Queens Lawmakers On The Move May 22, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meeks, Queens Dem Party Host Mayor Buttigieg For First Queens Fireside Chat

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) and the Queens Democratic Party will host a fireside chat with 2020 Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, today.

The discussion is the first in a series of Presidential fireside chats meant to bring the candidates to the most diverse county in the United States.

The interview will be conducted by NY1’s Cheryl Wills, televised on NY1 and open to media. Audience seating is first come, first serve. The fireside chat will include a Q&A round where local students and attendees in the audience can submit questions to Mayor Pete.

The event is slated for 1 p.m., today, May 22, at LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City.

Gianaris Announces Senate Passage of Bill Reforming NY’s Public Service Commission

State Senator Michael Gianaris/Facebook

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven) yesterday announced Senate passage of his legislation creating a blue ribbon panel to recommend nominees to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), with specific criteria to be met by nominees.

The measure creates the Public Service Commission Nominating Board (PSCNB), comprised of utility experts, representatives of the public and different branches of government. The PSCNB would recommend four vetted, qualified nominees to the Governor for appointment and confirmation anytime a Commissioner’s term was expiring or when a vacancy otherwise occurs. To qualify, nominees would need experience in an area such as law, regulatory affairs, engineering, or consumer advocacy.

 The PSC handles utility regulation pertaining to electric, water, natural gas, steam and telecommunications. Currently, there is one vacancy on the PSC board. The legislation, if enacted, would bring more expert voices into the process of utility regulation.

“The PSC has huge power over everyday aspects of New Yorkers lives, making it critical that we establish a process to get the best possible commissioners. This bill ensures the most qualified and experienced experts would serve on the PSC,” said Gianaris.

Addabbo Bill Creating 9/11 Remembrance Day in NYS Public Schools Passes Education Committee

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.’s (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) legislation ( S.4166) to create an annual September 11, 2001 day of remembrance and brief moment of silence in New York’s public schools took a positive step forward after being approved by the Senate Education Committee this week.

Addabbo believes an official observance of September 11th in New York’s public schools will help to ensure that the events of that day are never forgotten, and that the state’s young people are fully educated about the terrorist attacks.

Under the legislation, a brief period of silence – which would not be of a religious nature – would be observed at the opening of the school day to encourage dialogue in the classroom about the history of 9-11 and how it affected New York City, New York State and the rest of the country. Addabbo’s Queens Senate District was particularly hard hit by the September 11th attacks, with hundreds of residents, including many first responders from Rockaway and other areas, among those who perished.

Now that the Senate bill has been approved by the Senate Education Committee, it will be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate. In the Assembly, the legislation (A.1801) is under review by the Assembly Education Committee.

“This is just one more way to make sure that we never forget 9-11, and that we continue to work together – in our neighborhoods, in our state, and across our country – to build a safer and more peaceful future for all of us,” said Addabbo.

Vallone Chairs Hearing On Economic Development, Waterfront & Ferry Development  

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council member Paul Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone) on Monday, chaired an Executive Budget Hearing on Economic Development for the upcoming New York City fiscal year.

The hearing was an opportunity for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to provide the Council with an overview of their capital funding plan and provide updates on ongoing projects and for the Council to pose questions to NYCEDC about their budget items. Representing the NYCEDC at this hearing was James Patchett, President and CEO.

Vallone paid particular attention to designated investments in the waterfront, including public transportation and preserving and expanding recreational waterfront public spaces, and renewed the call for ferry service in City transportation deserts like Northeast Queens.

Vallone again called for commuter ferry service at the World’s Fair Marina in Flushing, which is being reconstructed to upgrade the deteriorated fixed piers, floating docks, and related components damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The marina is being designed in a manner that would accommodate a potential ferry landing and the reconstruction project will be completed by 2022. At the hearing, Vallone urged EDC to continue exploring establishing a future landing at the World’s Fare Marina.

NYCEDC is the project lead with construction of new ferry landings, renovation of existing ferry landings, and managing the contract with Hornblower, the operator providing service on behalf of the City. Citywide Ferry Service is projected to support approximately 4.6 million rider trips per year and fares on the new service will cost $2.75, the same as a bus or subway ride.

“As we continuously look for ways to meet the extraordinary demand for public transit, our City should look to ride the wave of ferry service, which brings a viable transportation option to areas of our city like Northeast Queens that are difficult to access and lack subway access and reliable bus service,” said Vallone.