Queens Lawmakers On The Move May 21, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Van Bramer Rallies For $25 Million For Arts & Culture

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside), award-winning singer-songwriter David Byrne, and dozens of artists and cultural activists from New Yorkers for Culture & Arts, today, will hold a rally calling for a $25 million increase in cultural funding.

New York City is home to more than 1,500 cultural organizations. The cultural sector brings $4 billion in revenue to the city annually and employs 8% of the city’s workforce. The City must continue to expand funding for cultural organizations big and small that drive our economy and together make New York City the cultural capital of the world, said Van Bramer.

The rally is slated for 10 a.m., today, May 21 on the City Hall Steps in Lower Manhattan.

Addabbo Legislation Would Prohibit Sale Of Whipped Cream Chargers To Residents Under 21

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) has introduced legislation (S.5151) prohibiting the sale of whipped cream chargers to people under the age of 21.

Addabbo introduced the measure in an effort to protect young people from the often serious effects of inhaling nitrous oxide.

“Known as whippits, whippets, nossies, nangs, Johnsons, and a variety of other street names, these items contain nitrous oxide and are commonly used to recharge and refill empty whipped cream canisters, or blow up balloons,” said Addabbo. “However, they have also become a means of recreational drug use, particularly among younger New Yorkers, that can lead to debilitating health threats. By limiting the purchase of these canisters to those over 21, and particularly to those who have a legitimate purpose for buying them, we can help protect our children from their intoxicating effects.” The canisters and related accessories are easily purchased online or over the counter.

Addabbo decided to introduce the legislation after hearing constituent complaints of finding high numbers of empty whipped cream chargers discarded on neighborhood streets throughout his district. “These piles of used whippets in our communities are not only an eye sore, but may indicate a significant problem with nitrous oxide abuse,” he said.

The legislation would impose a civil fine of up to $250 for a first offense of illegally selling whipped cream chargers to a person under 21 years old. Second and subsequent offenses would carry fines of up to $500 each.

Ulrich Announces Breezy Point Clean-Up Effort

City Council Member Eric Ulrich

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven), yesterday, announced a clean-up initiative in Breezy Point through Wildcat Service Corporation – a nonprofit organization that provides job opportunities and resources for unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers.

The initiative is in partnership with the Breezy Co-Op, the initiative removed overgrown weeds and trash on the National Parks Service (NPS) property at State Road, between Beach 193 Street and the Breezy Co-Op entrance.

Today’s clean-up efforts, which were funded by Ulrich, mark the first time the property has been serviced by any public agency in years. Earlier this year, the Breezy Co-Op board launched a letter campaign to request assistance from New York City Dept. of Transportation (DOT), but their request was ultimately denied because the property fell outside of the City’s jurisdiction.

“I am proud to announce that my office has partnered with Wildcat and the Breezy Co-Op to take care of this long-neglected property,” said Ulrich. “With the summer season approaching, it is imperative cyclists and pedestrians can use the sidewalks and bike lanes safely, without having to step onto a potentially dangerous roadway. I’d like to thank Wildcat and the Breezy Co-Op for their collaboration on this important clean-up program.”

Sanders Legislation Protects Veterans, Domestic Violence Victims

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), last week made important strides in serving and protecting veterans as well as victims of domestic violence, with three key pieces of his legislation, passed by the Senate in a single day – May 14, 2019.

Measures that affect the veterans are:

  1. 2113 – Expanding Licensed Veterans Employment: This bill will permit veterans who are licensed to practice a profession in another jurisdiction to practice their profession in New York State while their application to practice their profession in New York State is being processed.
  2. 2283A – Veterans Help and Crisis Line: This bill will provide a toll-free telephone number for use as a help and crisis line to assist veterans.

“Our veterans have made incredible personal sacrifices to protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy,” said Sanders, who is a Marine Corps veteran. “It is our duty to make their ability to transition into a productive life when they come back home as painless as possible. The Veterans help/crisis line legislation and the veterans’ transferable professional licensing legislation, help to make that productive transition a reality.”

The measure affecting victims of domestic violence is:

S.2224-B – Domestic Violence Advocate-Victim Privilege: This bill will establish that domestic violence advocates may not disclose any communication made by a client to the advocate except in certain, limited circumstances.

“Domestic violence has no place in New York State,” Sanders said. “It is our responsibility as citizens and lawmakers to ensure that we provide protections and support against this horrendous crime. The legislation that will pass to assist victims of domestic violence and sex crimes was created to better address this crime and provide greater protections for New Yorkers against domestic violence.”