Queens Lawmakers On The Move March 17, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Schumer on Fed Funding Package to Fight Coronavirus & Economic Crisis 

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday spoke on the Senate floor, calling for swift passage of the House-passed coronavirus legislation and announcing that Senate Democrats will lay out a further proposal of at least $750 billion to wage war against the coronavirus and the economic crisis facing Americans. 

“As early as tomorrow, I will present a series of proposals to Congressional appropriators that Senate Democrats believe should be part of the next bill to address the coronavirus. In consultation with the ranking members of the committees of jurisdiction, we are proposing an immediate and initial infusion of at least $750 billion to wage war against COVID-19 and the economic crisis it is now causing,” said Schumer. 

The proposal will get money directly into the hands of American people and, among other priorities, including federal funding to:

·       Address hospital and treatment capacity issues;

·       Expand Unemployment Insurance and Increase Medicaid funding;

·       Ensure that everyone can afford treatment for coronavirus

·       Provide Immediate Loan Payment Forbearance for ALL Federal Loans, student loans, mortgages, small business loans and others, & Moratoriums on Evictions/Foreclosures;

·       Deliver Immediate help to small businesses;

·       Fund emergency child care, especially for health care workers and first responders;

·       Help schools with remote learning;

·       Provide assistance to keep public transportation running;

·       Address public health and economic needs in Indian Country; and

·       Utilize the Defense Department to provide personnel, equipment, supplies, and critical response capabilities to support on the nationwide response.

“Our proposal does not include every possible measure, nor must it. There will be multiple legislative vehicles to respond to the coronavirus. But in the near-term, our proposal takes a comprehensive approach to dealing with the issues that workers and families and the health of America face today,” said Schumer. “I strongly urge my House and Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to review our proposal and incorporate our ideas into the next bill we consider here in Congress.

Sanders to Host Coronavirus Virtual Community Conversation

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) tomorrow will host a live, interactive, virtual community conversation on Facebook.

The topic will be the Coronavirus. Senator Sanders will be providing updates as well as answering constituent questions and addressing their concerns. Stay safe and still be a part of the conversation as his office moves to a virtual format in light of this global pandemic.

The conversation is slated for 12 noon, tomorrow, March 18 at facebook.com/jamessandersjrNY.

Van Bramer Announces Contingency Education Plans

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside) yesterday announced that while shutting down schools is critical to the city’s strategy of slowing the advance of coronavirus among the city’s children, teachers, school workers, and the public, he wanted to get out the following contingency plans:

  • All Week: Breakfast and lunch will be available at every building through Grab-and-Go meals in every school from 7:30 am-1:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 19-Friday, March 20: Students who need it will be able to begin the process of picking up the technology necessary for remote learning. More guidance to families will be sent this week. 
  • Monday, March 23: Remote learning launches, with additional guidance provided throughout the week of the 23rd.
  • Monday, March 23: Regional Enrichment Centers will be available for the children of first responders, healthcare workers, and our most vulnerable populations

Van Bramer said while he will continue to send additional update emails, it is best to get information directly from the source. Please frequent https://www.schools.nyc.gov/ to get additional information about school closures and remote learning.

The Department of Education has a specific coronavirus update webpage, which you can access here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/coronavirus-update.

“While the District Office in Sunnyside is closed, my team and I are ready to assist. Please reach out to me at [email protected] Furthermore, feel free to call the office at 718.383.9566. We are checking voicemails frequently and will follow up quickly to assist,” the lawmaker said.

Constantinides on the Cancellation of the Queens Borough President Special Election

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member and Queens Borough President Candidate Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, parts of Long Island City, Woodside) issued the following statement on Mayor de Blasio’s decision to completely cancel the March 24th special election to fill the vacancy at the Queens Borough President’s office. 

“First, I want to urge everyone to stay safe. We are in a challenging time that can only be overcome if we work together. Right now, our focus should be on getting through this crisis. We must address the impending healthcare crunch, protecting the elderly, those with disabilities and people who experience homelessness, and preparing for the economic hit Queens will almost certainly take. Our borough no doubt needs another hospital, so we must find a suitable location for one. That’s what this campaign has been about and will continue to be as we carry on into June,” said Constantinides. 

“Even in times of crisis, however, New York City should not be in the business of canceling democracy. It sets a dangerous precedent for our republic. We must keep the 2.3 million residents of our borough safe, while also giving them the ability to democratically elect their representatives. This is exactly why we need to institute an Absentee for All program, especially in this uncertain future. Oregon, Washington state, and Hawaii have all proven it’s possible. The challenges ahead require real plans from our leadership,” he added.

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