Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 12, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Van Bramer Opens at Queens Newest Playground

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside, Woodside) joined Queensbridge Tenant Association President April Simpson, the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, NYCHA, and members of the Queensbridge community yesterday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration of the opening of a newly renovated playground at the Queensbridge Houses.

This $585,652 renovation was funded by Van Bramer and features new play structures, pavements, rubber safety and color surfacing, and spray showers. This renovation is part of a nearly $1.5 million capital project to revamp and restore outdoor gathering spaces throughout the grounds of Queensbridge Houses, including new play areas and basketball courts.

The playgrounds at Queensbridge Houses are vital to the community as they provide youth with space to play, exercise, and engage with their peers.

“The Queensbridge community deserves the best, including fully modernized outdoor spaces and play areas,” said Van Bramer. “I am proud to have allocated nearly $600,000 for the renovation of this beautiful new playground, as part of a $1.5 million project to restore the basketball courts and play areas at Queensbridge. These are essential community spaces that will enable the children and families of Queensbridge to come together and play for years to come.”

Gianaris Requests Mobile Book Services For Hunters Point Residents

State Senator Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) asked the Queens Public Library to increase mobile book services for residents of Hunters Point as they, with growing impatience, await the completion of a new library in their neighborhood.

Hunters Point is home to young families with school-aged children and schools including PS/IS 78 and Hunters Point Middle School, and is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in New York. Its residents have been awaiting the completion of a new library building for several years.

“Hunters Point is a thriving vibrant neighborhood with young families who need library services,” said Gianaris. “I ask the Queens Public Library to accommodate this need while we await the completion of the long-anticipated Hunters Point Library.” 

Meng Comments on Trump’s Unsuccessful Crusade

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies which funds the U.S. Census Bureau, issued the following statement last night as Donald Trump gave up on his attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

“The President saw the writing on the wall. Despite digging in, he knew that he was facing an uphill battle, and ultimately retreated from his ill-sought crusade to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” said Meng.

“While we’re extremely pleased over this victory, we must not forget the chaos, contradictions, misinformation – and of course the lies – that came out of the administration during this fight. President Trump sought to weaponize and politicize the census,” she continued. “Administration officials such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who lied straight to my face about the question’s origins, must still be held accountable for not telling the truth to Congress. We must also watch closely over how the President and the Commerce Department will continue to seek to acquire citizenship information through other means. We will not tolerate the intimidation of immigrant communities.”

Meeks Passes Amendment Prohibiting Naming of DOD Assets After Confederacy

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway) successfully passed an amendment to H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act, that would prohibit the Secretary for the Department of Defense (DOD) from naming DOD assets after someone who served or held a leadership position in the Confederacy, or after a city or battlefield whose significance is predicated on a Confederate victory. 

Meeks positioned that military bases and Navy ships still bearing the name of Confederate leaders and battles glorify the south’s fight to preserve the institution of slavery during the Civil War. 

“These odes to the Confederacy are symbols for a time of racial subjugation and state-sanctioned segregation, used to legitimize racism and the institutional segregation of African Americans,” said Meeks. “It is why neo-Nazis and white supremacists signal to each other using Confederate imagery, and why they flocked to a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charleston Virginia with torches in hand. They are tools of oppression, and effigies of enslavement.”

In acknowledgment of those who argue that the Confederacy is a part of the nation’s history and this amendment seeks to erase that history, Meeks explains: “The naming of navy vessels and army bases is not how we record history; they are how we revere it. And revering the Confederacy is precisely what bleaches the historical context of the civil war, of why arms were raised, and why blood was shed.

“We cannot mend the wounds of our Union if we continue to extol the causes of its rupture. Though no one is responsible for the sins of their fathers, we are responsible for the images we display to our sons and to our daughters.”

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