Queens Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 11, 2019

Queens County City Council News

Holden’s Legislation Allowing NYPD To Tow Unattended Vehicles Passes Council

City Council Member Bob Holden

City Council Member Robert F. Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, parts of Woodside, Woodhaven) yesterday saw the city council pass his legislation, No. 1412-A, that would provide that Police Department tow trucks may remove unattended vehicles that are obstructing a sidewalk, crosswalk, fire hydrant, bicycle lane, or bus lane if the vehicle poses a threat to safety or would inhibit the safe and expeditious passage of MTA buses.  

The measure would also require the Police Department to issue a report in January of 2021 that includes, for each month in 2020, the number of vehicles towed disaggregated by police precinct.

The legislation is designed to further enforce punishment for placard abuse throughout New York City and is proposed on the heels of a comprehensive package of legislation that targets placard corruption. 

“Parking is constantly becoming more limited in this city, and unfortunately that leads to drivers abandoning the rules of the road. Not only is it dangerous for vehicles to block fire hydrants, crosswalks, sidewalks, bus lanes and bike lanes, but it greatly increases the amount of congestion on the roads. It is even more egregious when city employees abuse their parking privileges while adding to this danger. With Int. 1412, police will have the ability to tow drivers who park irresponsibly in these spaces and hopefully bring an end to this practice,” said Holden.

Katz To Host Reception For Jamaica Now Neighborhood Action Plan

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz tomorrow will host the Jamaica NOW Neighborhood Action Plan Awards Ceremony and Reception.

Since Katz and the city first introduced The Jamaica NOW Neighborhood Action Plan in 2015, it has fueled Jamaica’s emergence as a hub of entrepreneurship, ingenuity and opportunity. The reception is slated to thank and honor the commitment and dedication of the numerous volunteer stakeholders and agencies who led the community-driven plan over the past five years.

“Many of the bold, ambitious initiatives first laid out during the creation of the Jamaica NOW Neighborhood Action Plan more than five years ago have come to fruition in the form of a revitalized Jamaica, and we are a stronger borough because of it,” said Katz. “The progress made in Jamaica has been remarkable, and Queens is grateful to all who played a part in helping unlock and unleash the limitless potential of this diverse, tight-knit and historic community.”

The 28 total deliverables include the ongoing construction of hundreds of affordable housing units, the establishment of the Jamaica FEATS (Food Entrepreneurship and Services Training Space) and Summer Youth Employment programs, the installation of 18 LinkNYC kiosks and streetscape and park upgrades.

The event is slated for between 6-8 p.m., tomorrow Dec. 12 at the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Anyone interested in attending the Reception is asked to RSVP by visiting www.queensbp.org/rsvp or by calling 718-286-2661.

PA Williams To Tour York College, Address CUNY Funding Cuts

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams today will hold a media availability with City University of New York (CUNY) students and faculty following a tour of York College to view how funding cuts have impacted the school and CUNY system as a whole. 

The event follows a new report released by the Office of the Public Advocate, which analyzes the current funding crisis faced by CUNY, while outlining solutions the city and state should implement to safeguard the institution’s sustainability.

The event is slated for 2 p.m., today, Dec. 11 outside York College Academic Core Building, 94-20 Guy R Brewer Blvd in Jamaica.

Queens Lawmakers Laud Opening Of Center for the Women of New York Facility

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein
Assembly Member David Weprin

A number of Queens Lawmakers were on hand last weekend to celebrate the grand opening of the Center for the Women of New York’s (CWNY) newest facility in Fort Totten.

CWNY was founded in 1987 by Ann Juliano Jawin with a group of professional, community and businesswomen as a non-profit membership organization. CWNY works for full equality for women, advocating for their rights and focusing on their unmet needs. The Center seeks to serve them in a holistic manner and offers a safe place for their exploration of short-term, low-cost career paths. The Center offers a free legal clinic and referral service, job club, financial clinic and support groups for women in crisis and victims of domestic violence. 

For five years, the Center for the Women of New York had a building at 401 Weaver Street in Fort Totten. After a legal challenge by CWNY when New York City evicted them from the building, a compromise was reached and the Center was given the opportunity to restore an historic landmark building at 207 Totten Avenue. The building has not been used or maintained for 35 years and required huge expensive renovations. The challenge was accepted and the lease with the Parks Department was signed and the efforts to raise funds was begun. 

Up to this date, the cost of the renovations has been close to $3 million. Borough President Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein, Assemblyman David Weprin, Council Member Paul Vallone, and former Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza provided funding, along with private donors. 

“Congratulations to the Center for the Women of New York for its new building in Fort Totten and to its tenacious founder Ann Jawin for her unwavering dedication to improving the lives of women throughout New York City,” said Braunstein. “As a result of Ms. Jawin’s remarkable perseverance during a 16-year battle, we have a beautiful facility in our community that will include a research, conference, and career education center, as well as a living museum dedicated to women’s rights.”

“The opening of the Center for the Women of New York’s Fort Totten Facility is a significant moment for women in Queens and all of us who support gender equality and equity,” said  Weprin. “I’d like to applaud the founder of CWNY, Ann Jawin, on this accomplishment and would like to congratulate her on this momentous day.”

“After many years of fundraising, we are at the finish line!,” said Vallone. “I am proud to have worked with Borough President Melinda Katz so that the Center for the Women of New York could receive millions in critical funding to renovate the landmarked building within Fort Totten. This day is long overdue, and the community will benefit from the organization coming to NE Queens to assist women overcome incidences of abuse and offer programs that help victims develop life-skills to become more independent.”

“Ann Jawin is a life-long committed advocate for the empowerment of women,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi. “More than 30 years ago she founded the Center for the Women of New York and today, the fruits of her labor are being realized with the opening of this beautifully renovated landmark facility at Fort Totten. Congratulations to Ann and her staff. The women of New York will benefit from your vision and dedication for generations to come.”

“This new headquarters for the Center for the Women of New York will be an extremely valuable resource for women, and I hope everyone in the community who supports women’s equality will take advantage of their extensive programs, which are designed to empower women and assist in their achievements,” said State Sen. John C. Liu. “It’s a huge accomplishment for the organization and for our hero, Ann Jawin, that with this new space, they’ve created the most comprehensive center dedicated to women’s equality in New York.”

Ocasio-Cortez To Hold Green New Deal Town Hall

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, Eastern Bronx) this weekend will hold a community town hall focusing on her Green New Deal federal legislation.

Specifically, she will discuss  The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, and its impact for her district and the community.

The town hall is slated for 4-6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at IS125, 4602 47th Avenue in Woodside.