Queens Lawmakers On The Move May 6, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Schumer: Feds Must Deliver Resources To Stop Spread Of Superbug Across NY

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday called on the federal government to provide millions of dollars in more funding in the fight against a vexing bug giving great angst to hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the State, not to mention the public.

Schumer’s call for additional funding comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a case count update on New York’s spreading superbug, a multidrug-resistant fungus called Candida Auris.

Schumer is urging the CDC to designate the spreading and multidrug-resistant fungus an official ‘emergency,’ making New York eligible for special public health crisis response dollars that could stretch into the millions.

“While the CDC is doing a fine job honing in on the threat this superbug presents to New York and the country, with the wave of a pen, they can help beat back the wave of this fungus’ spread across New York in an even tougher way. And that is what they should do: deliver a new raid of resources to stop this superbug from spreading even more across New York, Long Island and Upstate,” said Schumer.

“They can do it by qualifying ‘superbugs’ for official emergency response funding, adding the category to the federal eligibility list. We have done this successfully for Zika, Ebola, H1N1, the list goes on. The point here is that when you are dealing with a vexing bug like this one, which puts our healthcare facilities and the public on edge, every dollar we can use to better identify, tackle and treat this deadly fungus is a dollar well spent,” he added.

Ramos, Kim Join Decrim NY Rally

State Sen. Jessica Ramos
Assembly Member Ron Kim

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) and Assembly Member Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point,  Murray Hill) tomorrow will join with the coalition Decrim NY, which is made up of more than 20 current and former sex workers, allies, and organizational partners seeking to decriminalize, decarcerate, and destigmatize the sex trades in New York City and State.

The rally in the state capital, which will include more than 75 sex workers, trafficking survivors, and advocates from Decrim NY, will share tales on how they’ve been impacted by the criminalization of the sex trades, including stories of profiling and arrests, police assaults and brutality, deportation proceedings, experiences with the legal system as trafficking survivors, discrimination from housing and employment services.

Steering Committee members will also share updates on Decrim NY’s package bill to decriminalize and decarcerate the sex trades in New York state, the most comprehensive bill in the nation.

The rally is slated for 10:30 a.m., tomorrow, May 7 at the New York State Capitol, Million Dollar Staircase in Albany.

Braunstein Announces Women’s History Month Art Contest Winner

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) on Friday announced the winner of his office’s annual Women’s History Month Art Contest, which required participants to draw a picture of a woman from New York who they admire.

The winner of this year’s contest is Benjamin Wu, a 6th Grade student at IS 25 in Auburndale, for his portrait of Susan B. Anthony.

“Congratulations to Benjamin for his outstanding portrait of Susan B. Anthony. Over 100 students from schools in Queens participated in my office’s Women’s History Month Art Contest and I was very impressed with their talented drawings,” said Braunstein.

Benjamin received a gift card and New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit from Assemblyman Braunstein, as well as 3 free tickets to the Bell Blvd Food & Music Fest, which is being held from 2-6 p.m., May 19 in the Bayside Village BID. Additionally, Benjamin’s portrait of Susan B. Anthony will appear on the cover of next year’s contest brochure.

Lancman: Data Confirms Queens is the Misdemeanor Incarceration Capital of New York City

City Councilman Rory Lancman.

City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica), chair of the Committee on the Justice System, issued the following statement in response to new City data, required by Local Law 86 of 2015, showing that in the final six months of 2018, Queens sent more individuals awaiting trial on misdemeanor offenses to City jails than any other borough.

In the final two quarters of 2018, Queens sent 1,085 pre-trial defendants off to City jails on misdemeanor charges, followed by Manhattan with 1,037, and Brooklyn with 885. (Local Law 86: Individuals in DOC Custody, Fourth Quarter 2018, Table 7).

The recent data echos findings from the first two quarters of 2018, where Queens sent 1,416 pre-trial defendants to City jails on misdemeanors, again the most of any borough in the City (Local Law 86: Individuals in DOC Custody, Second Quarter 2018, Table 7).

The data also shows that during that same time period, 494 pre-trial defendants from Queens entered jail based on an inability to immediately pay bail of $1,000 or less — more than from any other borough.

“Queens is officially the misdemeanor incarceration capital of New York City,” said Lancman. “While other District Attorney jurisdictions in New York City are taking a variety of measures to end mass incarceration, Queens remains an outlier in continuing to send New Yorkers to jail for low-level offenses for no demonstrable public safety benefit and at an extraordinary cost to taxpayers. The end result is a criminal justice system in Queens that both over incarcerates and undermines citywide reform efforts.”