Queens Lawmakers on the Move October 26, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Constantinides Hosts Hearing on Bill to Track COVID-19 Wastewater

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Councilmember Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, is hosting a committee hearing on Monday that will discuss a bill that would create a pilot program to trace COVID-19 RNA in New York’s wastewater.  

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19, can be found in a person’s feces before they become symptomatic. Public health officials have found this to be a useful tool in stopping an outbreak before it happens. Greater Boston officials recently discovered an impending spike in cases based on data collected at a wastewater treatment plant. That in turn can now help guide city and state leaders to contain the virus. Wastewater testing has also been credited with helping some New York State colleges and universities prevent a worse on-campus outbreak.

Earlier this year, the Department of Environmental Protection began testing for traces of the strain in New York City Sewage. Intro. 1966, which will be heard tomorrow, would expand these efforts and guarantee stronger transparency in the process.

The remote hearing will be held on Monday October 26 at 11 a.m. in Virtual Room 1.

Adams, Weprin Unveil Punjab Avenue

Assemblymember David Weprin
City Council Member Adrienne Adams

Councilmember Adrienne Adams joined Assemblymember David Weprin, local leaders and members of the community on Friday, October 23 to celebrate the co-naming ceremony of Punjab Avenue. 

The co-naming ceremony celebrated the contributions of the Punjab community that remains a part of the fabric of Richmond Hill, Queens and New York City as a whole. Punjab Avenue is located on 101 Avenue between 111th Street and 123rd Street.

“It is important that New York City’s diverse communities see themselves and their varying cultures represented in the historical landscape,” said Adams. “The co-naming of Punjab Avenue is a long overdue recognition for the contributions of the Punjabi community both locally and throughout the city.”

“The co-naming of 101st Avenue between 111th Street and 123rd Street in Richmond Hill as Punjab Way is a wonderful way to recognize the contributions of the Punjabi community in Queens and New York City,” said Weprin. “I am so proud to join Council Member Adrienne Adams for this culturally significant street co-naming and thank her for her work to highlight the remarkable diversity we have in the world’s borough, Queens.”

Mayor Launches NYC Election Observers Corps 

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday the launch of the New York City Election Observers Corps, a volunteer effort to bolster voter protection efforts across the city. 

“The right to vote must be protected. That is a core, fundamental responsibility of any government,” said de Blasio. “The Election Observer Corps will add to the efforts of invaluable community groups that have worked for years to ensure voters know their rights. Voter intimidation is a crime and we will stand united together as a City to protect voters.”

The NYC Election Observers Corps will recruit civically-minded New Yorkers to be trained by DNYC and the Law Department to serve as volunteer, non-partisan observers outside poll sites throughout the city. On Election Day, November 3, volunteer observers will be available to direct voters to relevant voter assistance hotlines and notify appropriate channels about any instance of voter intimidation, suppression, or harassment.

NYC Election Observers Corps volunteers will report instances of voter intimidation to a group of central staff, who will coordinate with law enforcement, the State Attorney General and the Board of Elections as needed. DNYC will lead the effort and will coordinate with other non-partisan election protection operations where appropriate.