Queens Lawmakers on the Move September 14, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo Pleased with Rockaway Shore Wind Project

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) virtually met with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and he was pleased to receive a positive update after on the renewable energy project off the Rockaway shore. 

NYSERDA also informed the Senator of another solicitation for a $400 million renewable energy project — which is the largest clean energy solicitation in the nation’s history — following up on last year’ procurement of offshore wind projects, including the Empire Wind Project off the shore of the Rockaways. Included in this new procurement with the Empire Wind Project is the Sunrise Wind Project and several land-based renewable energy projects issued by NYSERDA and New York Power Authority (NYPA).

Together, the combined solicitations from NYSERDA and NYPA seek to procure over 4,000 megawatts of clean, renewable energy, enough to power nearly 1.5 million homes.

“New York continues to lead the nation as we move towards a greener future by maximizing our renewable energy sources,” Addabbo said. “These procurements will create 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035, enough to power six million homes, meeting the climate and environment goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

The project will also study the impact offshore wind turbines have on marine wildlife and its effect on ocean users, such as commercial and recreational fishing. The project will provide financial and technical support to regional monitoring of wildlife and key commercial fishing stocks.

Constantinides Supports Astoria Small Business Owners

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

Councilmember Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) has asked the New York City Department of Small Business Services to meet with Astoria small business owners, get a first-hand look at the dire financial situation they face, and find a creative solution to see them through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For months, in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, restaurants were relegated to only take-out or delivery service. This was a deadly blow to establishments that were packed to the gills before the pandemic,” Constantinides wrote to SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris last week. “Our restaurants took it in stride, however, to do their part in flattening the curve. Then, as we recovered and the phased reopenings began, there was a small sigh of relief. Expanded outdoor dining has indeed helped cushion the financial blow, but, as we enter the sixth month of this pandemic, these restaurants have been left out to dry.” 

The Astoria lawmaker’s request comes as more bars and restaurants face permanent closure this fall, even with serving diners indoors at a reduced capacity. While that option and expanded outdoor dining have helped make ends meet, many of these local economic drivers still need resources to get through the colder months.

Schumer Tries to Save NYC’s Stages

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer pushed a plan alongside fellow Brooklynite Jerry Seinfeld, Sunday, to save the many stages of New York. 

“They say ‘All the world’s a stage,’ but New York City’s are the spotlight, and we have to save them,” said Schumer. “Independent venues, like Gotham Comedy Club, performance pubs, concert halls and more are the beating heart of New York City’s cultural life and a driving force of the larger New York economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to reopen.”

Schumer explained how the stages of New York—from comedy, to music & more—are in real peril amid COVID-19. These stages have no revenue right now and their live venues are in trouble. Schumer said New York City cannot lose live venues, because that is what makes New York New York. Schumer pushed to provide federal relief for New York’s live events via the Save Our Stages Act. Schumer explained that the legislation would create a $10 billion Small Business Administration program (SBA) to provide grants of up to $12 million to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to help cover six months of operating expenses and offset the economic impact of COVID-19. Schumer also said New York would see the lion’s share of this federal pot of funds given it’s such a central part of the economy, and so he will fight to get it done.