Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 16, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Adams, Koslowitz, Johnson Announce Height Reduction On Queens Jail Proposal

City Council Member Adrienne Adams
City Council Member Karen Koslowitz

City Council Members Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills, Forest Park, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Richmond Hill) and Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) announced yesterday that as result of the expected drop in the average daily jail population, community engagement, and design-efficient improvements, the maximum height for the new borough-based facilities needed to close Rikers Island will be significantly reduced from its original proposed plan. 

The original borough-based facilities were designed with an expected average daily jail population of 5,000 by 2026, but Johnson and Mayor de Blasio revised that expected number down on Monday to 3,300 due to the expectation of fewer people incarcerated. 

What this means for Queens is the proposed jail in Kew Gardens will be lowed in height from 270 feet to 195 feet (27 floors to 19 floors high). 

“The administration’s commitment to reducing the height of the four planned borough-based jails is another step in the right direction. This revised plan will not only reduce capacity but will allow the facilities to better integrate with the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Adams, chair of the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitting and Dispositions.

“The last several months I have been adamant that the proposed size of the borough-based jail in Kew Gardens needed to be significantly reduced. As a result of difficult negotiations with the Administration, I am pleased to have reduced the height of the facility by close to 100 feet, and cut the number of beds that the facility will house nearly in half,” said Koslowitz.

AM Miller Lauds New Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Law 

Assembly Member Mike Miller

Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Glendale) yesterday hailed new state laws that went into effect yesterday ensuring bigotry and harassment have no place in the workplace

Miller noted this past legislative session, he helped pass a number of measures to combat discrimination, including a measure that eliminates the ‘severe or pervasive’ standard for harassment to be legally actionable in the workplace.

“The idea that a victim’s suffering has to be intense or continuous for it to be taken seriously is absolutely ridiculous. Victims must know that it’s safe for them to come forward and that their experiences won’t be measured against an absurd threshold,” said Miller.

“The law applies to all employers in the state, and the protections are extended to non-employees, such as contractors, vendors or consultants and domestic workers. And to ensure that victims’ voices aren’t silenced, it also prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses and non-disparagement provisions in employment contracts as well as non-disclosure agreements unless the condition of confidentiality is in the plaintiff’s preference,” he added.

Constantinides to Cut Ribbon on New STEM Lab 

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Long Island City, Woodside) will join school officials, students, and parents at P.S. 141 tomorrow to unveil a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) laboratory at the school. 

Completion of the lab is part of Constantinides’ Science 2050 initiative, which gives western Queens students hands-on lessons to prepare them for careers in the STEM sector. 

The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, Oct. 16 at P.S. 141, 37-11 21st Avenue in Astoria.

Addabbo Statement On Child Attack BY Homeless Man

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) last week called for a renewed effort for solutions to the homeless crisis following an alleged bipolar homeless man attacking a six-year-old boy outside his home last week in Kew Gardens.

Media reported the boy was sitting on the front steps of his grandfather’s home last Thursday waiting for a pizza delivery, when a homeless man, a stranger, came up the driveway and approached him. Then in what the authorities believe was a random and unprovoked attack, the stranger grabbed the boy and slammed his head into the pavement.

Police arrested Laurance Gendreau, 35, in the incident. Gendreau was characterized as an emotionally disturbed person in at least one previous encounter by Police. The boy is expected to recover.

“My prayers for full and speedy recovery go out to the young child who was attacked by a homeless man yesterday in Kew Gardens. This incident, coupled with the recent brutal murders of four homeless individuals by another homeless man in Chinatown, highlights the vital need for providing the homeless with the mental health services they desperately need,” said Addabbo. 

“My staff and I remain vigilant in working on credible solutions, including both the administrative and legislative means necessary, to resolve the homeless crisis in the city. I believe by working together, we can address the housing and services needed by our homeless individuals.”

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