Queens Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 14, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Ocasio-Ortiz Introduces Green New Deal For Public Housing Act

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside, parts of the Bronx) and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today will announce in Washington DC the introduction of the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act.

The proposed measure seeks to invest up to $180 billion over 10 years in sustainable retrofits that include all needed repairs, vastly improved health, safety and comfort, and eliminate carbon emissions in our federal public housing. The legislation also provides funding to electrify all buildings, add solar panels, and secure renewable energy sources for all public housing energy needs. The bill dramatically improves living conditions for nearly 2 million people living in roughly 1 million public homes.

“Climate change represents both a grave threat and a tremendous opportunity,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act will train and mobilize the workforce to decarbonize the public housing stock and improve the quality of life for all residents. I am proud to begin the hard work of codifying the Green New Deal into law with my friend and colleague, Senator Bernie Sanders.”

About 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption is attributable to residential and commercial buildings. With its focus on transforming 1 million units of federally owned housing, the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act will spur economies of scale for weatherization, retrofitting, and renewable energy, making them more cost effective and attractive throughout the country. 

The lawmakers said the legislation is expected to create nearly 250,000 good-paying, union jobs per year across the country while reducing carbon emissions on the scale of taking 1.2 million cars off the road over the next ten years. Public housing costs would also be reduced by $97 million per year, or 30 percent, and energy costs would be slashed by $613 million, or 70 percent.

Meeks Urges Haiti To Go Those Responsible For La Saline Massacre 

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D- Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport) senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the one-year anniversary of La Saline Massacre in Haiti.

“On this day one year ago, armed gangs in Haiti committed unspeakable atrocities, killing at least 71 Haitians and injuring countless more. Homes were destroyed, families were displaced, and women and children were abused throughout the four-day period known as La Saline Massacre,” said Meeks.

“The anniversary of La Saline Massacre reminds us not just of the violence Haitians suffered at the hands of these gangs, but of the justice they’ve yet to see and the perpetrators yet to face. The United States urges Haiti to hold those involved responsible through its justice system. This would both provide victims and their families justice, but also deter further acts of violence that continue to erupt throughout Haiti,” he added.

Constantinides Floats Resolution Calling for City Ban on Businesses Tied to Amazon Wildfires

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, part of Long Island City, Woodside)  and Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) today will announce a resolution calling on the City of New York to no longer do business with companies tied to the unprecedented Amazon wildfires. 

An annual 5% increased demand for beef has prompted South American ranchers to burn swaths of the historic rainforest, an asset in the fight against climate change, which have gone out of control. Brazil’s space institute tracked 41,000 fire spots, reflecting an 80% uptick in Amazonian wildfires from a year earlier. 

The resolution will call on City of New York agencies as well as businesses based in the Big Apple to cease partnerships with firms tied to this chaotic situation. Losing trees in the Amazon presents a major challenge in the fight against climate change. Without them, more carbon dioxide is left in the air, exacerbating this existential crisis.

The lawmakers will rally for the resolution at 3 p.m., today, Nov. 14 the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Addabbo Looks To Help Veterans Obtain Job Training & Placement

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways.) earlier this month met with a representative from The Veteran Initiative, an organization dedicated to training, certifying and employing veterans in the automotive industry.

The merger of Veterans Rebuilding Life (VRL) and C.T.I. (Collision Training Institute) facilitated the creation of the Veteran Initiative.

The program aims to provide full training in one of three fields of study to ensure that the veteran is the best candidate for a job in the automotive industry — an industry that itself is suffering. The goals of VRL and C.T.I. are to mentor, evaluate, and ensure that the veteran is thriving in their automotive career once they move on from the program.

“I was very intrigued when I heard about The Veteran Initiative, so I had to find out more about what they are doing to help our veterans,” Addabbo, a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, said. “It is sad to see so many veterans struggling when they return from their service, so providing them with this training and job placement is an incredible service. I would like to thank Bill for bringing this initiative to my attention, and all the members of VRL and C.T.I. for providing this service to our veterans. I look forward to assisting in any way I can to make The Veteran Initiative a thriving success.”