Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 8, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Meng, Meeks Critical Of Trump Syria Troop Pullout

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Rego Park.NY) and Gregory Meeks (D- Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport) yesterday both were highly critical of President’s Trump’s announcement the U.S. is pulling out troops from war torn Syria.

Meng sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the administration to reverse its decision to withdraw U.S. service members from northeastern Syria. The letter also calls on the administration to continue to protect Kurdish allies, and present a long-term strategy for Syria to Congress.

“The Trump Administration has betrayed the Kurds who have fought side by side with U.S. service members to combat ISIS,” said Meng. “This is yet another example of the Trump Administration’s lack of strategy in Syria. Handing over regional security to Turkey would not just be irresponsible, it would betray our regional allies and put our broader national security priorities at risk. Now we are all seeing the consequences of a State Department that outsources its foreign policy to our regional adversaries, as our allies fight for their lives and forever lose their trust in us, and as President Bashar al-Assad continues to commit war crimes against his people without consequence.”

Meeks said he was alarmed by this President’s declared support of Turkish operations in Syria, an abrupt about-face on U.S. policy in the region that endangers our Kurdish allies. 

“Though Trump has tried to claim otherwise, according to the pentagon and experts in the field, ISIS has not been defeated. Not only were the Kurds instrumental in our ability to take back territory from ISIS in Syria, they continue to be our partners in suppressing ISIS activity and resurgence. Today, they continue to hold 10,000 ISIS prisoners,” said Meeks.

“Publicly endorsing Erdogan’s operations across the border, and withdrawing our troops exposes the Kurds to Turkish aggression and sends a signal across the world that the United States does not honor its commitments to its allies. This endangers our allies, endangers our mission against ISIS, and endangers our nation’s reputation.

“Furthermore, this decision is reportedly against the recommendations of this President’s own administration, calling once again into question his motivations. Trump has repeatedly conducted foreign policy in a manner that, rather than advancing U.S. national security, advances his own interests. There are only two possible explanations, and both are deeply concerning; Either President Trump conducts foreign policy by haphazard impulse, or through dangerous self-interest.”

Vallone Announces Free Queens Senior Transportation Program Restart

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) yesterday joined Selfhelp Vice President of External Relations and Communications Sandy Myers and local seniors to announce that the free senior transportation program will begin again on Oct. 10. 

Vallone is proud to have nearly quadrupled the amount of funding for this successful program since 2017, when he allocated $40,000 to pilot the program. This year, he allocated $90,000 for seniors living in his Northeast Queens district, while City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) secured another $50,000 and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz allocated $10,000 to the program.

“I’m excited to announce the awaited return of our Free Senior Transportation Program, which will kick off again on Thursday, Oct. 10,” said  Vallone. “Since we began the program four years ago, thousands of rides to and from important medical appointments have been provided to our borough’s seniors ⁠— at no cost to them. In just a few years, we’ve been able to nearly quadruple funding amounts for the program, enabling us to provide this vital service to seniors throughout Queens.”

To make an appointment, seniors can call the Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center at 718-224-7888 between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon to schedule their next-day rides. Those who use the service will need to fill out a basic application with demographic information and an emergency contact and provide their destination. When ready for pickup, the senior will call again for their return trip.

Koo Announces Death of His Mother

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) informed the public yesterday of the passing of his mother, 顧曹金秀, Kam Sau Tsao Koo, of Hong Kong, due to heart failure. 

She died on September 21, 2019 at the age of 94. She is survived by five children, Ah-Ping Koo, Peter Koo, Sam Koo, Arlene Koo, and Johnny Koo, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Wang-Ng Koo in 1995.

QCP extends its deepest condolences to Koo and his family.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Chun Fook Funeral Services, 134-35 Northern Boulevard in Flushing. The burial will follow at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY. In lieu of flowers, condolences may be sent to the Office of Council Member Peter Koo, 135-27 38th Avenue, Suite 388, Flushing, NY 11354. QCP extends its deepest condolences to Koo and his family.

Braunstein Sponsors Annual Halloween Essay & Drawing Contest

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) is once again sponsoring his annual Halloween Essay & Drawing Contest.

Students from grades 2 through 5 are invited to participate. The essay or drawing should have a Halloween theme, such as an account of your favorite trick or treat experience or why you picked your Halloween costume this year.

Drawings should be mailed or dropped off. Entries may be of any size or format. District-wide prizes will be awarded to the winner in each grade. New York State Certificates of Merit will be awarded to all students who participate. 

If you are interested in participating, please print your full name, grade, and school on your entry. Essays may be submitted to Assemblyman Braunstein’s office by mail to 213-33 39th Avenue, Suite 238, Bayside, NY 11361, email to braunsteine@nyassembly.gov, or fax to 718-357-5947. The contest deadline is Thursday, October 31, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Assemblyman Braunstein’s office at 718-357-3588.

AM Miller Hosts Annual Hispanic Heritage Event 

Assembly Member Mike Miller

Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Glendale) earlier this month held his Annual Hispanic Heritage Event at the Richmond Hill Block Association to honor the contributions of the local Latino community.  

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which stretches from September 15 to October 15, Miller presented citations to 5 individuals for their contributions to the community. Among those being honored were Ozone Park Kiwanis Club Member Carmen Cartagena, Co-Founder of the Association for Latin American Leaders and Family Brotherhood Juana Ciriaco, 102nd Precinct Police Officer Nelly Goodman, Woodhaven Historical and Cultural Society Board Member Ruben Ramales, and Outreach Specialist from the Deshi Senior Center Dulcemaria Rivera.

“Hispanic Americans have contributed so much to our country, our state and especially in Queens to make our City a better place to live,” said Miller.  “This year’s honorees have made a great impact in our community.”

Nolan Hosts State Fair At Sunnyside Community Services 

Assembly Woman Catherine Nolan

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Astoria, Woodside, Long Island City, Maspeth, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Blissville) last Thursday hosted a State Fair at Sunnyside Community Services bringing representatives from more than 15 agencies and community groups to connect with Sunnyside seniors and constituents.

“It is important that we continue to ensure that our city and state agencies remain accessible to our community and residents,” said Nolan.  “Thank you to Judy Zangwill and Sunnyside Community Services for co-hosting, and to all those that participated to make this fair a success.”

State fairs provide the opportunity for residents in communities to explore what services city and state agencies, and community organizations have to offer, to ask questions, and to receive information for themselves, their neighbors, and their families. Over one hundred seniors and neighborhood residents participated in the event.