Queens Lawmakers on the Move March 27, 2020

Queens County City Council News

BP Lee Launches “Fuel the Frontlines” Initiative

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and the Queens Night Market yesterday announced a “Fuel the Frontlines” joint initiative in Queens to provide thousands of ready-to-go “home-cooked” meals for workers across the borough’s nine acute-care hospitals on the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning this Sunday, March 29 and fully funded by Borough President Lee, the week-long initiative aims to both support the tireless medical professionals working long, difficult hours on the frontlines, while also supporting Queens’ small businesses facing severe economic disruption stemming from social distancing measures taken to combat the public health crisis.

Unemployment claims filed last week reached historic levels, both with 80,334 claims filed in New York State and 3.28 million nationwide in the week ending March 21.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has produced two-front battles waged by heroic frontline workers and business owners,” said Lee. “’Fuel the Frontlines’ is one hyper-local yet immediate step to support those trying to stem the tide and bend the curves of this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. In this race against time, our trajectory depends entirely on not just what we do, but when we do it. All across Queens, frontline workers and medical professionals are moving mountains around the clock with extraordinary acts of heroism, using all tools and resources available to save each and every single life. Queens is deeply grateful, and we know every single minute counts.”

The “Fuel the Frontlines” initiative comes as Queens hospitals are experiencing a distressing surge of COVID-19 patients in recent days, most notably at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, where frontline workers and medical professionals are heroically working around the clock to save precious lives.

“Fuel the Frontlines” hopes to inspire subsequent funding commitments from corporate and individual sponsors in order to extend or expand the initiative; potential sponsors can call 718-286-3000 or email info@queensbp.org, with the subject line “Fuel the Frontlines”.  

Constantinides Calls for Park Enforcement Patrol at Astoria Park Running Track

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) yesterday called on the Parks Department to ramp up Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) around the Astoria Park running track this weekend to stem the spread of COVID-19. 

The Astoria lawmaker’s call comes in light of continued crowding at the recently renovated track despite urgent pleas to social distance. 

Constantinides additionally asked the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to assess whether it can close off Shore Boulevard — the western border of Astoria Park — to allow for more space to keep pedestrians further apart. Any study would have to assess the needs of emergency vehicles, who might need the street as a throughway to Mt. Sinai Queens.

“We saw far too many clusters of people at the Astoria Park running track last weekend when we should be exercising a safe distance from one another,” said Constantinides. “As we head into another weekend, we need Parks to ensure too many people aren’t using our exercise facilities at once. To that same effect, the DOT must assess whether it can close Shore Boulevard off to non-emergency vehicles to promote social distancing.” 

Koo, Meng Thank Local Companies for Donating Hand Sanitizers to Police

City Council Member Peter Koo
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D- Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) yesterday thanked two local businesses for donating 5,000 small bottles of hand sanitizers to local police precincts throughout Queens. 

The donations follow calls by the elected officials for the community to support efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The companies are King’s Action Group, general manager Nancy Jia, and Kari-Out Co., general manager David Chan. Today, they distributed the hand sanitizers to the NYPD 102, 104, 107, 109, 110, 111, and 112 Police Precincts.

“Our first responders and essential workers are doing a great job to maintain order and contain the spread of COVID-19. We thank these businesses for stepping up during this difficult time to ensure our local police have the resources they need to keep themselves and our community safe,” said Koo.

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our city and nation, and this donation of supplies will be a welcome help in our efforts to combat it. Thank you for your generosity,” said Meng.

Sanders Gives COVID-19 Updates

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) yesterday gave the following COVID-19 updates:

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) yesterday announced that core Sanitation services will continue on the normal collection schedule during the City’s COVID-19 response.

Residents should follow their normal schedule and place their material at the curb after 4 p.m. but before midnight, the evening before their collection day. Anyone with questions about collection schedules should contact 311.

DSNY has suspended some services in order to limit person-to-person contact and to enable the workforce to refocus on core operations. Suspended services include Food Scrap Drop-off sites and curbside and apartment building electronics collection programs. 

For further updates, New Yorkers should call 311, visit nyc.gov/sanitation or follow @nycsanitation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

COVID-19 Services & Resources:

●       General FAQ: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/coronavirus-factsheet.pdfhttps://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/coronavirus-factsheet.pdf

●       Information about school meals and remote learning: https://infohub.nyced.org/in-our-schools/operations/coronavirus-communications

●       Stop the Spread: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/stop-the-spread-poster.pdf

●       Services for folks in need: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19-services-resources.page

●       How to Help: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/helpnownyc/index.page

●       For Tenants/Landlords – Disinfection Guidance for Buildings: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-residential-buildings-faq.pdf

●       Non-Profit Providers: Guidance for Non-profit providers: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-nonprofit-providers-faq.pdf

●       Space Survey: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/share-your-space-survey.page

●       Supplies: https://edc.nyc/covid-19-emergency-supply-sourcing-manu

Addabbo Stresses Need to Continue Social Distancing

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways), noting that in a 24-hour span, Elmhurst Hospital has seen 13 Coronavirus-related deaths, is urging the public to continue social distancing.

“Although more medical staff and supplies are being sent to the hospital each day, this is a worrying situation that is only going to get worse. As more people test positive for the Coronavirus, more of our hospitals beds will be taken up and the city’s death toll will rise because we just don’t have the means to handle the increased number of patients that will need medical care,” said Addabbo.

“That is why all New Yorkers need to adhere to the strict “stay at home” and social distancing policies to reduce the spread of the virus, especially to the most vulnerable of society like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.”