Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 19, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng Floats Resolution Recognizing World hepatitis Day

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), yesterday introduced legislation to recognize World Hepatitis Day, which is on Sunday, July 28.  

Currently, an estimated 5.7 million people are living with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). Despite its prevalence, awareness is low: close to three-quarters of the population infected with HBV or HCV are unaware of their condition. Due to the asymptomatic nature of hepatitis B and C, most chronically infected people don’t even know about their infection until they experience crippling symptoms of cirrhosis (irreversible scarring of the liver) or liver cancer, many years after contracting the disease.

However, both HBV and HCV are completely preventable. By recognizing World Hepatitis Day, this resolution will raise awareness of this silent killer and encourage people from across the world to take preventative action, as well as urge greater partnerships between federal, state, and local health departments to eliminate new infections in the U.S.

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Hepatitis Caucus, I am committed to raising awareness and making sure we dedicate resources to combating this disease,” said Meng. “In particular, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) disproportionately affects Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who account for more than half of HBV cases in the United States despite making up only 6% of the population. I urge my colleagues to join me in commemorating World Hepatitis Day and emphasizing the importance of getting tested in order to stay healthy. I will continue to support finding a cure and raising awareness of this horrible disease in Congress.”

Nolan, Abbabbo, Holden Continue Push To Stop Bus Lane

Assembly Member  Catherine Nolan

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Long Island City, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria, Woodside, Maspeth, Dutch Kills, Blissville), State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) and City Council Member Robert Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside) yesterday joined business and community leaders to call on the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to delay the installation of a bus lane on Fresh Pond Road.

“The traffic on Fresh Pond Road needs to be alleviated but we must come up with a solution that works for all parties involved,” said Nolan.  “With our local community board rejecting the idea of a bus lane, the Department of Transportation has the opportunity to take a step back, review the alternative plans that have been provided by the business and community leaders and craft a better plan for all.”

“While I support the need to improve our public transportation system,” said Addabbo. “I do not believe that the bus lane project should advance until the negative impact on our local businesses and other quality of life aspects are addressed. I have witnessed too many times in my district that the city is narrowly focused on implementing one project, while ignoring the bigger picture and the multiple negative impacts it could have on the community as a whole.”

“I have been urging the Department of Transportation since I learned of the bus lane proposal in April to first try several alternative measures to reduce traffic on Fresh Pond Road,” said Holden. “Business owners, residents and the community board have all expressed support for these alternative measures, so it’s time for the DOT to listen and react accordingly. Rushing to install this bus lane despite legitimate concerns from the community is not constructive.”

The Department’s proposal to improve traffic flow on Fresh Pond Road as part of the Better Buses Action Plan has elicited a great deal of communication between the DOT, community members, local business owners, and Community Board 5. While there is agreement that the corridor is experiencing traffic, there are many differing views on how best to address the issue.

Ramos Successfully Launches Community Pulse Check

State Sen. Jessica Ramos

State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, parts of Astoria, Woodside) yesterday successfully launched Community Pulse Check, a field initiative to capture district neighbors’ thoughts, concerns, and needs. 

The initiative features a door-to-door field team, asking neighbors about their quality of life, aspirations for the community, and even legislative ideas. With this data, Ramos and her office will better assess and respond to the needs of the district.

“Community Pulse Check is the extended outreach we promised our neighbors,” said Ramos. “The data we collect will help us understand how government is serving or not serving our neighbors, and better inform our advocacy for resources in Albany.”

The initiative will use Reach, an app that was created to facilitate organizing tools in the streets. This is a new and innovative tool that will allow for more effective and efficient community organizing and community outreach. Community Pulse Check will also be a reminder for neighbors to begin looking out for the Census and get counted.