Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 15, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng urges GOP To Denounce Trump’s Tweets On House Members

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Rego Park) yesterday called on Republicans to denounce the tweets that President Trump posted about Members of Congress going back to the countries they came from.

“Telling certain Members of Congress to go back to the countries they came from is something that the GOP must immediately condemn. This transcends party affiliation and partisan politics, and members of the President’s party must speak out loud and clear. Republicans must denounce these xenophobic and un-American comments,” said Meng.

Meeks’ Corporate Diversity Bill Passes HFS Committee

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S Rep Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport) saw the House Financial Services Committee pass his bill, HR 1018, the “Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019 last week with bipartisan support.

  • The bill requires public companies to publish diversity data annually in their proxy statements, based on voluntary self-identification, on the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of their board of directors, nominees for the board of directors, and executive officers.  Similarly, companies must publish data on those who have voluntarily self-identified as veterans. 
  • Public companies will also have disclosure requirements on the adoption of any board policy, plan or strategy to promote diversity.
  • The bill also directs the Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion of the SEC to publish, every three years, best practices for compliance with the disclosure requirements of this bill, including through solicitation of public comments. 
  • Finally, the bill directs the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the SEC to establish an Advisory Council, that includes issuers and investors, to advise on these best practices.

 “The ‘Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019” is the culmination of years of methodical work, built on the premise that transparency is the first step to accountability,” said Meeks.

“Corporate America should reflect the diversity of America, and the markets they seek to serve.  Not only is increasing diversity in the C-Suites and corporate boards the right thing to do, it is the smart business decision to make.  Time and again we have seen studies reveal the value a diverse board adds to a company’s decision-making process through unique perspectives,” he added.

Katz Hears Census Bureau Present Plans to Queens

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will chair a joint meeting of the Queens Borough Board and Queens Borough Cabinet in which the U.S. Census Bureau will present an overview of their plans for conducting the 2020 Census and ensuring an accurate count.

Conducted every 10 years as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census aims to count every person residing in the United States. The Census determines the borough’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as how much federal funding Queens receives for schools, infrastructure, health services and more.

Also during the meeting, some members of the Borough Board will review and vote on a pair of land use items. One item is an application from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on a proposed disposition of property to Bartlett Dairy for the development of a 54,000-square-foot dairy distribution center on a City-owned property immediately north of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The second item is an application from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for the City to buy certain properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The goal of the purchases is to provide financial relief to property owners impacted by Hurricane Sandy while also allowing the City to acquire land for open space or redeveloped residential use in ways that mitigate future storm-related risks.

The hearing is slated for 5:30 p.m., today, July 15 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Koo Hails Restored Funding For 10 Senior Centers

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) joined Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) and Aging Committee Chair Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) last week in announcing restored funding for 10 senior clubs including the James Bland Houses Senior Club in Flushing.

In the April Executive Budget, the Mayor’s Office proposed closing 12 senior clubs managed by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and Department for the Aging (DFTA). But the Council secured funding to keep 10 of those clubs open, presumably with plans to make repairs and ensure they comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Senior clubs are especially important to our aging population here in Flushing as they help connect older adults to vital services and activities that help them stay healthy and independent. In an area where many of our senior clubs are already over 100 percent capacity, it is essential that we do everything we can to protect these important gathering spaces that allow our seniors to age in place with dignity,” said Koo.

“Kudos to Speaker Johnson and our City Council colleagues for understanding the need to protect and prioritize the spaces and programs that serve our most vulnerable populations,” he added.

Schumer Takes Grubhub To Task for “Fake” Fees

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U. S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is demanding that Grubhub, the nation’s largest food-ordering platform, look into bogus fees and fake websites,on its App.

Schumer is also asking the federal Small Business Administration to provide a full report to Congress on the situation and urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be ‘at the ready’ to act. Further, Schumer wants the feds to find a way to force the company, not the customers or restaurants, to eat any loss. 

Schumer also says Grubhub needs to be more transparent with restaurants and their customers regarding their fee structure and prospecting methods in general. The New York City Hospitality Alliance and the New York State Restaurant Association, along with local restaurant owners joined his call.

“Bogus fees of any kind add up fast—a dollar or two here and there—and before you know it, a big company like Grubhub has millions of dollars they really never earned,” said Schumer. “So, today, I am putting in my own order at Grubhub and asking them to eat any fees they wrongfully charged restaurants or even customers. The bottom line is that the company must take a hard look at their fee structure and prospecting algorithm which they have blamed, in part, for this mess and make a real effort to fix the problem while fully cooperating with the feds. Bogus fees aren’t just a burden to our local restaurants, but it is the everyday New Yorker who can wind up eating the cost when the restaurant they love has no choice but to serve up the added fees on their menu in the form of increased price.”

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