Queens Lawmakers on the Move October 15, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Grodenchik Decides to Not Seek Reelection to City Council

City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik

Councilmember Barry S. Grodenchik (D-Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) released this statement on Wednesday about his decision to not run for re-election for New York City Council when his term ends:

“I am announcing today that I will not be seeking reelection to the New York City Council; I will complete the term to which I was elected and look forward to serving the residents of Eastern Queens until December 31, 2021. Being a member of the Council has been, and will continue to be, a hallmark of my public service career, which extends back more than a generation. After much thought and reflection with family and friends, I have decided that it is time to put a period on this chapter of my life and retire from public service. At this time, I especially thank the people of the 23rd Council District for the honor and trust they have twice placed in me.

This kid from New York City public housing has been privileged to work with giants such as Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, and Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn. Along the way, I have been fortunate to serve in the New York State Assembly and as Queens Deputy Borough President, helping hundreds of thousands of people and working with colleagues and staff to help millions more.

In the Council, it has been my honor to be a foremost advocate for feeding New Yorkers and for enhancing funding for our parks. Locally, I have advanced the cause of education, including the building of over 2,600 new school seats, nearly 900 of which are already open, in three new schools and three additions to existing schools. This represents a quarter billion dollar investment in the education of our young people; I have also secured nearly $20 million for new technology, covering every school in the district. My efforts have led to the restoration of three playgrounds with seven more on the way, and the Vanderbilt Long Island Motor Parkway is getting its first facelift in a generation.

I am incredibly proud of my outstanding team and the work they have done to help over 5,000 individual constituents with the myriad of issues that face New Yorkers every single day. We will continue to do this work over the next 14 months and continue to lead the recovery from Covid-19 in Eastern Queens.”

Koo Announces Free Flu Shots

City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook

Councilmember Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill), Chinese Community Partnership for Health, NY Presbyterian and Queens Botanical Gardens will offer free flu shots to members of the Flushing community.

“I am happy to partner with NY Presbyterian, Chinese Community Partnership for Health, and Queens Botanical Garden to provide this important community service,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “The pandemic has highlighted just how important it is to be conscious of our health and get vaccinated. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is a great way to boost your immune system and stay healthy.”

Representatives from NY Presbyterian and Chinese Community Partnership for Health will administer the shots to eligible members of the community. Those interested in receiving the free flu shot must be over 18 years old, reside in Council District 20, be in relatively good health (no cold or fevers at the time of the shot), and pre-register.

Please note, do not register for this event if you have an adverse reaction to flu shots; suffer from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS); have had a fever in the last 48 hours; or are not feeling well; or have an allergy to eggs, Thimerosal, Latex; have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant; or are a child or pregnant woman. If any of the above apply, please consult your physician.

Shots will be administered to those who registered at the Queens Botanical Garden at 43-50 Main Street in front of the Visitor and Administration Building between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Oct. 28. There are a limited number of shots available and those interested will be required to pre-register with priority given to residents of Council District 20 over 50 years old, without insurance, and/or chronic illness.

Sanders Holds Joint Hearing on Small Businesses During the Pandemic

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks today held a joint public hearing with Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, to examine the availability of capital and lending to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During these tough economic times, we must examine ways to help save our businesses from being crushed by the coronavirus pandemic,” Sanders said. “It is important that we hear directly from merchants and lenders on the most effective way to navigate ahead.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on many small businesses, including minority-owned small businesses. Lending to small businesses has decreased significantly since the onset of the pandemic, contributing to their financial distress. Many businesses have shut down or are on the verge of permanent closure.

The purpose of this hearing was to explore the status of lending to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Witnesses were invited to provide feedback on the market for financing and loans, the factors that are impacting the current lending markets, and things that can be done to help facilitate loans or other financing options to small businesses during this pandemic.

More information on the hearing can be found here. The entire hearing can be viewed here.

Addabbo Praises Mother Cabrini Statue

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) released the following statement about the statue honoring Mother Cabrini recently unveiled in Battery Park.

“As President of the Italian-American Legislators Conference, I believe that on a day in which we acknowledge the positive contributions of Italians, it is only fitting to honor Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini with a statue within the five boroughs,” Addabbo said. “As the first U.S. citizen to be canonized as a saint, Mother Cabrini, is rightfully recognized for all her New York efforts towards immigration, children, orphanages and hospitals.”