Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 19, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Koo, Meng, Dromm Applaud New Flushing Mural 

City Council Member Peter Koo
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

City Council Members Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Daniel Dromm (D-Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) along with U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) last week the Asian American Federation (AAF) unveiling of:  Where Home Is, the first-ever mural painting on Union Street in downtown Flushing. 

Created by visual artist Chemin Hsiao, the 30-foot long public artwork, located at 37-23 Union Street in Flushing, is the first in a series of art projects planned by AAF as part of its small business program to beautify Union Street and enhance the shopping experience for customers.

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

The artwork features the famed number 7 subway line and important institutions and landmarks surrounding Union Street, including Latimer House, Flushing High School, Flushing Town Hall, Bowne House, the Weeping Beech Tree, and the Queens Botanical Garden.

“As the Flushing community continues to grow and evolve, we look forward to more opportunities to transform our public spaces and infrastructure into amenities that bring people together, stimulate our collective imaginations, and make residents and visitors alike feel welcome. Public murals are great ways to highlight the unique talents, diversity and character of our neighborhoods, and the Union Street mural is a great first step forward toward a new and improved Flushing,” said Koo.

“We are unveiling this mural in a week like this when our immigrant communities have had so much tough news. It is a special and important moment to remember the tremendous contributions immigrants have made not just to Flushing and Queens, but to our entire country. This is our way of standing strong to say thank you to our various immigrant communities,” said Meng.

“This mural pays tribute to the many contributions immigrants have made to the local community,” said Dromm . “Flushing has a dynamic history and immigrants play a very prominent part in it. This mural captures that history while beautifying the neighborhood. I thank the Asian American Federation, the New York Economic Development Corporation and the Queens Council on the Arts, and Hanmi Realty for making this important project a reality.”

Cuomo Announces RFQ For New LaGuardia Central Hall

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday announced the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have issued a Request for Qualification for the creative vision, design and operation of a new Central Hall linking the brand-new Terminals B and C at LaGuardia Airport. 

Serving as the main entrance and focal point of the new $8 billion LaGuardia Airport, the Central Hall will be an iconic welcome hall to the first new airport to be built in the U.S. in 25 years.

“New York is leading the way on infrastructure investments, and the new LaGuardia Airport is just another example of our state’s efforts to create a modern transportation network,” said Cuomo. “The Central Hall at LaGuardia will serve as an iconic gateway to welcome the millions of visitors that go through the airport every year and further our progress in rebuilding our airports for the future.”

In July 2015, Cuomo unveiled the vision for a comprehensive redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport and broke ground in 2016. The $8 billion project, 80 percent of which is funded through private financing and existing passenger fees, will create a unified airport and 21st century customer experience.

Overall, the redevelopment of LaGuardia is anticipated to create a combined $10 billion in economic activity and $2.5 billion in wages over the life of the project. Cuomo also set a goal of increasing the number of LaGuardia Airport contracts with certified minority and women-owned businesses (MWBE) to 30 percent, the highest such goal in the nation. 

Maloney Visits Street Fairs, Youth Markets & NYCHA Family Days

U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens & Brooklyn) this weekend was out meeting with constituents at a slew of events. 

This included the Community Church of Astoria’s 2nd annual street festival, a quick stop at the Astoria Youth Greenmarket stand, and NYCHA Family Days at Cooper Park Houses and 344 E. 28th Street.

Maloney’s district includes thousands of NYCHA residents and Maloney has long been vocal about the need to find innovative and effective ways to ensure tenant repairs are completed. 

One idea would be to empower tenants’ associations and increase accountability by ending the failed centralization policy and returning maintenance control back to the local development. 

At a Brooklyn town hall last week, she offered this insight, as reported by an attendee via Twitter:

“When I was on the city council, we used to get the repairs done…I’d like to go back to a different model,” she said.

Maloney’s work with NYCHA residents goes back to her days on the City Council, when Reagan-era cuts decimated affordable housing. Maloney also helped reform NYCHA’s contracting by exposing millions in sole-source contracts awarded to organized-crime-controlled companies.  

Van Bramer 50th Birthday Party Celebration

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside) tonight will host his 50th birthday party celebration.

The night, which is open to the public, will be full of drag performances, dancing, special guests. It will include a special drag queen performance by Angel Elektra! Angel is a star Drag Queen Story Hour reader.

Among the elected officials expected to attend is Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

The event is slated for 7-10 p.m., tonight, Aug. 19 at Shi Restaurant, 47-20 Center Boulevard in Long Island City. You can RSVP for the event here or by reaching out to Michael Senay at mike@bhstrategiesllc.com.