Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 2, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng Secures Piot Program Offering Chinese & Spanish Tours In DC

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) on Monday announced that through her work on the House Appropriations Committee, she helped secure a pilot program that will provide tours in Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish through translation devices that pair with assistive listening device transmitters used by U.S. Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) tour guides. 

This work builds upon Meng’s previous advocacy and efforts to expand language access for guided tours of the U.S. Capitol.  

“I’m thrilled to have secured a pilot program that will offer guided tours of the U.S. Capitol in Chinese and Spanish,” said Meng. “I have always fought to broaden participation and inclusion in our society, and I hope this experiment will demonstrate that there is a strong demand for guided tours in additional languages. I want to thank the staff at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center for sharing my vision to expand opportunity and inclusion of our nation’s history. We have people from across the country and world who speak languages other than English; expanding tours into additional languages will ensure their full participation.”

The pilot program will run from October 1st to 31st and be offered three times a day Monday through Saturday, twice in Mandarin and once in Spanish. The Mandarin language tours will be offered at 8:40 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and the Spanish language tour will be offered at 12:00 p.m.

Each tour can accommodate up to 50 people with passes available on a first-come, first-serve basis prior to the scheduled tour times.

The U.S. Capitol Visitors Center welcomes about 2.4 million people per year. It offers brochures in thirteen languages for non-English speaking visitors to follow while listening in English during a guided tour.

The languages include: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

CM Miller On Death Of NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) on Monday mourned the death of NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was shot and killed in the line of duty over the weekend.

“The men and women of the NYPD routinely confront danger with remarkable courage, accepting the possibility that each goodbye spoken before they walk out the door could be their last. Officer Brian Mulkeen displayed such resolve this past weekend when he gave his life so that our city can continue to live in safety, and we owe his family an eternal debt of gratitude for that sacrifice,” said Miller.

“On behalf of the 27th Council District, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to Officer Mulkeen’s family, his fellow officers at the 47th Precinct, and every member of our City’s Finest,” he added.

Schumer Says Despite Impeachment Inquiry Trump Should Move On Gun Control

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Sunday that despite the ongoing House impeachment inquiry into the President’s actions on Ukraine, Congress and the White House should still—and immediately—move forward on universal gun background checks. 

Schumer said last Friday’s Oval pow-wow between Trump and National Rifle Association (NRA) Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, where the NRA head admonished the President for even entertaining gun safety legislation, is no way to govern. 

Schumer said Congress is still able to move on serious issues like gun violence while the impeachment inquiry advances, and that it must. He added that President Trump must show the American people he can govern and warned that allowing the scandal-plagued NRA to call the shots will backfire.

“President Trump must do whatever it takes to resist the clouded comfort he craves from the likes of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, because it will lead to inaction on one of the single biggest issues Americans want addressed: universal gun background checks,” said Schumer. 

“I challenge President Trump today to govern. Allowing the NRA or other nefarious interests to call the shots amid this impeachment inquiry will only backfire on this White House, and the American people will be worse off for it. Congress can still move on major issues while the House impeachment inquiry advances, and it must,” he added.

Schumer says that amidst the impeachment inquiry the gears of government can still move and that anyone who suggests otherwise is advancing a false narrative. Schumer says the best example of governing for this president to seize on, amidst the House impeachment inquiry, would be for the president to call for a Senate vote on the bipartisan, House-passed universal gun background checks bill. 

Schumer, the author of the original Brady background check bill, has continuously kept the pressure on Leader McConnell to allow the Senate to vote on the aforementioned legislation—H.R. 8—that the House of Representatives already passed in February. 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. 

Schumer noted that since the House’s passage in February, more than 14,000 people have died as a result of gun violence

Moya Supports Zoning Tools To Speed Up Accessibility In Subways

City Councilmember Francisco Moya

City Council Member Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, LaGuardia Airport) chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises) yesterday joined Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) and other council members to call for the expansion of zoning tools to better coordinate private development with expanding transit accessibility for the disabled community and all New Yorkers.

Despite recent progress, today fewer than 25% of the 493 subway and Staten Island Railway (SIR) stations are fully [Americans with Disability Act] ADA-accessible. While the MTA has committed to fund accessibility at 70 new stations in its upcoming capital programs, this still leaves hundreds of stations without plans for ADA access implementation.

Using zoning tools to incentivize or require private development projects to incorporate subway station access improvements could, over time, save millions of capital dollars that could be allocated to additional stations – allowing New York to achieve the ultimate goal of system-wide ADA access faster and at less public expense.

Over the coming year, the City Council will work closely with the MTA, Department of City Planning, and the transit and disability advocacy communities to advance the proposals outlined in the council’s recent report, “Zoning for Transit Accessibility.”

To accompany the report, the Council also released an interactive online map of subway system accessibility available on the Council website.

“Expanding New Yorkers’ access to the subway means expanding their access to everything from job opportunities and health care to education and entertainment,” said Moya. “A disability shouldn’t cut you off from this city but that’s exactly what happens for people living near any of the hundreds of non-ADA-accessible subway stations. We can and must use zoning tools to fix that problem and connect people to their city.”

Addabbo To Throw Free Columbus Day Party In Howard Beach

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) this month will sponsor a free Columbus Day celebration in Howard Beach to celebrate Italian American heritage.

During the party there will be live music provided by Vittorio Di Carlo “The Graceful Tenor” who will be singing Italian classics, refreshments, entertainment, as well as free face painting and giveaways for kids.

“For me, Columbus Day has always been a time to celebrate my Italian American heritage, and it is the same for many of my constituents,” Addabbo said. “That is why I want to throw this great party where everyone from seniors to families with their children can come out and listen to Italian music, have some delicious food, and have an overall good time.”

The event is slated for 1 – 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6 at Our Lady of Grace Church Hall, 100-05 159th Street, in Howard Beach. For more information on this free event, contact Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.

Sanders Jr., Richards to Co-Sponsor Breast Cancer Walk 

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.
City Council Member Donovan Richards

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) and City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens) along with Flowers of Hope, the American Cancer Society and other community leaders and organizations this month will sponsor a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer is devastating, but thanks to strides in medical science, it is no longer a death sentence,” Sanders said. “We must continue to fight for a cure and in the meantime raise awareness that early detection is the best protection. It is always inspiring to me to participate in this event and hear the stories of breast cancer survivors and their strength. We can learn a lot from them.”

The 3rd Annual Rosedale Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, music, dance and family-friendly activities. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink. 

Registration is free and starts at 8 a.m., the walk begins at 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 13 at Brookville Park, 149 Avenue & S Conduit Avenue in Rosedale. For more information, contact Flowers of Hope at 516-205-8317 or via email at [email protected]mail.com.

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