Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 3, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng Hails Decision To Not Include Citizenship Question On 2020 Census 

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies which funds the U.S. Census Bureau, yesterday lauded the Trump administration’s decision to not include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

“The Trump administration abandoning its crusade to add a citizenship question is outstanding news, and it’s a huge victory in my efforts to stop this question from being added to the 2020 Census. I am proud to have led the fight against it in Congress, and I thank all the immigration activists, immigration advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders who partnered with me in this effort,” said Meng. 

“The plan to ask respondents if they are citizens was never about ‘protecting’ minority voting rights. It was about depressing response rates in immigrant communities in order to skew the census in favor of the GOP. Since the fate of the citizenship question has now been decided, the fate of those who sought to add it should be investigated to uncover their intentions, and I will continue to call for a probe of Secretary Ross. 

“While we have much to celebrate today, our work isn’t over. We must now do all we can to ensure a complete and accurate census count. There must be as much outreach as possible, and it must be done as early as possible, to help ensure that everybody knows the importance of participating in the census. I cannot stress enough how critical it is for everyone to fill out the census. It is vital, and the importance of having accurate and reliable census data is something that cannot be overstated. There are no do-overs with the census; a mistake is a 10-year mistake,” Meng concluded.

Meng, Constantinides, Koo Speak On Flushing Creek, Flushing Bay Cleanup

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) along with City Council Members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst) and Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows and Whitestone ) yesterday delivered opening remarks at a town hall discussion on how to improve the health of Flushing Creek and Flushing Bay.

Despite years of remediation, these waterways still don’t meet the Clean Water Act standards. Stakeholders and environmental leaders will present options for how to bring the waterways up to code and make them usable for fishing, swimming, and boating.

The town hall came less than a week after Constantinides, the Environmental Protection Chair,  introduced bills requiring the city to develop a five-borough resiliency plan and grant greater oversight on long-term control plans. Critics of long-term control plans argue their priority is not cleaning water, but rather assigning a fixed dollar amount for ad-hoc investments into waterways.

Adriana Espinoza from the New York League of Conservation Voters moderated the event. Karen Imas of the Waterfront Alliance, Michael Dulong of Riverkeeper, the Guardians of Flushing Bay, and Julie Welch from the SWIM Coalition were panelists.

Vallone Announces $2 Million Allocation for Francis Lewis Park Upgrades

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) yesterday announced that $2 million has been allocated for improvements at Francis Lewis Park in Whitestone. 

This allocation is a piece of the nearly $19 million in funding coming to Northeast Queens in the approaching fiscal year as part of the New York City Council budget passed on June 19. 

A total of $300,000 was allocated from Vallone’s office and an additional $1.7 million was allocated in partnership with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan). The funding will allow for pathway repavings and improvements to the entrance of the park on 3rd Avenue as well as the Veterans Memorial. A meeting to discuss the scope of these upgrades with community leaders is currently slated for this winter. 

“I am thrilled to announce this funding allocation, which will go a long way to improve one of northeast Queens’ waterfront gems,” said Vallone. “Access to our public spaces is an integral part of ensuring sustained quality of life in Northeast Queens. I thank Speaker Johnson for his partnership, and I know these improvements will be enjoyed by families in northeast Queens for years to come!” 

Gianaris To Announce Funding For Sunnyside Community Services

State Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) today will attend Sunnyside Community Services’ 4th of July luncheon (a day early) for seniors to announce funding for the agency’s women’s health programs. 

The announcement is slated for 11 a.m., today, July 3 at Sunnyside Community Services, 43-31 39th Street in Sunnyside.