Queens Lawmakers On The Move June 3, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Schumer: New Yorkers Paying For Lighting-Speed Internet & Getting A Snail’s Pace Of Speed

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday singled out specific New York data that shows slow internet speed is likely plaguing roughly 4.7 million New Yorkers in the City and Long Island alone.

Schumer, today, said that a recent report by Microsoft calls into question the way by which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports on broadband coverage, collects the information that delivers the data, and regulates broadband provider’s advertising of internet speeds.  

Schumer is urging the FCC and providers to take corrective action that ensures accurate reporting and better coverage, which translates into fairer price.

“While we live in an era of faster and faster, the reality of internet speed across New York is that it may move more like molasses than lighting,” said Schumer.

Schumer is urging the FCC to conduct a thorough review into the huge disparity between the provider-supplied data and the data generated by specific households and their internet devices via this study. Specifically, Schumer is calling into question federal policy that allows providers to account for areas where they are not actually providing service.  

“The FCC needs to account for the massive disparity in reported speeds and the real frustration of many New Yorkers who are at a net loss all around when their internet service is slow, possibly paying for speeds that are not as advertised and losing out on their own productivity. The bottom line here is that if this is a problem in New York City, then this is a real issue across America,” Schumer added.

Kim, Liu Celebrate Pacific American Heritage Day In Albany

Assemblymember Ron Kim
State Sen. John Liu

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, and Murray Hill), State Sen. John Liu (D-Bayside, Flushing, Auburndale) and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan), last week held the 2019 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Day Celebration at the Legislative Office Building of the state capital.

The three Asian American legislators heralded the opportunity to host a joint chamber event honoring the culture and heritage of New York’s vibrant, fast-growing Asian American and Pacific Islander population.

This year, they had the opportunity to recognize three unique and praiseworthy honorees: Jin Kyu Park, a student at Harvard University and the very first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to receive the Rhodes Scholarship; Havana Rose Liu, founder of Tiny Breast and a lifelong advocate for women’s rights, breast cancer awareness, and female empowerment; and Red Canary Song, a organization dedicated to helping vulnerable and exploited New Yorkers, particularly migrant workers prosecuted for sex work and potential human trafficking victims.

The event also featured a panel discussion on progressive topics of contemporary relevance to the Asian American community in New York, including the sudden and rapid growth in usage of e-bikes, the potential legalization of marijuana, and the plight of migrant workers accused of sex work.

“I am proud of the large and diverse group of attendees that we brought to our APA Heritage Day this year. They hail from varied backgrounds and cultures, and together represent an essential community and voice in New York that grows stronger and more influential every year,” said Kim.

“This was the first time we held a panel to discuss key issues that our community is facing, including difficult topics that I know some may prefer not to talk about, because Assemblymember Niou and I felt that it was important for this day to be one of not only celebration but also reflection and deliberation for Asian Pacific Americans and our place in New York,” he added.

Katz Kicks Off Pride Month

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz last week in conjunction with Queens Pride, commissioned the first-ever installation of Pride flags in front of Queens Borough Hall on the eve of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month.

The Pride flag represents the LGBTQIA+ movement and will remain on display throughout the month of June in honor of Pride Month and in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969.

“The Borough of Queens is unabashedly Pride — all day, every day,” said Katz. “During LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and throughout the year, let us be loud, vocal, united and relentless both in celebration of Pride and in our universal push for inclusion, equality and justice.”

Katz will also host her annual Pride Month Celebration with Councilmembers Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 19 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens,. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP atwww.queensbp.org/rsvp or call 718-286-2661.

Western Queens Elected Officials to Host Renewable Rikers Panel

City Council Member Costa Constantinides
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Western Queens Democratic Party Lawmakers including City Council Members Costa Constantinides and Daniel Dromm, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, State Sen. Jessica Ramos, and Assembly Member Catalina Cruz this week will co-host a Jackson Heights forum on the future of Rikers Island as the heart of New York City’s green infrastructure.

Professor Rebecca Bratspies, founding director of CUNY Law School’s Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER), will moderate a panel that includes: Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives at WE-ACT for Environmental Justice; Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN; Rachel Spector, Director of the Environmental Justice Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; and Marco Barrios Just Leadership USA.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos
Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz.

“Closing the jails on Rikers Island is a moral imperative we must see through for the sake of communities long ripped apart by injustice,” said Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, whose district includes Rikers Island. “Closing Rikers presents a unique opportunity to also get power plants out of those same communities, correcting another historic injustice. I look forward to this valuable discussion on how we make this land actually serve our city productively.”

“I am very excited to co-host the Renewable Rikers Island town hall and begin a discussion on using the land in a way that actually benefits all New Yorkers,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “I look forward to hearing how we can begin reversing the historic injustices committed on Rikers, as well as help communities held back for generations by environmental injustice.”

“We are presented with an opportunity, with the closing of Rikers Island, an institution plagued with a dark history of corruption, mistreatment and injustice, to use this space in an innovative way that will help our community and the entire city. I’m excited and honored to take part in this dialogue, and listen to the ideas of my colleagues and neighbors about how we can best do so,” said Cruz.  

The forum is slated for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 6 the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, 37-06 77th Street at 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights.