rally in favor of the Climate Mobilization Act.

The legislative packaged is centered around Intro. 1253, the Clean Tower Plan, which will be the largest carbon emission reduction ever mandated by a city. The bill tackles the small share of large buildings that emit one-third of New York City’s greenhouse gases every year. Other legislation promotes clean, renewable energy while also determining whether any of New York’s gas-fired power plants can be feasibly replaced with green power. Several bills promote green roofs, making it easier to install greenery, solar panels, and small wind turbines on top of buildings.

The full New York City Council is expected to vote on these bills at its stated meeting today after the rally. If enacted, the Clean Power Plan will be among the most significant climate policies to ever go through the City Council.

The rally is slated for 11:30 a.m., today April 18 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Sanders To Host Banking Event For “Invisible Class”

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) next month is hosting a banking event titled “Driving Capital to the Invisible Class,” which will focus on the different lending opportunities available for those who have been overlooked by mainstream banking institutions.

At the event, Sanders will bring together the invisible class, the financial industry and some of the leading lending associations to explore the ways people can access capital. The special guest speaker will be Max Levchin, CEO at Affirm, Inc., an investor and advisor to emerging technology companies.

The invisible class is a term used to describe a population within a capitalist society whose needs are almost unmet and unseen.

This event is conducted in partnership with African Diaspora Legacy Inc. International, The Long Island African Chamber of Commerce, Marketplace Lending Association, Merchant Association of Rosedale, Laurelton and Springfield Gardens, Inc., the NAACP, and Urban Upbound.

The event is slated for between 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursday, May 2 at the Springfield Gardens United Methodist Church, 131-29 Farmers Boulevard in Jamaica. To RSVP, call Senator Sanders’ Office at 718-523-3069 or 718-327-7017 or register online at Eventbright at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/driving-capital-to-the-invisable-class-tickets-60218252414?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.