Queens Lawmakers on the Move August 19, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo Celebrates 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) acknowledged on Tuesday the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting voting rights to women around the country, and the women who fought to gain the right to vote by highlighting recently passed legislation improving voting accessibility for all.

For decades, the women’s suffrage movement, notably led by Susan B. Anthony, fought to give women the constitutional right to vote. On August 18, 1920, that amendment was ratified into the Constitution, bringing even more people into the voting process and making the United States and its elected officials more representative of the people who live there.

“August 18th is a day to celebrate the bravery and steadfastness of these woman suffragists who put everything on the line in their fight to gain the right to vote,” Addabbo said. “While the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, it did not include people like women of color. It was though a major step forward for moving the country towards a better and more inclusive democracy, a movement which began right there in New York.”

During the 2020 legislative session, the New York State legislature passed seven bills aimed at making voting more accessible. The bills create an automatic voter registration system, require that voters be given notice of any deficiencies in their absentee ballot envelopes and an opportunity to fix them, ensuring their votes will be counted, define the term “illness” for the purpose of absentee voting to include instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at a polling place because of the risk of contracting or spreading a disease-causing illness to the voter or other members of the public, temporarily provide that any absentee ballot shall be presumed to be timely even if it does not bear a dated postmark if such a ballot was received and timestamped by the day after Election Day, temporarily allow the process of absentee ballot applications prior to 30 days before the election, temporarily allow certain party designations and nominations to be made via a video teleconference; and require that in each county, the municipality with the largest population contain at least one early voting location.

BP Lee Comments on NYPD Anti-Asian Hate Crime Task Force

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee stated the following in response to questions about the creation of the new NYPD task force to investigate anti-Asian hate and bias crimes in light of the disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate and bias incidents during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:

“The rise in hate and bias incidents during the ongoing pandemic was further illuminated when, earlier this year, the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force had to create an entirely new motivation category of crimes called ‘OTHER CORONA’, and a substantial portion of those targeted were of Asian descent,” said Lee. “Words matter and have consequences, especially when misnomers like ‘Chinese Virus’ and ‘Kung Flu’ are promulgated. Hate and bias crimes, however, are oftentimes extremely tough to prove and require assets to allow for serious investigation. Queens lauds the NYPD — especially Chief Rodney Harrison and Deputy Inspector Stewart Loo — for forming this task force to bring the necessary attention to the inflammation of latent racism and discrimination. I also urge anyone who has witnessed or been the victim of a hate or bias act to report it immediately, as time is of the essence in these types of cases.”

Comrie on the Passing of Claire Shulman

State Senator Leroy Comrie

State Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Hillcrest and Kew Gardens) released a statement about the passing of former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman on Tuesday: 

“I have been deeply affected by the passing of a true Queens champion and trailblazer, former Borough President Claire Shulman. There was no one better than Claire at problem solving. She could force people to the table and lead the deliberation on any issue and always close the meeting with a solution. She taught me so much about public service, and when I was a newly elected leader, she gave me the opportunity to be heard.

She championed so many transformational projects with the intention of expanding opportunity for Queens residents and elevating our borough’s prestige. She played a critical role in establishing Roy Wilkins Park, York College, and countless cultural institutions. Claire fought to ensure that the greatness of the beautiful mosaic that is Queens would be recognized and celebrated.

Claire Shulman was a visionary who never stopped working. Two months ago, she lobbied me to support the construction of an affordable housing project in the borough. She was always thinking of how to make Queens better for all. Claire was a rare, distinguished individual who will be greatly missed. My prayers are with her family.”