Queens Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 18, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Schumer Says Feds Need To Stop Chinese OTC Drugs At Dollar Stores

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday demanded a federal crackdown on China’s ability to send shoddy, and potentially dangerous over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to the United States and sell them at dollar stores.

Schumer made his demand at one of the more than one-hundred and fifty dollar-type bargain stores across the area including 23 Dollar Tree stores and 13 Family Dollar stores in Queens and amidst a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about these drugs as such dollar stores.

“The feds cannot pass the buck and allow ‘dollar’ type stores across our area to receive bad or even dangerous over-the-counter drugs in the first place, and the retailers in question need to toss any bad product right now,” said Schumer.

For years, it has been understood that a variety of Chinese-made products, particularly drugs, are manufactured in low-quality, unregulated, even dangerous conditions. Heeding these longstanding concerns, your agency has worked hard, alongside the FDA, to inspect and detect questionable shipments from China to prevent them from hitting store shelves. However, the recent warning issued by the FDA to Dollar Tree and other related subsidiaries heightens concerns and sheds new light on an unsolved problem with Chinese-made OTC drugs.

“Therefore, to prevent an influx of questionable and potentially unsafe OTC drugs from being stocked on New York bargain store shelves, I’ve asked CBP [Customs and Border Protection] and the FDA to begin a targeted crackdown and answer new questions about the scope of the problem and the measures in place to prevent this from happening again with Dollar Tree or any other bargain store in New York and beyond,” Schumer added.  

Richards Committee To Hear Proposed Police Oversite Legislation

City Council Member Donovan Richards

City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens) chair of the Committee on Public Safety, will have the committee look at proposed legislation that will strengthen the oversite of the New York Police Department’s use of body cameras.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is sponsoring the bill, which would see the NYPD submit quarterly public reports on information regarding the use of body-worn cameras. Additionally, the department would be required to annually publish information on each incident requiring an officer to engage body-worn cameras in accordance to department policy.

The public hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, Nov. 18 at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Cuomo Announces Additions To Cyber Security Board To Secure State Elections

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday announced leading experts in cybersecurity joined his Cyber Security Advisory Board, further protecting New York ahead of the critical 2020 elections. 

In addition, Cuomo directed the Board to assess the threats to the security and integrity of our elections and recommend steps to bolster election security.

“We must face our new reality: election tampering is now one of the biggest threats to our democracy,” Cuomo said. “In the absence of federal leadership, it is more vital now than ever that New York leads in election security. I welcome these new board members who will strengthen existing cybersecurity protections and help maintain integrity in New York’s electoral process.”

Cuomo created the Cyber Security Advisory Board in 2013 to ensure the State maintains a cutting-edge strategy to keep New Yorkers safe from cyber threats. The Board is comprised of world-renowned cyber security experts who advise the administration and make recommendations for protecting the state’s critical infrastructure and information systems. New appointments to the board include world-class experts in cyber security and electoral security.

These additional recommendations will build on the Governor’s successful enhancement of election infrastructure in 2018 and 2019. The previous measures include an Intrusion Detection System and Managed Security Services that are now in place protecting County Boards of Election and other county information systems, comprehensive risk assessments by the State Board of Elections, and $5 million for cybersecurity improvements. 

Gianaris Accepting Entries in Thanksgiving Creative Program

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) is once again hosting his annual Thanksgiving-themed creative program, inviting young people from across western Queens to submit a creative depiction showing what they are thankful for this time of year.

“This program provides students an opportunity to reflect on the holiday season and learn to express themselves creatively,” said Gianaris. “I encourage young people to embrace their creative spirit this Thanksgiving season.”

Entries are being accepted on Gianaris’ website (gianaris.nysenate.gov) from students in Kindergarten through Sixth grade. Students are encouraged to submit works of art, poems, and short stories. Entries are due by November 25.

Braunstein Sponsors 9th Annual Holiday Gift Drive

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) is once again sponsoring a holiday gift drive for hospitalized veterans, as well as a toy drive for needy and hospitalized children.

“My office will collect donations of new items such as candy (sugar-free preferred), pajamas, robes, slippers, socks, sweaters, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste, playing cards, and puzzles to support our troops and bring cheer to hospitalized veterans. These donations help show our veterans how much we appreciate the sacrifices they made for our country. All gifts will be distributed to the men and women at the St. Albans VA Community Living Center, and the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans,” said Braunstein.

“I am also conducting a toy drive for hospitalized and needy children in Queens. Please consider participating by donating unwrapped new toys for children of all ages,” he added. 

All gifts should be delivered by Tuesday, December 17 Braunstein’s office at 213-33 39th Avenue, Suite 238, or to the offices of Dr. William M. Duke at 35-01 202nd Street, and Community Board 11 at 46-21 Little Neck Parkway. For further information call Braunstein’s office at (718) 357-3588.

Sanders Hosting A Movie Night

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) will be hosting a movie screening of the film, Harriet, at the Bow Tie Cinemas.

Harriet stars Cynthia Erivo as abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

“I am proud to be hosting this year’s Community Movie Day for our youth and seniors. It is important to have positive interaction between different generations, revisit the history of our past and this country, and learn how we can move forward in a united way. “

The movie is slated for 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21 at 1849 Grand Avenue in Baldwin. Attendees should arrive by 1 p.m. Tickets are limited, and they will go fast. Call to reserve yours today at 718-523-3069 or 718-327-7017.