Queens Lawmakers on the Move April 28, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Comrie, Local Electeds Bring Mobile Cardiovascular Testing to Southeast Queens

State Senator Leroy Comrie

State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Briarwood, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Hillcrest, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) joined by a slate of local, state, and federal elected leaders from Southeast Queens, has partnered with Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics to provide free mobile cardiovascular testing, detection, and prevention services to Southeast Queens Residents. 

As hospitals, particularly emergency departments, manage a proliferation of COVID-19 patients across the city, cardiologists and other health professionals have feared people at risk for heart attack and stroke are losing access to preventative and lifesaving care.

“Our hospital system has braved uncharted territory by expanding capacity and taking on unprecedented numbers of patients due to the ongoing pandemic,” said Comrie. “But we know there are still thousands of Southeast Queens residents who are at risk for heart attack and stroke that cannot wait for this outbreak to pass to be assessed by medical professionals. Our partnership with Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics helps fill that gap and brings attention to non-COVID-19 ailments that are still affecting folks in our communities.”

Elected officials who have joined Comrie in promoting this service include U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, State Sen. James Sanders, Jr.; Assemblymembers Vivian E. Cook, Alicia Hyndman and  Clyde Vanel; and City Council Members Donovan Richards, I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams.

The mobile van will operate outside of the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center at 172-17 Linden Boulevard in Jamaica. For the safety of patients and medical staff, strict adherence to social distancing guidelines will be applied. 

Those interested in scheduling an appointment should visit robertross.youcanbook.me.

Meng: Coronavirus Antibody Testing Conducted in Queens

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 New York State officials brought a COVID-19 antibody testing site to Flushing on Friday and Saturday.

The site conducted nearly 200 random tests of local residents each day (179 tests on Friday and 183 tests on Saturday). The state health department performed the testing throughout the morning and afternoon.

The tests consisted of fingerstick blood samples being taken from participants, and these samples being tested for the antibodies.

“This antibody testing is an important tool in our fight against COVID-19,” said Meng. “It is critical to know how many New Yorkers have been infected with the virus in order to help with reopening our state. I thank Governor Cuomo for launching this testing initiative, and for his continued leadership during the COVID-19 crisis.”

The testing in Queens was part of the plan that the governor recently announced to randomly test New Yorkers for coronavirus antibodies.  

Constantinides Calls for Mayoral Task Force to Address Environmental Injustice

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Councilmember Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, yesterday said that environmental injustice should be examined as part of Mayor de Blasio’s formation of a task force on Racial Inclusion and Equity

“COVID-19 did not blight our black and brown communities on its own. This global pandemic hit our neighborhoods so badly because of the generations of environmental racism that preceded it. Power plants, waste stations, and other dirty infrastructure shoved into black and brown communities, against their protests, have led to higher rates of asthma and other pre-existing conditions, which have made COVID-19 worse in areas like the South Bronx, as well as parts of western and southeast Queens. As a result, we have had two kinds of COVID-19 cases: one in which communities with cleaner air are impacted another way; and another where over-policed, under-invested neighborhoods are torn apart,” said Constantinides.

“Any task force focused on Racial Inclusion and Equity must put environmental justice, a root cause of this problem, front and center. We need to hear from the public housing residents who have experienced this first-hand for decades, the community leaders who fought these polluting policies in the first place, and the experts who have long warned these conditions will only worsen. 

“I am ready, as a representative of environmental justice communities and the Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, to work with Deputy Mayor Thompson and First Lady McCray to prioritize this issue,” he added. 

De Blasio, Johnson Announce Plans To Implement 100 Miles of Safe Streets

Mayor BIll de Blasio
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D) yesterday announced plans to implement at least 40 miles of street closures, sidewalk widening, and additional bike lanes over the next month – with a goal of implementing 100 miles, focusing on communities hardest hit by the pandemic. 

The open streets will be sourced from five broad categories: up to 60 miles of streets within and adjacent to parks; up to 20 miles of streets identified in consultation with local precincts, in consultation with Community Boards and other partners; up to 10 miles of streets managed by local partners such as BIDs, block associations, or other civic groups; up to 2.5 miles of widened sidewalks; and up to 10 miles of protected bike lanes.

“This summer is going to look different from any other in our city’s history – and we’re ready to give New Yorkers more ways to leave home while staying safe from COVID-19,” said de Bill Blasio. “I’m proud to work with Speaker Johnson, the Department of Transportation, and the NYPD to find creative solutions that support our broader goals of ending this pandemic and rebuilding a fairer city.”

“The Council is thrilled our calls for open streets have been answered and looks forward to working with the administration to give New Yorkers the space they need to socially distance properly,” said Johnson. “As the weather gets nicer and this unprecedented crisis stretches on longer, we need to do everything in our power to keep our neighbors safe and healthy. This announcement is a great starting point for the ongoing conversation about how we share our public spaces during this pandemic and in a post-coronavirus future.” 

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