Queens Lawmakers on the Move July 2, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Koo Announces FY2021 Budget Victories for District  

City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows and Whitestone) announced Wednesday that he was able to secure $30 million in budget victories for Council District 20, including funding for a new community center for the South Asian Council for Social Services, upgrades to Kissena Corridor Park, and medical equipment for Flushing’s two hospitals. 

“Our community has suffered tremendously from the COVID-19 crisis, so I am especially proud I was able to secure funding for infrastructure, programs and services throughout my council district,” Koo said. “Securing these critical resources for our community will directly improve many of our neighborhood amenities and the overall quality of life in our communities.” 

Koo secured the funding from the Fiscal Year 2021 budget for new capital and expense projects in partnership with Speaker Corey Johnson, Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, the council’s Queens delegation, and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.

Miller Announces Funding for Southeast Queens District

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Councilmember I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans) announced on Wednesday that after weeks of negotiations, he secured funding for social and youth services, parks, businesses, and education for the residents of Southeast Queens in this year’s budget. 

This year’s budget came during a painful time for Southeast Queens which was one of the hardest-hit communities in the city by COVID-19, he said. It followed months of advocacy for more testing and resources in response to the disparities that the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare.

“Painful decisions were made, but overall, this year’s budget prioritized fairness and support for underserved communities,” Miller said. “Our commitment to fighting for the needs and values of Southeast Queens, including youth programming and services, has resulted in a far more equitable budget than what we were originally presented with.”

Some of the funding will go towards a new recreation center at Roy Wilkins Park, renovations of Detective Keith L. Williams Park, a new gym at Richard S. Grossley Junior High School, and renovating the St. Albans Library.

Gianaris to Rally in Support of Healthy Terminal Act

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven) will join workers and leaders from SEIU 32BJ to push for the Healthy Terminals Act, legislation that mandates thousands of airport subcontractors have access to affordable health insurance through their employers.  

The rally will take place today, Thursday, July 2 at 12 p.m. on the patio at Katch Astoria, located at 31-19 Newtown Avenue in Astoria.

All attendees are asked to wear face masks for this event.

Velázquez Calls for Election Reforms Following Primary Problems

U.S. Representative Nydia Velasquez/Facebook

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D- parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan) wrote the New York City Board of Elections on Wednesday calling for the agency to take immediate steps to improve voting access and election procedures, following well documented problems observed in New York’s June 23 primary election.

“Regardless of political party or who they support, every New Yorker deserves to have confidence that their election systems operate fairly and openly,” Velázquez said. “Unfortunately, in last week’s primary election we saw a slew of problems – from voters not receiving requested absentee ballots to polling places opening late. With the general election just around the corner, the Board needs to act swiftly, prevent these problems from recurring and help restore voters’ trust.”

In 2015, a purge of 120,000 Brooklyn voters disproportionately impacted New York’s 7th Congressional District, which Velázquez represents. The Department of Justice determined that the Board had violated federal law in removing those voters from the rolls.

A copy of Velázquez’s letter is available online.

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