Queens Lawmakers on the Move March 25, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Meng to Introduce Legislation to Provide Relief to Renters & Homeowners

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) announced yesterday that she plans to introduce legislation that would temporarily suspend all rent and mortgage payments for commercial and rental properties for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

This temporary suspension would be active during and up to six months after the pandemic to provide those affected by it will time to find employment and other relief as necessary. She is currently drafting the legislation.

“Homeowners, renters, small business owners, and so many others face an uncertain financial future as the coronavirus pandemic takes an exacting toll on our economy. Come April 1st, rent and mortgage payments are due, and for those who have suffered from this pandemic and lost their jobs, they face an impossible decision between paying the rent or mortgage, putting food on the table, or staying healthy,” said Meng. “I’m introducing my rental and housing relief bill to ensure people have a home and ensure no one becomes homeless because of the coronavirus. We’re locked in a national struggle to contain the coronavirus and nearly 167 million people have been asked to stay home to prevent the virus’ transmission. If we’re going to succeed against the virus, people need homes to stay inside.”

Sanders Works With Local Food Pantry

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) this week helped at the pantry at Beach 54th Street – Oceanside Apartments in Far Rockaway. 

City Harvest delivered food for the residents – fresh fruits and vegetables for the community. The pantry is organized by the Tenant Association President, Ms. Doris Mclaughlin. She called asking for men to volunteer to unload the truck and Sanders along with some other men provided assistance. They distributed cantaloupes, broccoli and oranges.

Sanders office also gave the following coronavirus updates:

  • The FDA approved the use of a new experimental drug in New York on a compassionate care basis to help treat patients with COVID-19. 
  • Department of Motor Vehicles offices is temporarily closed for in-office visits. Online transactions, including license renewals, are still available. License and permit expirations will be extended.
  • An initial delivery of supplies has been made to the Jacob K. Javits Center where FEMA has started to build a 1,000-bed temporary hospital.
  • The May 2, 2020 SAT exams have been canceled and all March re-testings has been canceled. This link can provide updated information about rescheduling and refunds: https://pages.collegeboard.org/collegeboard-covid-19-updates.
  • The ACT has rescheduled the April 4 examination for June 13 and all students registered have received information on how to reschedule for free. More information is provided here: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/covid-19.html

Borough President’s Office Partners With Fresh Direct to Aid Families in Need

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee announced yesterday a partnership with FreshDirect’s citywide initiative — dubbed “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive” — to help keep Queens residents and families prepared for the ongoing public health and economic emergency during the rapidly-developing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning yesterday and for the next four weeks, 400 grocery boxes a day prepared by FreshDirect will be picked up by participating Queens community-based organizations (CBOs) to distribute amongst their constituents, including seniors, low-income families and other vulnerable populations across all 14 Queens Community Districts.  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will assist transporting some of the bulk grocery boxes to limited CBOs.

“Social distancing does not mean familial isolation,” said Lee. “The next few weeks and months will be an unprecedented challenge. Queens thanks FreshDirect for moving swiftly and with foresight to help stem the tide of food insecurity on the near horizon.  We can make a bigger impact against the curve if we act together and act now. Queens is also deeply grateful to our community partners for helping to ensure the most vulnerable are prepared in the coming weeks and months to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Queens CBOs participating in the very first week of the initiative — many of which had partnered in recent years with the Queens Borough President’s Office on various food distributions — include:

·         Catholic Charities: St. Mary’s of Winfield in Woodside

·         Catholic Charities: St. Raphael in Long Island City

·         Chinese American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC) Queens Community Center in Flushing

·         CommonPoint Queens – Sam Field Center in Little Neck

·         Elmcor Youth and Adult Activity, Inc. in Corona

·         HANAC, Inc. Ravenswood in Astoria

·         Harding Ford Vision, Inc. in Jamaica

·         Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) Rockaway Park Senior Center in Rockaway Park

·         Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS) Neighborhood Senior Centers in Corona and Flushing

·         Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach

·         Peter Cardella Senior Citizens Center in Ridgewood

·         Project Hope Charities, Inc. in Jamaica

·         Queens Community House in Flushing and Kew Gardens

·         River Fund New York in Richmond Hill

·         Services Now for Adult Persons, Inc. (SNAP) in Queens Village

·         Sunnyside Community Services’ Center for Active Older Adults in Sunnyside

Any Queens-based CBOs interested in participating in the remaining weeks of the FreshDirect initiative can call 718-286-2680 or email info@queensbp.org, with the subject line “FreshDirect.”

Koo Calls on Community in Efforts to Combat Coronavirus

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) yesterday thanked those organizations and individuals who have already stepped up to donate emergency medical supplies as health care workers in the city continue to struggle due to limited supplies on the front lines of the coronavirus fight.

Koo called on the community to bolster these good-faith donations by continuing to seek ways in which to contribute in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

“The essential workers and health care professionals battling coronavirus need our help. Many in our community have already stepped forward to lend their assistance, whether through volunteer service or donated supplies, but we urgently need more to answer the call if we are to flatten the curve. New York City is home to numerous philanthropic organizations and community associations that can mobilize with great efficiency. As New Yorkers, we have the resiliency, fortitude and ability to come together when needed. Now is the time,” said Koo.

Businesses that can offer supply and manufacturing services can reach out to EDC at: https://edc.nyc/covid-19-emergency-supply-sourcing-manufacturing?fbclid=IwAR2nOX2cFklkPo0jMH0FOars8fIZTZZFcOJV3_UfnL96JC-hUvXiTut7dGA

If you have community space that can be used for emergency operations, reach out to NYC OEM at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/share-your-space-survey.page.

To join Medical Reserve Corps: go to https://www1.nyc.gov/site/helpnownyc/resources/covid-19-relief.page