Queens Lawmakers on the Move August 7, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Gianaris Introduces New Antitrust Legislation

Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) introduced major new legislation (S.8700-A) to address corporate power, modernizing New York’s antiquated antitrust laws. 

The legislation, known as the 21st Century Antitrust Act, will go after corporations who act unilaterally to stifle competition. The legislation was introduced on the heels of a major federal antitrust hearing, held last week in Washington.

“Our antitrust laws were written a century ago for a radically different economy and they are in desperate need of serious updates,” said Gianaris. “Corporate power has reached unprecedented and dangerous levels, and we need powerful new laws to protect the public and our economy.”

Under current state law, antitrust laws require two parties to conspire to manipulate the economy before enforcement actions can occur. In the current economy, however, major commercial players (particularly Big Tech) successfully manipulate the market unilaterally. Examples include manipulating search results to favor their own products and punishing competitors as well as undercutting competitors’ prices at a loss to drive them out of business or pressure them to sell to the larger companies. Senator Gianaris’ legislation would allow the state to take action against these players, and would allow for class action lawsuits against companies.

Ocasio-Cortez Expands Lead in Reelection Primary

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) expanded her lead in her first reelection campaign more than two months after the primary with the Board of Elections finalization of the absentee ballot count.

Ocasio-Cortez scored a landslide victory, coming out with about 74.6 percent of the votes, while her well-funded and closest contender only garnered 18.1 percent. On Election Day, the count stood at 72.6 percent of the vote for Ocasio-Cortez and 19.5 percent to the next closest opponent. 

“This absolutely strengthens us. It’s not just about winning or losing, but so much of this is about how we win,” said Ocasio-Cortez on Primary Night. “To win with that kind of mandate is transformative, and it tells us that our policy positions are not an accident. It’s exactly what our community has been waiting for, and it’s the kind of leadership that our State and our country has been waiting for.” 

The results of the primaries showed the Congresswoman’s overwhelming support across all demographics. The 2020 New York Primary Elections had a historic turnout, more than double of 2018. The Congresswoman resoundly won all five communities with large public housing complexes – for comparison in 2018, she won just two of these areas. Diverse neighborhoods like East Elmhurst, College Point, Throggs Neck, Parkchester, Lefrak also flipped in support of Ocasio-Cortez in this recent election. 

Sanders to Speak at Community Empowerment Day 2020

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Edgemere, Bayswater, Arverne and Far Rockaway) will be the keynote speaker at “Community Empowerment Day 2020” on August 15. 

The purpose of this event is to create a forum that will highlight the efforts of participating organizations, while bridging gaps to create real-time opportunities for people of the Afrikan Diaspora. Sanders will speak about his economic program agenda for underserviced communities. 

The event will take place on August 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, located at 163 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.