Queens Lawmakers On The Move April 26, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Gianaris, Actress Edie Falco Rally To Ban Sale Of Puppy Mill Dogs In Pet Stores

State Senator Michael Gianaris

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven), Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) and City Council Member Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) today will join Actress Edie Falco to support a statewide ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores.

Specifically, the lawmaker and actress will discuss A.6298/S.4234, proposed legislation that will prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state. They will be joined by representatives from the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the Humane Society of the United States (the HSUS) and New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF).

Despite pet stores’ claims that their puppies come from well-regulated, humane breeders, dogs bred in these facilities often spend their entire lives in small, dirty, wire cages. Mother dogs are treated as nothing more than breeding machines, and puppies as nothing more than assembly-line products, according to advocates for the bill.

The state legislation seeks to protect animals and consumers from cruel breeders who seek to maximize profits at the expense of animal welfare. New York has one of the highest concentrations of puppy-selling pet stores in the country.

The rally is slated for 11 a.m., today, April 26 at the ASPCA Adoption Center, 424 East 92nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

AG James Announces Investigation Into Facebook

State Attorney General Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James (D) yesterday announced an investigation into Facebook’s unauthorized collection of 1.5 million Facebook users’ email contact databases.

While Facebook claims that 1.5 million contact databases were directly harvested by its email password verification process for new users, the total number of people whose information was improperly obtained may be hundreds of millions.  

“It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers’ personal information,” said James. “Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’ information while at the same time profiting from mining that data. Facebook’s announcement that it harvested 1.5 million users’ email address books, potentially gaining access to contact information for hundreds of millions of individual consumers without their knowledge, is the latest demonstration that Facebook does not take seriously its role in protecting our personal information.”   

Email verification is standard practice for online services such as Facebook. Typically, when a consumer signs up to a new service, they are asked to provide an email address, where they then receive an email with a link to verify that the email account belongs to them. Facebook’s procedure requested certain users to hand over their password to their personal email account.

Additionally, reports indicate that Facebook proceeded to access those user’s contacts and upload all of those contacts to Facebook to be used for targeted advertising. While Facebook has admitted that 1.5 million people’s contact books were directly harvested, the total number of people whose contact information was improperly obtained by Facebook may be hundreds of millions, as people can have hundreds of contacts stored on their contact databases.  

Addabbo Bill Prohibiting Taking Of Menhaden Fish Signed into Law

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) earlier this month saw Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign into law his legislation (S.2317) which prohibits taking a species of fish known as the Atlantic Menhaden from district waters using a purse seine (fishing net).

“Atlantic Menhaden have fallen victim to overfishing in the waters of the Rockaways,” Addabbo said. “We have seen a strong comeback of Menhaden in the waters off the Rockaways and Broad Channel in recent years thanks to the efforts of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and this new environmental conservation law will only continue that progress and provide sustainable management of this keystone species.”

Menhaden fish are popular for seine fishing because they are used for fishmeal and fish-oil based products and local anglers use them as bait to catch larger fish that they can eat or sell. They are also a major food source for whales, dolphins and other large marine life. A single humpback whale can eat thousands of pounds of Menhaden per day. These small fish are referred to as one of the most important species in the ocean. Seine fishing involves using a large fishing net, called a seine, cast off the side of large commercial fishing boats to collect fish.

“Last year when the bill failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote, I pledged to get it passed in 2019 ensuring that local fishermen and wildlife would not be negatively impacted by overfishing,” said Addabbo. “This is such great news for coastal areas within the district where Menhaden have been returning to our coastal waters in historic numbers. The replenished food source is also bringing whales and dolphins back to New York’s coast, positively contributing to the tourism industry.”

The Governor signed the legislation into law on April 18 and it took effect immediately.

Adams Lauds City Grants To Community Orgs That Support Small Business Corridors

City Council Member Adrienne Adams

City Council Member Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park) yesterday lauded the city’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) announcement of $1.3 million in grant awards to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to boost underserved neighborhoods through revitalization projects.

The awards, funded by SBS’ Avenue NYC initiative, will be used to strengthen CBDOs’ capacity to carry out multi-year commercial revitalization programs in low- and moderate-income communities. The multi-year awards aim to enhance the capacity of CBDOs to understand local neighborhood needs and deliver impactful community development projects.

Each grantee will be awarded $100,000 per year for up to three years.

The following two CBDOs have been selected to receive new multi-year grant awards:

  • Queens Economic Development Corporation in Richmond Hill
  • Sunnyside Shines BID in Sunnyside

Additionally, the following three CBDOs were awarded nearly $1 million in combined Avenue NYC grants in 2018, which will continue to support neighborhood projects this year. These CDDOs have already used the funding to engage the community through merchant and consumer surveys to complete Commercial District Needs Assessments.

  • Chhaya Community Development Corporation, Jackson Heights
  • Jamaica Center Improvement Association, Jamaica
  • Rockaway Business Alliance, Rockaways, Queens

“It takes many types of small businesses and organizations to create a vibrant community,” said Adams. “The Avenue NYC grant awards go a long way to help uplift commercial corridors and strengthen communities across our City. Congratulations to this year’s Avenue NYC awardees and the many neighborhoods that will benefit from their efforts.”

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