Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 24, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Kim Offers Alternative To Facebook’s Libra

Assemblymember Ron Kim

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) announced yesterday that his Senior Policy Advisor Professor and Co-Founder of the “Inclusive Value Ledger” (IVL) Professor Robert Hockett (Cornell), advised U. S. Congressmembers at the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services hearing on the “Examination of Facebook and its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.”

“Zuckerberg and Facebook say that they’ve developed Libra out of recognition of the need for an inclusive banking system. That’s welcome recognition. But doing this for profit through the private sector, especially through a company that specializes in extracting and exploiting private data for its own purposes, is both absurdly inefficient and peril to our economy, our democracy, and even our human dignity,” Hockett told House members.

“In an exchange economy like ours, a payments platform is an essential public utility that both can and must be publicly provided to all without extraction, exploitation, or surveillance of the many by the few. It’s as necessary to full economic participation as voting booths are to full political participation. Our Inclusive Value Ledger is that infrastructure – value storage and payments platform freely open to all, without cost, condition, exploitation or extraction, where individuals and businesses that create value receive, trade, and multiply value. The upshot will soon be a far more just and prosperous New York.”

Kim added that Libra was created to address the market failures of our world, where billions are unbanked or underbanked and others who have access to banking are merely living off credit. 

“Our solution, the Inclusive Value Ledger, will create the nation’s first statewide complementary currency on a public payment platform. It will capture unvalued and undervalued work in our economy without exploiting or extracting from others,” said Kim.

Kim and Hockett recently published an op-ed in the American Prospect outlining the public alternative to Libra, a complementary currency program under a public payment platform designed to facilitate the valuing of undervalued, unvalued and devalued work.

Meng Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Assist Women Entrepreneurs

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) announced yesterday the introduction of bipartisan legislation that seeks to assist women entrepreneurs.

The measure would reauthorize the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise (ICWBE), a U.S. government entity charged with coordinating federal resources, to help women-owned businesses grow and succeed.

ICWBE was established in 1979 and led several federal agencies in the development of policies to help women business owners flourish. But it became inactive in 2000. Since then, no other federal agency has had the authority to help coordinate federal resources for businesses owned by women.

If revived, ICWBE would look at the behavior of federal agencies in how they support, expand, and strengthen resources and programs for women-owned businesses – ultimately making sure that the federal government is doing all it can to support female entrepreneurs.

“Getting the ICWBE back to functioning status would help increase the ability of the federal government to provide targeted assistance to women entrepreneurs so they can achieve their business goals,” said Meng. “Helping women business owners is vital to ensuring a strong economy and creating jobs, and my bill would make sure they have access to critical government tools that help them start, grow, and sustain their business enterprises. I urge all my colleagues to support this legislation.”

Jeffries’ Bipartisan Artist Rights Bill Overwhelmingly Passes House

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

U.S. Rep Hakeem Jeffries (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York, Ocean Hill, Spring Creek, East Flatbush, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Howard Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Ozone Park, Brighton Beach, Coney Island) this week saw the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly pass his Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) co-sponsored the bipartisan bill, which creates a small claims board in the U.S. Copyright Office and provides an affordable and reliable alternative for small creators to protect their work under the law.

The bill passed the House in a sweeping 410-6 bipartisan vote.

“The establishment of the Copyright Claims Board is critical for the creative middle class who deserve to benefit from the fruits of their labor,” said Jeffries. “Copyright enforcement is essential to ensure that these artists, writers, musicians and other creators are able to commercialize their creative work in order to earn a livelihood. The CASE Act will enable creators to enforce copyright-protected content in a fair, timely and affordable manner. This legislation is a strong step in the right direction.”

Small creators victimized by infringement have a right to enforce their work under copyright law, but are typically unable to do so due to financial barriers and limited resources out of their reach. The average cost of litigating an infringement case in federal court is approximately $379,000; the total amount of damages that can be awarded cannot exceed $30,000.

Lancman Hosts U.S. Census 2020 Recruiting Event 

City Councilman Rory Lancman.

City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) today will hold a recruiting event for the United States Census Bureau.

Lancman is partnering with the Census Bureau on their National Recruitment Campaign to hire temporary workers to help conduct the 2020 U.S. Census. The Bureau is providing employment opportunities for people with all experience levels. The positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training and weekly paychecks.

The event is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, Oct. 24 at Queens Community House, 6709 Kissena Boulevard in Flushing.