Queens Lawmakers on the Move October 21, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Hevesi Calls for Release of Federal Funds to Help Nonprofits

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi

Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, along with multiple other lawmakers, and nonprofits, is holding a press conference on Wednesday to ask that Governor Andrew Cuomo release the remaining over $2 billion in federal funding to save human service providers.

New York State received $5.1 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Over $2 billion from the CRF remains at the state’s disposal. At the same time, service providers, including nonprofits, childcare providers, healthcare services, treatment centers, and many others, are in danger of collapse due to the withholding of billions of dollars in economic relief. 

The use of CRF funds to assist nonprofit service providers during the pandemic is permissible under the federal guidelines for use of CRF funds. A recent study shows that 1,829 nonprofits in NY would go out of business because of the current crisis, one of the highest around the country. 

Legislators and advocates have been calling on Governor Cuomo to release these funds to save nonprofits since early September, having sent a letter with 185 signatories on September 8th and hosting a press conference of elected officials on September 29.

The virtual press conference will be held on Zoom and Facebook Live on Wednesday, October 21 at 11 a.m. To attend the Zoom conference, register online in advance.

Gianaris Receives Perfect Score on Environmental Report Card 

Senator Michael Gianaris

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris was recognized by the Environmental Advocates Action with a perfect score on their annual report card. 

As deputy leader, Gianaris has fought to enact nation-leading environmental legislation in New York, the release said. 

“Protecting our environment is crucial to ensure a livable planet for future generations,” said Gianaris. “I am pleased to be recognized by Environmental Advocates Action for my achievements during the 2020 legislative session.”

Gianaris has been an environmental champion throughout his public service, the release said. He sponsors legislation to mandate testing of lead in school and park water supplies and supports bills to improve water, air, and soil quality for all New Yorkers. With Gianaris serving as Deputy Majority Leader, the Senate enacted the CLCPA, an historic law to prevent further climate change. The CLCPA reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions, improves resiliency efforts, ensures local job creation through energy transition, and promotes environmental justice by controlling the regressive impacts of climate change mitigation.

To view the full report card, click here.

Sanders Hosts Press Conference on Voting Legislation

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

Senator James Sanders Jr. will be holding a press conference to discuss his legislation (S8004), which would require the Board of Elections to provide a return postage guaranteed envelope with absentee ballots. 

“In this difficult time as we continue to battle coronavirus, it is absolutely necessary that we make voting and participating in the democratic process as easy and safe as possible, and that includes fine tuning voting by absentee ballot,” Sanders said. “This legislation will remove some of the confusion and complications associated with voting by absentee ballot like having to go out and purchase postage or not knowing how much postage to use.”

Assemblymember Jeff Dinowitz, who is the sponsor of the companion bill in the Assembly, will join Sanders for the press conference.

The press conference will be streamed live on Facebook on Thursday, October 22 at 11 am on Sanders’ Facebook page. 

Addabbo to Give Away Masks, Hand Sanitizer

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. will be holding mobile office hours outside of Wasserman’s Supermarket in Kew Gardens Hills this month to distribute free masks and hand sanitizer provided by the state as a way to help the community remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The science shows that wearing a mask and cleaning your hands are two of the most effective ways to combat contracting and spreading the Coronavirus. That is why I will be giving away masks and hand sanitizer to help the public be able to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Addabbo said. “It is even more vital to be here in Kew Gardens Hills as they are currently in a Red Zone, meaning the infection rate has been increasing. I hope to see residents take advantage of this giveaway, as well as the free COVID-19 testing rapid site set up at the Kew Gardens Hills Library. Together we can defeat this virus and get back to a sense of normalcy in our communities.”

Addabbo will be out front of Wasserman’s, located at 72-51 Main Street, on Thursday, October 29 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. handing out masks and hand sanitizer.

Also, the Queens Public Library has partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals to bring a COVID-19 rapid-testing site to the Kew Gardens Hills Library, located at 72-33 Vleigh Place, and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Sunday, November 1.

Lancman Co-Hosts Joint City Council Committee Hearing

City Councilman Rory Lancman, candidate in the Queens District Attorney Race. Photo Courtesy Lancman’s office.

Councilmember Rory Lancman, Chair of the Committee on Justice System, is co-hosting a joint hearing with the chairs of the Committees on Criminal Justice, General Welfare, Public Housing and Housing and Buildings on Wednesday. 

The committees will hold an oversight hearing on reentry and housing. They will also discuss a bill to amend the city’s administrative code in relation to tenant data privacy.

The remote hearing will be held in Virtual Room 2 on Wednesday, October 20 at 1 p.m. For more information on the hearing’s agenda, visit the city council’s website.