Queens Lawmakers on the Move July 22, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Meeks Introduces Bill To Help Low-Income, Minority Communities

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport) introduced the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act, legislation that would make a $17.9 billion investment in low-income and minority communities that have been especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

“As Chairman of the House Financial Service Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, my focus has been squarely on address the inequities faced by unbanked and underbanked communities, and communities of color that continue to be discriminated against to this day, including in banking and financial services,” said Rep. Meeks. “The COVID19 pandemic has laid bare the vulnerability of these communities, and the urgency of addressing the failures of the financial system that leave these communities behind. Achieving a balanced and sustainable economic recovery requires inclusion of, and investments in minority banks, community development financial institutions, and those banks and lenders that reach marginalized communities.”

He introduced the on Tuesday with U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The legislation would provide eligible community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) with capital, liquidity, and operational capacity, to expand the flow of credit into underserved, minority, and historically disadvantaged communities, helping small businesses stay afloat and expand operations, while providing affordable access to credit for lower income borrowers. 

The senators are seeking to include the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act in any upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation to help hard-hit communities weather and recover from the economic blow of the pandemic.

A summary of the bill is available here. Text of the bill is available here.

Lee Announces 50,000 Donated Masks 

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee announced a generous donation of 50,000 face masks last week from the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of New York (TCCNY).

The donation was facilitated by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York (TECO-NY), and will be distributed across dozens of Queens community-based organizations.

“As New York City carefully embarks upon the road to recovery and rebuild, our future hinges on remaining vigilant and emulating the proven best practices of maximizing safety,” said Lee. “The masks were made in Taiwan, which swiftly and effectively contained COVID-19 from the earlier stages of this global pandemic. To not learn from the measures of their success – including the universal use of face masks – would be at our own peril.”

The 50,000 donated face masks will be distributed throughout the borough by various partner organizations. The generous donation augments Borough President Lee’s ongoing efforts to secure and facilitate the swift distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the needs of frontline and essential workers, as well as vulnerable and disproportionately-hit populations throughout Queens County since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addabbo Promotes Safety as NYC Enters Phase 4

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (Broad Channel, Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Woodside and parts of the Rockaways) released a statement about New York City entering Phase 4:

“Now that we have entered Phase 4 of New York City’s reopening plan, I am pleased to see more establishments are opening up, but it is imperative that we remain vigilant in our efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Addabbo. “Although many indoor activities remain closed — like dining, malls and museums — we have come so far from being the epicenter of cases and deaths in the United States. That is because of the strength and understanding of New Yorkers. I encourage people to safely enjoy the summer with many of the amazing outdoor activities they can take part in like visiting the Rockaway beaches or the Queens Zoo. By working together, we can move forward safely to resuming a normal lifestyle.”