Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 18, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Dromm Supports Rikers Closing, Borough-Based Jails

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) yesterday proudly voted ‘Yes’ to close the 77-year-old Rikers Island Jail and to replace it with four borough-based jails in Kew Gardens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.

“When I became the first elected official to call for the closure of Rikers nine years ago, it was a lonely road. Undeterred, I joined with the tireless advocates, including many survivors, and all of us owe a debt of gratitude to them for helping us reach this point today. Let the closure of Rikers only strengthen our resolve to transform the entire system for the benefit of all involved, including those who work for the Department [of Corrections] and the general public,” said Dromm.

“Most important are the individuals who, in steadily decreasing numbers, will be held in modern facilities focused on preparing them for reentry.  Sadly, it is too late for Kalief Browder, the child who was tortured to the point of suicide after his release; Layleen Polanco Extravaganza, the transgender woman who died in solitary confinement; Jerome Murdough, who baked to death in his cell; Rolando Perez, Jr., who was denied medication and left for dead after a seizure; Jason Echevarria, who was ignored after eating a packet of powdered detergent that was given to detainees to clean out their sewage-flooded cells; Ronald Spear, who begged to see a doctor but was refused and instead beaten to death by an angry correction officer; My dear friend, who survived Rikers but is dealing with a lifetime of trauma; And the countless New Yorkers who have known firsthand the brutality of Rikers. To them, I dedicate my vote,” the lawmaker added.

PA Williams Wants Access to Police Officers, Firefighters, Correction Officers Personnel Records

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams yesterday called for the repeal of Section 50-a of the state Civic Rights Law relating to restricting access to personnel records of police officers, firefighters, and correction officers.

In his testimony before the State Senate Senate Committee on Codes hearing, Williams supported passage of S3695/A2513 on the measure, in which he was the sponsor of a resolution in the City Council calling for this legislation to be passed on a state level. P

Williams highlighted that if 50-A is not repealed, “public trust in our law enforcement and the NYC administration will continue to be eroded” by denying transparency and accountability. 

He further stressed that “Passing this legislation does not mean that we are anti-police or that we do not very much support our men and women in blue, who are tasked with protecting us every single day. To the contrary, it is because of our support of them and better policing we know this must be repealed.”

Grodenchik, Rozic Sponsor Free Helmet Giveaway

City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik
Assembly Member Nily Rozic

City Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik (D-Bayside, Queens, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) and Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D-Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside, Douglaston), in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, and State Sen. John C. Liu, are bringing a wheel-y fun free helmet event to Fresh Meadows.  

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will provide free bike helmets, fittings, and distribution while supplies last. Helmets are available for all ages. You must be present to get a helmet, and you must learn how to properly fit and wear it before you receive it. Adults over 18 receiving a helmet must sign a waiver, and a parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a waiver for children under age 18. Visit nyc.gov/dot or call 311 for more information.

A free learn-to-ride kids class will also be available. Children will learn how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bicycle.  Students must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and come prepared with their own bike and helmet. Register at https://www.bike.nyc/education/programs/learn-to-ride-kids/

The event is slated for between 11 a.m. -2:30 p.m., this Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Farm Playground, Basketball Court, 73rd Avenue and 196th Street in Fresh Meadows. The Rain Site is the PS 26Q School Gymnasium, 195-02 69th Avenue in Fresh Meadows.

Van Bramer Introduces Legislation Requiring Non-Usable Eating Utensils

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside) yesterday introduced legislation that would require food service establishments to only provide non-reusable eating utensils upon request for all dine-in, takeout, or delivery services.

Under the measure, customers would need to affirmatively opt-in to receiving non-reusable eating utensils with their food orders. This would apply to plates, bowls, forks, spoons, and napkins, but specifically excludes straws and stirrers.

“We must reckon with the harmful effects that everyday plastic utensils have on our environment and do everything we can to prevent irreparable harm to our oceans and our planet,” said Van Bramer. “The status quo of including plastic utensils in all food orders by default is unnecessary and unsustainable. We must put an end to this wasteful habit and have restaurants only provide plastic utensils to customers who request them. Adding a simple opt-in feature will go a long way to prevent the pollution of our ecosystems, protect wildlife, and combat climate change.”