Queens Lawmakers on the Move May 8, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Gillibrand, Schumer Win Approval for Better Access to Food Stamps

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) announced yesterday that, following their push, the Trump administration approved New York State’s request to operate the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

The program would permit the state to provide benefits similar to SNAP a.k.a. Food stamp benefits to more than 1.4 million children in the state who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals and those who attend schools that offer free meals to all students.

The P-EBT program created under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act would provide assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures. P-EBT would send eligible households an EBT card with the value of free school breakfast and lunch for the days that schools are closed, if they’ve been closed for more than 5 consecutive days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Department of Agriculture has done the right thing by heeding our call and approving New York’s P-EBT program for easier access to school lunches,” said Schumer. “Over half of New York State’s public school students receive free or reduced-price school meals, and thousands of children need food assistance due to school closures. This program will get the necessary food assistance to these students and their families as soon as possible and ensure that New York’s hungry children are fed.”

“No child should ever go hungry and I am pleased that the Trump administration listened to our request and approved New York State’s P-EBT program,” said Gillibrand. “Thousands of New York schoolchildren depend on school meals and this program will ensure they continue to go to bed with full stomachs.”

Meng Introduces Legislation to Combat COVID-19 Hate Crimes

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) yesterday announced that she has introduced legislation that seeks to provide greater federal government oversight of COVID-19 hate crimes, and require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide Congress with regular updates on the status of reported bias incidents.

Since the beginning of the crisis, there have been numerous reports of Asian Americans being threatened, harassed, or assaulted. The pandemic has also fueled a rise in anti-Semitic incidents against the Jewish community, and caused concern among members of the LGBTQ community. As a result, these communities, in addition to working to combat the coronavirus, are left fighting an additional front – that of hate and injustice.

Entitled the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act (H.R.6721), Meng’s bill would require the Attorney General to designate a DOJ officer or employee to:

  1. Facilitate the expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to federal, state, and/or local law enforcement; and
  2. Report to Congress monthly on the status of these cases, including any resources provided to complainants, and actions taken to further investigate those incidents, with data disaggregated by victim’s race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and location of occurrence. These reports would be required to be provided for at least until one year after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted.

“As millions across the nation are worried about and impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, many are also living in fear following the dramatic increase of threats and attacks against different communities due to the rise in COVID-19-related bigotry and hate. Many are afraid of abusive and violent acts being committed against them and their loved ones,” said Meng. 

“During this time of heightened anxiety, we must do everything possible to protect the safety of every single person – no matter their race, ethnicity, religion or background. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a necessary step to confront this disgusting and deplorable rise in intolerance and violence, and I urge all my colleagues to join my effort to fight these bias crimes, and keep all Americans safe,” she added.

CM Miller Provides Lunch to MTA Workers

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens) today will provide lunches catered by Southern Girls Soul Food to MTA workers in recognition of their dedicated work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miller is providing the lunches at two locations in partnership with ATU Local 1056, Artimus NYC, BRP Companies, OMNI New York, Emblem Health, American Recycling, and National Standard Abstract.

The first lunches will be handed out at 10:30 a.m.at the Jamaica Bus Depot, 165-18 Tuskegee Airmen Way South Road in Jamaica. The second is slated for 12 noon at the Queens Village Bus Depot, 97-11 222 Street in Queens Village.

AOC Turns out for PA Williams Fundraising Birthday Bash

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announced in an email yesterday that progressive queen U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) is coming to his Zoom birthday party fundraising bash.

Also coming to the party are former Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner, and actress/activist Cynthia Nixon are coming to my Zoom birthday party!

“We’re hosting my birthday fundraiser on Zoom on May 18th. The VIP room opens at 6 p.m. and there you can have the opportunity to chat with AOC, Nina and Cynthia! Or catch them for the main event at 6:30 p.m. After two hard-fought campaigns last year, we’re paying off the last of our debt. So your help means the world to me. Thank you for your birthday wishes and all your support,” wrote Williams in an email.

Tickets start at $50, or join the VIP Room with a donation of $250 or more.

For more information or to RSVP, visit our event page here. We will send the Zoom link and password with the receipt. 

Sanders to Host M/WBE & Small Biz Info Conference Call

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Brooklyn) on Monday will host a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) & Small Business Informational Conference Call.

Also in on the call will be state legislators and experts, who will talk about the state of MWBEs in order to provide resources at the federal, state and city levels on procurement practices, business inclusion, and business & recovery.

The call is slated for 1-3 p.m., Monday, May 11, on Facebook Live at

Facebook.com/StateSenatorJamesSandersJr/. To RSVP, email events.bichotte@gmail.com. The recording of the call will be posted on the following website www.nyassembly.gov/mem/rodneyse-bichotte.