Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 10, 2019

Queens County City Council News

AM Miller Recognizes The Sikh Community In Albany

Assembly Member Mike Miller

Assemblyman Brian Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Glendale) introduced a resolution during the 2019 legislative session recognizing Baisakhi, which marks the Sikh’s New Year. It is one of the historically significant days of the year for Sikhs.  

Miller also recognized on the Assembly floor the Sikh community of Richmond Hill as well as the Sikh Cultural Historical Society, the Cultural Center, and members of the Guru Nanak Darbar for their outstanding contributions to our community.

“Sikh-Americans make rich contributions to the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of the United States,” said Miller. “The Legislative Body is proud to congratulate the Sikh community upon the occasion of celebrating the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism.”

Sikhs have been living in the United States for more than 100 years, and during the early 20th Century thousands of Sikh-Americans worked on farms, lumber mills, and mines and on the Oregon, Pacific and Eastern railroads. Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world today. 

Meng Introduces Legislation To Combat Mail Theft Crime 

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D- Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) announced yesterday that she has introduced the Keep Mail Safe Act, a bill which would require the U.S. Postmaster General to study the possibility of retrofitting all blue mail collection boxes in the United States with narrow mail slots, in order to combat the mail theft crime known as mail fishing.

Mail fishing occurs when criminals place string connected to a sticky material into collection boxes. The sticky substance attaches to the mail and these lawbreakers “fish” out the envelopes. They then open the letters and steal people’s personal information such as bank, credit card, and Social Security numbers. 

“Year after year, numerous Americans, including New Yorkers – many of whom are seniors, fall victim to criminals who steal their personal information through mail fishing,” said Meng. “This has resulted in identity theft and funds being stolen from victims’ bank accounts. Last year, the Postal Service agreed to retrofit all blue mail collection boxes in my home borough of Queens, New York after I urged the agency to do so. Now, they should look at doing the same throughout the country. We can no longer ignore this problem. The Postmaster General must conduct a study to retrofit all collection boxes.”

Mail fishing has resulted in many incidents of identity theft and bank fraud. Last year alone, there were over 3,000 incidents of mail fishing in New York City. Retrofitting collection boxes with narrower slots would make it more difficult to steal the mail inside.

Gianaris Raises Gives Gantry Parent Association a Big Gift

State Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) announced yesterday during the “Summer Kids at the Landing” program that he secured $30,000 in funding for the Gantry Parent Association (GPA) in this year’s state budget. 

Funding will be used to support the GPA’s new web presence as well as a series of community forums, helping parents in the area learn about issues impacting the school community. 

GPA is a local educational advocacy group that serves as a central resource for area families, and as a voice of advocacy for varied educational issues.The group is comprised of parents working with and on behalf of families in Hunters Point and Court Square. 

“The Gantry Parent Association does critical work helping Long Island City’s parents and school community stay informed and engaged and I am proud to support their ongoing work,” said Gianaris. “I look forward to joining the Gantry Parent Association in their efforts to help western Queens families thrive.” 

Gianaris successfully advocated for increased funding for community priorities in this year’s state budget, including $13,000 for Sunnyside Community Services, $13,000 for Hunters Point Middle School, and $20,000 for Immigrant Families Together. 

Vallone Lauds Belmont Park LIRR Station Announcement

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone) yesterday lauded Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announcement on Monday of the $1.26 billion Belmont Park Redevelopment Project including its full-time Long Island Rail Road train station – the first full-time LIRR station in nearly 50 years.

The new train station will be located between the Queens Village and Bellerose stations on the LIRR’s Main Line, just east of the Cross Island Parkway. Electric shuttle buses – which are already planned to run from parking lots within Belmont Park to the arena site – will also serve LIRR riders traveling to the grandstand and planned arena, hotel and retail village.

“Finding the nexus between smart economic development and robust community input is the path to long-term success in New York State,” said Vallone. “A new, full-time railroad station at Belmont Park will provide proper relief from existing traffic on the Cross Island Parkway and overcrowding conditions at other LIRR stations in the area. I thank Governor Cuomo, the MTA, Empire State Development and most importantly New York Arena Partners for coming to this agreement, and I look forward to seeing the immense economic potential of the Belmont redevelopment project come to fruition. Next up, an Islanders Stanley Cup!”

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