Queens Lawmakers on the Move July 13, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo Laments Closing of Howard Beach Catholic Academy

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) released a statement on Thursday about the closing of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Howard Beach: 

“Today I was saddened to learn of the diocese decision to close Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Howard Beach. For 95 years, Our Lady of Grace has been an important part of the Howard Beach community. My prayers go out to the students, parents, teachers and administration of the school. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I intend to be in contact with the diocese, as to the future fate of the school building.”

Schumer Pushes for Federal Funds for School COVID Costs 

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced a legislative push for federal funding to cover COVID-19 costs for schools because without it, he said, schools in New York City and Long Island might not be able to reopen safely in the fall.

Schumer said costs for personal protective equipment (PPE), physical barriers and other supplies at schools, like those used for cleaning, could badly drain local resources, making it much harder for New York City, Long Island and suburban districts to open safely and ensure the collective protection of kids, teachers and staff. 

“Everyone wants our schools to reopen, but the federal government must lead the way by funding the safety measures that would open the doors of New York and the nation’s schools in a way that helps ensure the coronavirus does not needlessly spread or infect teachers, kids or staff,” said Schumer. “Without federal dollars to cover the massive costs of PPE, barriers, cleaning supplies and more, local school budgets across the city, Long Island and beyond would be crushed, local taxes could rise and some schools might simply stay closed—and we do not want that.”

He announced a new legislative push to include assistance in a “Corona-4” legislative package. His plan would work to substantially cover the aforementioned costs with federal dollars, allowing schools to safely reopen. Schumer is pushing for $175 billion dollars for K-12 schools across the country, and said New York would see a massive chunk of that allotment.

Schumer’s plan, crafted with U.S. Senator Patty Murray, was introduced as the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA), and includes other efforts as well, each critical to supporting childcare and education amid the pandemic.  

CM Adams Leads Day of Action for Census 

City Councilmember Adrienne Adams

Councilmember Adrienne Adams (Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village and South Ozone Park) hosted an event on July 9 with the United States Census Bureau and Chhaya CDC to ensure that all residents are counted in the decennial census. 

With the 2020 Census underway, the event focused on educating and motivating the hardest-to-count communities in Queens to participate in the Census. They helped residents get information and receive on-site support to complete the 2020 Census.

“With so many people staying close to home, we must pivot our approach to encourage all communities to complete the census,” said Adams. “It is critical that every New Yorker is counted. Every response directly impacts the services that our communities receive and I want the people of Queens to know that this process is important, easy and safe but will also shape their future. A successful Census must be our top priority so that we receive the federal funding that we deserve.”

The campaign included a multilingual and multi-targeted approach to reach out to all residents including non-English speakers and people with limited internet access. The effort reinforced how the Census impacts federal funding for vital services to states based on response rates and reminded those completing the forms that responses are kept confidential. 

The 2020 Census is the first to rely heavily on online responses. 

Every New Yorker can respond to the Census online at https://my2020census.gov.