Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 1, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Schumer, Gillibrand Push To Reduce Aircraft Noise

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) last week called on Steve Dickson, President Trump’s nominee to serve as the next administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to commit to addressing the problem of overhead aircraft noise in New York. 

New York residents, particularly in areas of Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, suffer year-round from excessive noise caused by helicopter and airplane traffic. This problem becomes markedly worse with the increase of air traffic during the summer months. 

Last week, the FAA announced it will postpone the implementation of two flight pattern changes intended to reduce noise over Nassau County from flights going in and out of John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport. The FAA administrator is responsible for oversight on this issue and, in a letter to Dickson, Schumer and Gillibrand raised the concerns of Long Island and Queens residents who suffer from excessive aircraft noise over their communities. They also urged Dickson to make addressing aircraft noise a priority prior to the Senate considering his nomination. 

“Before we will consider any new nominee to head the FAA, we need to hear from the nominee about what will be done to address the high levels of airplane and helicopter noise that challenge so many communities in Long Island, Queens, the Bronx and elsewhere,” said Schumer. “That is why we are demanding that the nominee for FAA Administrator commit to listening and responding with specific policy changes to the long-ignored frustrations of New Yorkers overburdened by aircraft noise.” 

“Residents of Long Island and Queens have long suffered through unacceptable levels of helicopter and airplane noise, and this problem gets markedly worse during the summer. Even though last year’s FAA Reauthorization bill included my provisions to address this noise pollution, the FAA has yet to follow through and take any substantive actions to actually reduce aircraft noise,” said Gillibrand. “Before the Senate votes on the next FAA Administrator, I am calling on the nominee to show leadership on this issue and fully commit to addressing the concerns of New Yorkers. Excessive airplane and helicopter noise harm the quality of life in our communities, and it’s past time the FAA gives our communities the relief they deserve.”

Addabbo Speaks On His Climate Legislation

State Sen. Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) last week spoke before an audience of environmentally-minded individuals in Manhattan on the passage of legislation he co-sponsored, known as the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

“In a nutshell, this legislation (S.6599) seeks to achieve a target of 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030, 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040, and economy-wide net zero emissions by 2050,” said Addabbo. “What this means for all of us in New York State is that we are a national leader in fighting back against climate change, addressing over-reliance on fossil fuels, dramatically reducing harmful emissions, and providing a cleaner and greener environment both today and for future generations.”

The overall plan for achieving these emissions and community environmental justice goals will be spearheaded by Climate Action Council, comprised of relevant state agency heads and members appointed by the Governor, Senate and Assembly. This Council will include advisory panels for specific sectors of the economy, including agriculture, housing, energy efficiency, transportation and local governments.

A permanent Environmental Justice Advisory Group is also created to work with the Climate Action Council to ensure that the needs of disadvantaged communities most at risk of being harmed by pollution and climate change are addressed. A Climate Justice Working Group will coordinate with all of these entities to define and determine the location of disadvantaged communities throughout the state, which will receive new state resources to address environmental and public health risks. An air monitoring program will be developed to help ensure high air quality standards in these areas.

The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by Governor Cuomo in the coming days, also calls for the development of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035, 6,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2025, and a 23 percent increase in energy efficiency.

Sanders Monthly Clergy Council Meeting Discusses Economic Opportunity Zones

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) last week bought together faith-based leaders and economic industry experts at his Community Clergy Breakfast to discuss the social impact of Economic Opportunity Zones and how kingdom builders can organize and direct the community’s agenda in relation to potential development.

“As the Africans say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now,” Sanders said. “Now is the best time for all of us to come together and decide where we want these investments to go and how we want to build our community.”

Sanders held the breakfast at the Friendship Baptist Church in Jamaica. It was conducted in partnership with the New York State Economic Development Council, Small Business Development Center at York College, Enterprise Community Partners Inc. & Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

Economic Opportunity Zones is a tax incentive program that is projected to draw over $6.1 trillion in unrealized capital gains nationally. An opportunity zone is a low-income census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent and family income no greater than 80 percent of the area median. This initiative will allow investors to put money to work rebuilding the low to moderate-income communities, according to Ryan Sylva, the Executive Director for the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC).

Kim Asks State To Investigate Facebook’s New Monetary System

Assemblymember Ron Kim

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill ) last week asked the state Attorney General’s Office and Department of Financial Services to fully investigate Facebook’s to introduce a global digital currency system known as Libra,

In a letter to the two agencies, Kim questioned the safety and legality of this project, as well as requesting the two offices fully investigate the company over the proposed development. The company’s plans included the creation of the Libra Association, the governing body for the cryptocurrency which will be based in Switzerland, and whose founding members include other large corporations and investors such as Visa, Uber, and eBay.

“A monopolistic company that has relentlessly pursued the extraction and monetization of our personal data and information while steadily eroding our privacy protections should not be in the business of running a global currency system. The questionable legality of this venture is trumped only by the recklessness of allowing a business accused of numerous ethical violations and anti-competitive practices to create an alternate private cryptocurrency,” said Kim.

“If this plan moves forward, Facebook will potentially be able to see every online transaction, purchase, and detail of consumer behavior for its over two billion users, and profit from or exploit that information in any way it sees fit. I urge the Attorney General and the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services to look into this matter and determine the risk and potential consequences of the proposed Libra project,” he added.