Queens Lawmakers On The Move June 18, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Miller, Adams Support Carranza’s Equity Agenda

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller
City Council Member Adrienne Adams

City Council Members I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) and Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park) today will join with several other members of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus for a press conference in support of Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza’s equity agenda for all 1.1 million NYC students.

The support comes in reaction to several elected officials writing a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio expressing concerns over Carranza’s leadership and efforts to integrate the New York City public school system.

“As members of Black Latino Asian and Progressive Caucuses of the New York City Council, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting equity in schools and support the Chancellor’s efforts to ensure opportunity for all,” the Caucus wrote in a joint letter.

The press conference is slated for 3 p.m., today, June 18 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Ramos, Rozic Push For E-Bike Legalization

State Sen. Jessica Ramos
Assembly Member Nily Rozic

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) and Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D-Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside, and Douglastonyesterday stood with advocates yesterday to demand the passage of S5294/A7431 legalizing E-bikes in New York this session.

Right now, tens of thousands of New York City’s working cyclists — many of whom are immigrants, low-wage and people of color — are targeted for enforcement by the New York City Police Department. They have been ticketed more than $1 million in fines and several thousand of their legally purchased e-bikes have been confiscated since 2016. Each worker is often ticketed up to $1,000, severely affecting their ability to provide for their families.

The NYPD claims, based on anecdotes, that e-bikes are dangerous, despite overwhelming data to the contrary. E-bikes caused just 9 pedestrian injuries in 2018 according to NYPD data.

Both e-bikes and e-scooters are environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. They replace cars and car-trips at significant rates, thus making streets safer, our air cleaner to breathe, and our streets less congested and quieter, while providing transportation options in transit deserts. More than 31 other US states have legalized e-bikes. Workers and advocates, joined by lawmakers, will demand passage of state legislation this session to legalize e-bikes and finally decriminalize the work of the estimated 30,000 food delivery workers who use e-bikes daily in New York City.

“I am sponsoring legislation with Assembly Member Nily Rozic to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters because for many of my neighbors, who are immigrant delivery workers, using alternative modes of transportation is a matter of livelihood. Legalizing e-bikes and e-scooters is a matter of equal access to our streets and our city. It is a criminal justice issue, a transportation issue, an environmental issue, and a labor issue. I have introduced amendments to my bill which allow localities to address the concerns of how and where e-scooters should be ridden on their streets, and I am hopeful to see the bill’s near passage.” said Ramos.

“From lost wages to confiscations, delivery workers in New York City have been impacted by the ongoing criminalization of unregulated e-bikes for far too long,” said Rozic. “Passage of this bill would not only deliver economic justice for thousands of workers, but also bring New York into the fold as micromobility takes shape across the country as a means to provide affordable transportation alternatives.”

Gianaris Calls Out “Demagougery” Against Immigrants As Senate Passes Greenlight Legislation

State Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven) yesterday lauded the passage of the GreenLight NY bill, granting driver’s licenses to undocumented New Yorkers.

The measure would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license in New York. The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, known as the Green Light bill, would allow driver’s license applicants to use valid foreign documents — including foreign-issued passports — to verify their identity with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Gianaris delivered a powerful floor speech after two hours of debate calling out those who falsely claimed the GreenLight NY bill would lead to higher rates of voter fraud.

“I am proud to help lead a Senate that finally stands for justice,” said Gianaris. “I will continue to fight against gross, anti-immigrant rhetoric that dehumanizes immigrants who make our state the remarkable, diverse center of the world that it is.”

Addabbo Lauds Senate Passage Of Bill Implementing Mobile Sports Betting

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) yesterday lauded the Senate’s passage of his legislation  to implement mobile sports betting in New York.

“As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, I am delighted that the State Senate has taken this important step towards legalizing sports betting via smartphones and other mobile devices.  Permitting this type of wagering holds great potential for creating jobs and raising significant revenues for education, while also credibly addressing the issue of compulsive gambling.

“The NYS Gaming Association recently adopted regulations to implement in-person sports betting at four upstate casinos, as previously authorized, and adding mobile wagering to the mix will go far in capturing revenues that might otherwise continue to flow across the border to New Jersey.  In addition, legal mobile sports betting will put a serious dent in the existing underground and illegal wagering industry.

“I thank my colleagues and incredible staff, and now look forward to the State Assembly passage of this legislation, which will represent another major step towards enabling New Yorkers to make mobile sports wagers, over time, at all casinos, NYRA racetracks, OTB parlors, sports arenas and stadiums.  Experiences in other states have demonstrated that implementing sports betting without a mobile component leaves those states where people cannot wager with their phones or other devices at a competitive disadvantage.

“Ultimately, I hope the Governor will choose to embrace the great benefits that sports betting, including the mobile component, will bring to New York in terms of employment, additional funding for education, addressing illegal gambling, and ensuring our competitiveness with other states.”