Queens Lawmakers on the Move July 10, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Meeks Hosts Press Call About Police Reform Act 

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

Representative Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, and the John F. Kennedy International Airport) will host a press call for regional reporters with Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-Parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn), and Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) today at 10:30 am. 

The representatives are calling on the Senate to take up the bipartisan George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which the House passed in June.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, introduced on June 8, is the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities, the release said. Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA), Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Nadler sponsored the bill.

A fact sheet on the bill is available here.

Vallone Saddened by Closure of Two Whitestone Catholic Academies

City Council Member Paul Vallone

Councilmember Paul Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck and Whitestone) released a statement about the announced closure of two Catholic academies in Whitestone: 

“I am saddened to learn the news that both Holy Trinity Catholic Academy and St. Mel’s Catholic Academy will permanently close this summer due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. I am concerned to see educational options reduced during such challenging times for our borough and our city, which already suffered from overcrowded schools. I know the loss of both of these local Catholic Academies, which have each taught generations of Northeast Queens families, will be deeply felt in our community.”

De Blasio Cancels Large Events Through End of September

Mayor BIll de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that large events requiring a city events permit will be canceled through Sept. 30 as the city works to prioritize open spaces for public use. 

The city will not issue a permit for any event in a location that interferes with the Open Streets or Open Restaurants program. Permits will also be denied for all events larger than one block, stage/video events that require amplification, street fairs, and events in parks that may unreasonably diminish public use. The city will refund or defer fees paid in connection with a denied permit.

“As New York has begun its reopening process, accessible open spaces are more important than ever,” said de Blasio. “While it pains me to call off some of the city’s beloved events, our focus now must be the prioritization of city space for public use and the continuation of social distancing.” 

Events that do not conflict with Open Streets or Open Restaurant areas and are for locations one city block or smaller can still apply for a permit. The mayor’s executive order will require all permit applicants to outline their plan to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at the event site and clean the event space both during and after the event. Applicants will be expected to address these concerns without utilizing city services, personnel and resources. Demonstrations, religious events, and press conferences will be exempt from the executive order and may receive permits. This executive order will help ensure social distancing, allow for greater public use of open space, address traffic flow concerns, and allocate city resources efficiently.

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