Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 16, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Cuomo Advances First-In-The-Nation Domestic Terrorism Law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) yesterday advanced a first-in-the-nation domestic terrorism law to include mass violence motivated by hate. 

Under this proposal, mass shootings against a group of people based on their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation would be punishable by up to life in prison without parole. This change would effectively treat these acts as they should: as terrorist crimes, carrying the same penalty as other terrorist crimes. 

Cuomo also called on the federal government to enact a new federal domestic terrorism law that would finally define acts of homegrown terror committed on United States soil as terrorism. He also called on the federal government to ban the weapons most often used to perpetrate these mass killings — military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines – and to enact universal background checks.

“We still treat terrorism as an act committed by foreigners,” said Cuomo. “It is, but only in part – it is now a two-front war on terrorism. It’s fed by hate: hate from abroad and hate right here at home. White supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-LGBTQ white nationalists – these are Americans committing mass hate crimes against other Americans and it should be recognized for what it is: domestic terrorism,” said Cuomo.

“American citizens who are radicalized not by a foreign ideology but rather radicalized by hate for other Americans are still terrorists. Today, our people are three times more likely to suffer a terrorist attack launched by an American than one launched by a foreigner. It is not just repulsive, immoral, and anti-American – it is illegal and we must confront it by enacting a new law to fit the crime,” he added.

Constantinides, Levin Introduce Bill To Further Monitor Construction Sites

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) and Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) this week introduced legislation to require environmental monitoring data at construction sites be made public. 

The lawmakers say the measure is needed as the city works to achieve environmental justice for all communities and address past environmental harms.

Environmental monitoring is the analysis conducted of environmental conditions both on and around a construction’s worksite to ensure safety and compliance with environmental plans. However, these measurements are not currently made public, and so nearby residents are often left in the dark about what construction impacts may exist and what mitigations are needed.

The measure, Int 1667 would require all environmental monitoring completed during construction to be thoroughly tracked and posted publicly online. 

“Given the history of environmental negligence and direct harm to communities in my district, we cannot allow increased construction to continue without full transparency and information on environmental assessments and plans for mitigation,” said Levin. “I am proud to sponsor this legislation to improve our understanding of what’s happening at every construction and demolition site and help right some of the environmental wrongs too many communities have faced.” 

Meng, Schumer, Gillibrand Call On FAA To Increase Transparency

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) and U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday sent a joint letter to the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calling for the agency to increase transparency of public meetings held by the NextGen Advisory Committee.

The Committee provides the FAA with advice and recommendations on ways to enhance and maximize the Next Generation Air Transportation System, commonly referred to as NextGen, which is the FAA-led modernization of the nation’s air transportation system that seeks to improve the safety, efficiency, capacity, predictability, and resiliency of U.S. aviation. 

However, part of NextGen’s implementation involves new flight routes that have caused communities such as Queens to experience increased levels of aircraft noise.

“Many of my constituents who continue to be impacted by excessive aircraft noise related to NextGen want to be heard about how this new technology impacts their lives,” said Meng. “The public deserves to be engaged on NextGen and this engagement must be a two-way street complete with dialogue and input from members of the community and other stakeholders. Increasing access and transparency to these meetings would help ensure this happens, and that committee members listen to their concerns. There should be no barriers that prevent this from happening. It is critical for Acting Administrator Elwell to make the changes we’re requesting and I eagerly await his reply to our letter.”

“High levels of airplane and helicopter noise have challenged communities in the Bronx, Queens, and on Long Island for far too long,” said Schumer. “For the FAA to modernize air-infrastructure in a meaningful and comprehensive way, they must hear from affected community members. That is why we are demanding that the FAA increase the transparency and accessibility of public meetings held by the NextGen Advisory Committee, which is responsible for advising the FAA on air transportation modernization, including new flight routes, so those whom have suffered from excessive aircraft noise have a seat at the table and their voices can be heard.”

“Excessive aircraft noise has been plaguing New York communities for years,” said Gillibrand. “With the FAA planning to convene public meetings on NextGen implementation, which would make changes to air traffic routes and could increase the impacts of aircraft noise in some communities, I am calling on the FAA to make sure that these meetings are made more accessible and transparent for New Yorkers. The federal officials determining aircraft route changes have a responsibility to listen directly to New Yorkers to ensure that any new routes carefully consider the potential effects on their quality of life. I’m proud to join with my colleagues in this push to ensure that New Yorkers can participate in the NextGen process.”

Holden Supports Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge

City Council Member Bob Holden

City Council Member Robert Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside) yesterday cheered the city’s announcement they have selected 18 finalists from the 169 proposals received for the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge. 

The NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge is a key component of the city’s Cyber NYC initiative, a $100 million public-private investment aimed at transforming New York City into a global leader of cybersecurity innovation and talent. 

To elevate awareness of the challenge and increase the number of quality applicants, the city established a consortium of international partners, including JVP, Israel’s leading venture capital firm, and government organizations from Israel, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Berlin, Helsinki, London, and Paris. 

As a result, the challenge attracted innovative cybersecurity companies from all over the world. Applicants addressed cyber needs such as application security, authentication, cloud security, end-point and network security, privacy, and internet of things security, among others.

“As the world becomes more connected, the threats against our information systems increase and small businesses with less resources can be the most vulnerable,” said Holden, chair of the council’s Committee on Technology. “I applaud the efforts of The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Cyber Command (C3), and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in hosting the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge to promote digital security for small businesses, and I wish all participants the best of luck.”

Addabbo Brings Free Prostate Screening To His District

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways is hosting a free prostate cancer screening in Middle Village next month.

This free screening is open to men age 40 or older who have never been previously diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, whether or not they have insurance.

Participants must also bring with them a photo ID containing their address, such as a driver’s license, as well as one self-addressed stamped envelope addressed to themselves in order for Integrated Medical Foundation to notify them of their exam results.

“As men age, it is vitally important that they take care of their prostate health through annual exams because if something is wrong, it is essential to catch prostate cancer early,” Addabbo said. “With September being National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, it is the perfect time for men to get a prostate cancer screening. Some constituents may not know about prostate health, or they might not have insurance coverage to get tested. That is why I partner with the Integrated Medical Foundation to bring these free screenings into my district. I encourage all men in my district to sign up for this free service.”

The screening is slated for 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 14at Addabbo’s Middle Village district office, 66-85 73rd Place in Middle Village. Appointments for the screening session is required as space is limited. Anyone interested in attending the session must call Addabbo’s Howard Beach office at 718-738-1111 to schedule an appointment.

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