Queens Lawmakers on the Move August 25, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Constantinides Comments on Outdoor Learning

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Councilmember Costa Constantinides issued the following statement on City Hall’s announcement on Monday that it enabled New York City schools to use outdoor space as classrooms:

“For weeks we have begged the City to consider outdoor learning as a crucial tool for keeping students who must learn in-person safe, only to be rebuffed. While I’m glad we have finally seen some movement for open classrooms, it comes less than three weeks before in-person learning will begin. We will now find ourselves scrambling to identify those open spaces, low-hanging fruit that could’ve been dealt with more than a month ago, amid ongoing concerns about access to PPE and reliable testing for our school system. Even though I’m glad to see the City has finally embraced this measure, we are still ill-prepared for a uniform plan to safely resume in-person learning on September 10.”

Constantinides first made this case to the Department of Education and the Department of Transportation more than five weeks ago, in a July 16 letter to Chancellor Richard Carranza and Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. Constantinides was among 31 Council Members, led by Education Chair Mark Treyger, who asked City Hall last week to delay in-person learning, which is scheduled to begin on September 10.

Stavisky Distributes PPE, Sanitizer

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky  invited representatives from more than a half dozen community organizations to her district office to pick up hand sanitizer and protective face masks on Friday. 

These safety tools will be distributed to their staff members, volunteers, as well as local businesses and other groups, to help them continue to navigate the COVID-19 health crisis.

“I want to thank all of the organizations who came through our doors,” said Stavisky. “These are the groups that are helping to rebuild our community and breathe new life into our neighborhoods following the brunt of COVID-19. I am proud to be able to provide them with this personal protective equipment, so as we reopen our local businesses and restart our lives, we can do so safely and responsibly.”

Senator Stavisky and her office manager, Minwen Yang, were also presented certificates of appreciation for their assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic by the President of the Guangxi Association Mr. Jiqing Zhu.

Stavisky was able to provide supplies to the Wen Chou Association, the New York Northeastern Chinese Association, the Malaysian United Group, the Shaanxi Association, the Guangxi Youth Alumni Association, the Guizhou-USA Business Association and the Hunan Benevolent Association of America.

Throughout the pandemic, Stavisky has been able to secure and distribute more than 50 gallons of hand sanitizer, and more than 10,000 face masks within the community.

Mayor Announces COVID Testing Partnership With NY Yankees

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the New York Yankees will partner with the NYC Test & Trace Corps to promote free COVID-19 testing across the city. 

As the first corporate sponsor of the City’s “Get Tested Tuesday” Day of Action, Yankees t-shirts, caps and other memorabilia will be available to the first 4,000 New Yorkers who get tested any NYC Health + Hospitals testing location on Tuesday, August 25th.

“Regardless of whether you’re a Yankees, Mets, or Red Sox fan, one thing is clear about New Yorkers: we look out for one another,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Getting a test isn’t just about protecting yourself—it’s a civic duty to your fellow New Yorkers. Testing and tracing remains our best defense against the virus, and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure New Yorkers can protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The Yankees will also air a public service announcement with Manager Aaron Boone and a lineup of star players Masahiro Tanaka, Gio Urshela, Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit that promotes a new “Core Four” to fight the virus (wash hands, social distance, cover face, stay home if sick) and urges New Yorkers to get tested for COVID-19. The PSA will air on the YES Network, and can be viewed here.

The Get Tested Tuesday Day of action has been a partnership between NYC Test & Trace Corps community-based organization grantees, NYC Health + Hospitals and NYC agencies to focus outreach in target communities and get more New Yorkers tested. Additional information on the Test & Trace Corps, including program metrics, is available here.

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