Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 11, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Dromm Looks To Authorize Expansion Of Flushing BID

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, today will hold a hearing to authorize an expansion of the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub business improvement district.

Under the plan, the BID would increase the amount it expends annually, extend its boundaries, provide additional services and modify its existing services, and change the method of assessment upon which the district charge is based as set forth in the BID’s amended district plan.

The hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today Feb. 11 at the Committee Room at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Schumer, Senate Dems Seek Removal of Obstructions Of Puerto Rico Disaster Funds  

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday led a U.S. Senate Democratic Party partisan effort in calling on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to immediately remove undue restrictions and delays placed on $16.5 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster mitigation and recovery funds for Puerto Rico.

Also demanding an end to the undue restrictions on the money were U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“We are outraged that HUD is requiring Puerto Rico to agree to restrictions not imposed on any of the other nine states that received guidelines for the disbursement of funds.  These severe terms and conditions include a complex web of oversight for the release of recovery funds, the creation of a system of property registry that ignores local property law, a prohibition on the use of funds for reinforcing and improving Puerto Rico’s vital electrical grid, and a disregard for the island’s $15-an-hour minimum wage for federally funded projects,” the senators wrote in a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

“The federal government has an obligation to treat Puerto Rico like every other state and territory.  Our fellow Americans on the island have every right to access disaster funding free from egregious, unique, and discriminatory preconditions or delays.  We demand that HUD cease its obstruction and amend the notice and grant agreement to withdraw current restrictions immediately,” the senators concluded.

Addabbo Meet With Touro College Officials On Law Degree Program

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) recently met with representatives from his alma mater, Touro College School of Law, to discuss their unique FlexTime Juris Doctor (JD) Program.

During the meeting, Law Center Dean Elena Langan explained how this unique program will accommodate non-traditional students who typically enter a part-time law program, but need even more flexibility, such as a combination of online and in-person instruction. This program offers students the greatest flexibility for a demanding course of study, preparing them to practice law using the latest in evidence-based teaching and learning tools. 

“I am hopeful that the Touro Law FlexTime JD program makes law school viable and achievable for Queens residents and all students needing greater flexibility in scheduling and commuting to a traditional classroom,” Addabbo said. “It is my privilege to give back to Touro Law by helping to raise awareness about this one of a kind program.”

For more information on the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and to learn how you can apply for the the FlexTime JD program, visit tourolaw.edu or email [email protected].

Weprin Applauds De Blasio Nomination To MTA Board

Assembly Member David Weprin

Assemblymember David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill) yesterday applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nomination of Victor Calise for appointment to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board.

Calise has served as the Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities since 2012, and is a recognized expert on accessibility. As Commissioner, Calise is responsible for ensuring that New Yorkers with disabilities have equal access to everything that the City has to offer.

“Victor Calise is an outstanding choice for the MTA Board. As Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Commissioner Calise has been an outstanding advocate for accessibility and under his leadership, New York has made significant progress in improving access across the city,” said Weprin. “As part of the MTA’s leadership, I am sure that Commissioner Calise will continue his work to improve access, this time for our city’s buses and subways; and I fully support his nomination to the MTA Board.”