Queens Lawmakers on the Moves September 2, 2020

Queens County City Council News

BP Lee Announces Community Education Council Appointees

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee announced on Tuesday her appointments of seven dedicated, education-minded Queens parents to fill vacant positions across five of the borough’s seven Community Education Councils (CECs) in time for the upcoming school year. 

The seven appointees will serve the remainder of the two-year term that concludes at the end of June 2021. CECs are responsible for advising and commenting on educational policies and providing input to the chancellor and the Panel for Educational Policy.

“We received a substantial number of applications to fill these seven vacancies,” said Lee. “All 14 Borough President-appointees have my confidence and trust in their experiences, perspectives and abilities to strengthen the Borough of Families. CECs are designed to be the formal voice of community input and insights into sharping our school system. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has deeply disrupted the education and lives of our kids. On this critical road of recovery and rebuild, such voices are needed now more than ever.” 

Following a multi-week application period earlier this summer, the Queens Borough President’s Office received 65 applications of individuals interested in filling the seven vacancies across the borough’s 14 CECs, which are part of the New York City school governance structure and tasked with overseeing the elementary and middle schools within their respective community school district.

The Queens borough president has 14 appointees across the borough’s CECs, two appointees on each CEC. 

Addabbo Advocates for Indoor Dining, Reopening Casinos

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said that with more than 1.5 million New Yorkers unemployed in July, he wants to honor other laborers this Labor Day by promoting the need for getting employees to safely return to work by reopening indoor dining and casinos. 

“Restaurants and bars in New York City have been able to operate with outdoor seating, but that is not nearly enough to allow them to continue surviving this pandemic,” Addabbo said. “By not allowing indoor dining — especially when just over the border into Nassau County allows it and with the cold weather approaching — it will cripple many businesses. Our city and county continue to meet the low COVID criteria set forth by Governor Cuomo that would allow them to open their doors. We need a plan to safely bring indoor dining back so our local restaurants and bars can not only survive, but thrive again.”

Between July 2019 and July 2020, the biggest industry that lost jobs across the state is the Leisure & Hospitality sector, New York State statistics said. Within that sector, job losses were greatest in accommodation and food services, with a loss of 329,000 jobs, with the food services and drinking places being hit hardest with 256,100 jobs lost over the one-year period.

Much like the restaurants and bars in the city seeing their neighbors in Nassau County operating with indoor dining, the state’s casinos are watching the other casinos on the land of the New York Native American tribes opening and operating safely, while also losing New York state revenue to the reopened New Jersey casinos. The shuttered casinos in New York are also not providing much-needed educational funds, as the state faces looming budget cuts.

Because of these reasons, Addabbo believes it is imperative that Governor Cuomo look into reopening the state’s casinos. Addabbo also believes that the casinos have a good blueprint to follow on reopening since New York’s upstate tribal casinos have been open since June without any major virus issues.  

Schumer Pushes for Rental Assistance

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued the following joint statement on Tuesday on the need for Republicans to come to the table to support strong funding for rental assistance and other measures to support struggling working families:

“For millions of Americans, the start of a new month has become a day they dread. The rent is due today, but too many families won’t be able to make payments through no fault of their own—pushing them deeper into debt and the prospect of being thrown out of their homes. At the same time, millions face food insecurity, unsafe workplace protections, and being forced to send children to school when it is not safe to do so.

“Right now, over 40 million Americans are at risk of eviction—yet Republicans refuse to recognize the needs of working families facing the accelerating threat of eviction and skyrocketing debt. For over 100 days, Senate Republicans have refused to take up the Heroes Act which contains robust funding for rental assistance for struggling families. And the President has offered nothing but a weak and unworkable Executive Order that has done nothing to help working families, including many from communities of color, keep a roof over their heads.

“It’s long past time for Republicans and President Trump to stop following the returns from Wall Street and wake up to the problems of Americans living on Main Street. Republicans must join House and Senate Democrats to respond to the growing need by doing everything in our power to keep families healthy, safe, and secure—in their own homes.”