Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 1, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meeks Vows to Fight Data Security Threats

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport), yesterday said the recent Capital One data breach is a stark reminder of the need to tackle data security threats more broadly.

The recent Capital One data breach exposed the personal information of nearly 106 million of the bank’s customers and applicants. The hack also came a week after the Federal Trade Commission settled a breach with the credit bureau Equifax concerning a hack in 2017 that affected 147 million customers.

“The Capital One data breach is just the latest in a long series of incidents that put American consumers at risk of identity theft and financial losses.  Our financial system, electoral process, healthcare system, and national security must be secured from hacks and data theft,” said Meeks.

“Data security must become a national emergency, bringing together government and the private sector, at the federal and local level.  I will use my position as Chairman of the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee to investigate these breaches, and push for stronger standards across the board. I propose that we widen the lens because the problem is bigger than just any one hack, but rather a systemic threat to our financial and national security more broadly,” he added.

Miller Deplores Water Attack On 102nd Precinct Officers

Assembly Member Mike Miller

Assemblymember Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park,  Glendale) deplored the recent water attack on police officers from the 102nd Police Precinct in his district.

The attack occurred yesterday on Jamaica Avenue and 86th Street when a man approached two law enforcement officers and sprayed them with his water bottle and walked away.

“If a private citizen was physically assaulted on our city streets, the NYPD  would have no problem making an arrest. However, when it comes to their own, when it happens to them, they feel handcuffed. This is a physical assault on our officers who protect us each and every day and needs to be treated as such,” said Miller.

Mayor de Blasio needs to spend more time in NYC and deal with this embarrassing and inexcusable assaults on our police officers than on the campaign trail. This will continue to happen unless  Mayor de Blasio lets officers do their jobs that they are trained and qualified to do.

“I am outraged that this has occurred in my district and I am outraged this is continuing to happen. This behavior should not be tolerated at all. I hope Commissioner O’Neil investigates this attack and the NYPD makes an arrest to the person who has no respect for the law, for our community and our 102nd Precinct officers. These attacks have already occurred in Manhattan and Brooklyn and now Queens in a matter of a week. This won’t stop unless de Blasio takes the handcuffs off our police officers and let them police. Action needs to happen now to protect our officers,” he added.

Weprin Informs Community about Child Victims Act

Assemblymember David Weprin

Assemblyman David I. Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows) this week joined Jeffrey Dion, CEO of the Zero Abuse Project, Joelle Casteix, Zero Abuse Project board member and child sex abuse survivor, and Alison Andrews, Chief of the Child Abuse Unit at Queens District Attorney’s Office at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens to discuss the Child Victims Act (CVA).

Dozens of residents from across Queens were given an update on their rights regarding the changes to the statute of limitations brought about by the CVA which was signed into law this year. The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that in 2017 about 2,158 children in New York were sexually abused but advocates say that these crimes are greatly under-reported.

The CVA expands New York’s formerly restrictive statute of limitations, which is a legal term that refers to the deadline an individual has to initiate legal proceedings. Beginning August 14, survivors over the age of 23 will be able to utilize a one-year window, known as the “look back” period, to file a civil lawsuit against perpetrators or institutions regardless of when the offense took place. Furthermore, the statute of limitations for criminal actions and civil actions was also raised. The criminal statute of limitations will be extended five years from age 18 to 23 and the civil statute of limitations will be extended from 23 to 55. 

“It is my hope that local community members will be able to use the information from this seminar to seek justice for themselves or help others in their community seek justice,” said  Weprin. “The Child Victims Act is a historic victory for child sex abuse survivors and we need to make sure that people know how to use it to hold their victimizers accountable. I thank the Zero Abuse Project and the Queens District Attorney’s office for their tireless work on this issue.”

Gillibrand Introduces Infrastructure Investment Legislation

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), yesterday announced new legislation to make bold reforms to federal infrastructure programs that would help create family-supporting jobs rebuilding the country while working to right the wrongs of decades of disinvestment and exclusionary federal policies that have cut off communities of color and marginalized populations from opportunity in urban and rural areas alike. 

The Build Local, Hire Local Act would ensure that federal infrastructure investments put low-income communities first and prioritize local workers and disadvantaged businesses.

This measure would help create a comprehensive set of reforms to raise wages and labor standards, strengthen unions, invest in American manufacturing, create new opportunity for Americans who are struggling to get high-quality jobs, and strengthen communities that have been hurt by crumbling infrastructure and failed federal policies. 

These reforms would be applied to the nation’s estimated $100 billion in annual infrastructure spending across a series of industries. 

“Too much of our nation’s infrastructure is in disrepair, and we urgently need to get to work rebuilding it,” said Gillibrand. “But when we do, we also need to make sure we’re not repeating our government’s mistakes from last century and building barriers between marginalized communities and everyone else. That’s why I’m incredibly proud to introduce the Build Local, Hire Local Act with Congresswoman Bass. Our groundbreaking new bill would make sure that when we get to work on rebuilding our nation’s highways and other infrastructure, we are building up and repairing all of our communities – including the marginalized ones that got passed over the last time we were supposed to do the job.”

Meng Introduces Bill To Study Creation Of AAPI Museum

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 announced she introduced legislation to examine the possibility of creating the first museum dedicated to preserving the history, culture, and accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).   

Entitled the “Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act,” the bill would create an eight-member panel – consisting of individuals with various expertise in museum planning or AAPI research and culture – to look into the viability of establishing such a facility in the nation’s capital. 

The bill would also direct the commission’s recommendations to address whether the museum should be part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The commission would have 18 months to complete the full study.

“We need to weave the narrative of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities into the greater American story. I firmly believe the story of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is sorely misunderstood and creating a national museum would ensure that our experiences—both good and bad—are recognized by all Americans,” said Meng. “Museums are gateways for Americans and the world to see the United States’ rich history, challenges it overcame, and potential for greatness. Establishing this commission is the first step toward the creation of a national AAPI museum. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.”