Queens Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 16, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Katz, Borough Board To Hear School Construction Briefing

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Borough Board today will hear the City School Construction Authority (SCA) deliver a presentation about capital projects at existing Queens schools and new school construction planned for the borough. 

The presentation will include a breakdown of current and future school construction projects by school district.

The Borough Board is comprised of the borough’s City Council members and the chairperson of each Community Board in the borough.  The Board focuses on issues dealing with land use, development, public policy, budget, and other important matters with potential borough-wide implications. The Board hears presentations from City officials and others and, as part of the land use review process, is sometimes called upon to vote on land use questions that impact more than one Community Board District.

The briefing is slated for 5:30 p.m., today, Sept. 16 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Vallone Seeks to Double Fines to Disruptive Drivers 

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul A. Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone) last week introduced legislation that would double existing penalties for excessive noise from a motor vehicle. 

The bill was drafted following a noise complaint-focused meeting that Vallone organized this past spring with local NYPD officers and community stakeholders. If passed, the bill would take effect immediately.

“For too long, car owners with modified, heavy-duty sound systems that carry sound for miles have congregated and disrupted quality of life for residents in Whitestone and College Point,” said Vallone. “Increasing these penalties will give the NYPD a resource to more effectively crack down on this chronic nuisance and pressure these vehicle owners to think twice about being a bad neighbor.”

Under the legislation, car operators found to be emitting excess noise from their motor vehicle would face a minimum $300 fine (up from $150) and a maximum $1,050 fine (up from $525) for their first violation. A second and third violation would trigger a minimum $600 and $900 fine and a maximum $2,100 and $3,150 fine, respectively. 

Noise from a motor vehicle is a chronic issue in Northeast Queens, with roughly 80 of these complaints reported for Vallone’s District this year to date, according to 311 data. 

CM Miller, Queens Lawmakers Co-Name Street For NYPD Det. Williams

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) last week led the way along with other elected officials in co-naming the street corner at 172nd Street and Liberty Avenue in memory of , of the late NYPD Detective Keith L. Williams, a community fixture who tragically lost his life while in the line of duty.

Born in 1954, Detective Keith L. Williams was a lifelong Jamaica, Queens, resident who attended the former Jamaica High School, where he also played for its varsity basketball team, before gaining admission to Long Island University on an athletic scholarship.

Williams began his career with the Department of Corrections prior to being appointed to the Police Academy in 1981. He served in Brooklyn’s 83rd Precinct and the Public Morals Division in South Brooklyn and Queens. In 1987, Detective Williams was assigned to the Queens District Attorney’s Squad, and during his eight years of service there he earned two Excellent Police Duty citations.

In 1989, Detective Williams along with his partner Detective Richard J. Guerzon were murdered by a prisoner they were transporting. He was honored posthumously with the NYPD’s highest honor: the Medal of Valor.

“Detective Keith L. Williams was a pillar of the community,” said Miller. “As we honor his legacy with this street co-naming, we remember his achievements, and most significantly, his commitment to young people and community development. This street sign will be a reminder for generations to come of Detective Williams’ many accomplishments and generous spirit.”

Weprin, Grodenchik Announce “Neighborhood Pop-Up Court” 

Assemblymember David Weprin
City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik

Assembly Member David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill) and City Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik (D-Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens Queens Village)  today will joined officials from the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) to announce a coming Neighborhood Pop-Up Court at the Hollis Library branch of the Queens Public Library. 

The announcement will explain which types of summonses are eligible to be heard at the Pop-up Court. This includes Sanitation,  NYPD, Health Department, or Parks Department summonses.

The announcement is slated for 11:30 a.m., today, Sept. 16 at the Hollis Library, 202-05 Hillside Avenue in Hollis.

Gianaris Sees Cuomo Sign His Bill Changing Presidential Primary

State Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) announced last week that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his legislation setting the date for the 2020 Presidential primary for April 28, 2020.

“It is important for New York to maximize its influence in the Presidential nominating process and this bill does just that,” said Gianaris. “The selected date will increase our state’s allotment of delegates based on party rules.”

This will be the first presidential primary where early voting will be in place, a policy passed by the Senate earlier this year. This date will also entitle New York Democrats to an additional delegate bonus of 25% at their nominating convention, for a total of 327 delegates.

Schumer, Gillibrand Ramp Up Pressure To Pass Gun Safety Legislation

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced yesterday that various members of the Senate will take to the Senate floor this week to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) to bring bi-partisan and already House-passed gun safety legislation to the floor where it would likely pass, and then go to the President for his signature.

“It really is a shame that despite the recent shootings, the human tragedies and the overwhelming cries by the American people for Congress to act on gun violence, that I have to stand here and admit we all need to keep the pressure on,” said Schumer, the Senate minority leader. “Today, I am announcing that we in the Senate will not be silent when Mitch McConnell and the administration need us to be. We will be vociferous, and next week in the Senate we will demand a vote on meaningful and commonsense reforms, like fixing our broken background check law.” 

“Gun violence is a crisis in our communities, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Gillibrand. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shamefully refused to act as more lives continue to be lost to gun violence every day. That’s why we’re demanding he bring common-sense gun control legislation up for a vote and calling on our colleagues in Congress to join us in taking to the Senate floor this week for a full-court press. We will not give up this fight until Congress does the right thing for New Yorkers and all Americans.”

Schumer said that, as Minority Leader, he would devote floor time on Tuesday to a ‘full-court press’ for members to implore Leader McConnell to allow the Senate to vote on the aforementioned legislation—H.R. 8—that the House of Representatives already passed in February with strong bipartisan support. The legislation would enact universal background checks on all gun purchases, and address dangerous purchasing loopholes, both direly-needed actions necessary to address the scourge.

Meng Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

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) over the weekend celebrated the start of Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15.

“I’m thrilled to mark the start of Hispanic Heritage Month as we come together to celebrate the many and amazing contributions Hispanics have made in Queens and across the nation,” said Meng. 

“Our communities are stronger, more vibrant, and thrive because of Hispanic culture and traditions. Hispanics are artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, elected officials, and serve in the military. They have enriched our lives and communities and they will continue to enrich our nation. I urge all Americans to join me in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month,” she added.

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