Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 25, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Richards Looks At Bill Helping To Prevent Hate Crimes

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, today will hold a hearing on a City Council Member Mark Treyger’s (D-Brooklyn) proposed bill that would require the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) to provide an individualized response to alleged violent hate crimes. 

This bill would also require OPHC to provide information to the affected community within 24 hours of the occurrence of a violent hate crime when practicable. This bill would also require OPHC to notify the Mayor, the Speaker of the Council, the Public Advocate and the council member of the district in which a violent hate crime has occurred. 

These requirements would be subject to an exception for information that is confidential or which would compromise law enforcement investigations or operations if disclosed.

The public hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, Feb. 25 in the City Hall Committee Room in Lower Manhattan.

Vallone Looks At Bill To Protect Community Gardens

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Whitestone), chair of the  Committee on Economic Development, today will hold a hearing on City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel’s (D-Brooklyn) proposed bill that would serve to protect community gardens from development.

Specifically, the measure would require the Department of City Planning (DCP) to categorize community gardens as open space, outdoor recreation, a community garden, or other similar description in the Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output data set. It would also prohibit DCP from categorizing such gardens as vacant land.

The public hearing is slated for 1 p.m., today, Feb. 25 on the 16th Floor Committee Room at 250 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

Kim Thanks DOE For Quick Response To Suicidal Ideation At MIddle School

Assemblymember Ron Kim

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) yesterday thanked the Department of Education (DOE) for their quick response to JHS 189Q Principal Radovich and her staff members stating that 60 of their middle school students had expressed suicidal thoughts in the past year. 

The issues was highlighted in a recent NY Post story.

Since the story broke, the DOE is working directly with its ThriveNYC partner in Flushing (YMCA) to hire a full-time mental health specialist assigned to JHS 189, and will also offer mental health aid to parents in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

Additionally, ThriveNYC will provide on-site suicide awareness and staff support (MEP), and suicide prevention training for teachers and staff (KOGNITO).

“I am thankful that the New York City Department of Education has responded and acted swiftly for this scary situation at JHS 189,” said Kim. “They have taken a multi-pronged and strategic approach, allocating immediate resources to help these students while they are in school. However, the school staff and I both know that if these students are experiencing trauma outside of school, stemming from economic stress, poverty or an unstable home environment, we will continue to see a rise in depression and suicidal ideation in the future. The long-term solution is clear: Securing safe and affordable housing for all families. No child should be living in abject fear of going homeless every night.”

Sanders Floats Construction Safety Legislation

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) has introduced construction-related safety legislation, which he says is needed now more than ever, in light of a recent construction injury and fatality, which occurred in Jamaica.

One construction worker, David Johnson, 50, was killed another was seriously injured by falling debris at a construction site near Sutphin Boulevard, according to published reports. This is just one of such incidents that have occurred in New York City, and around the country, in the recent past, Sander said.

The measure called Carlos’ Law (S3314B) is named for Carlos Moncayo who died at 22 when he was buried alive when an unsecured trench caved in on him at a construction site in Manhattan in April 2015. 

The legislation increases punitive measures so that employers and supervisors who ignore or fail to follow safety protocols and procedures and put workers at risk are less likely to write off serious workplace injuries as a minimal cost of doing business, and more likely to give workplace the serious attention it requires.

“We need measures to protect all employees working in the construction field,” Sanders said. “I am proud to have introduced Carlos’ Law, which creates higher fines for corporations who ignore, disregard, or fail to comply with safety protocols. It also establishes the crimes of endangering the welfare of a worker in the third, second and first degrees.”

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