Queens Lawmakers on the Move October 27, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Ocasio-Cortez to Distribute Food in Corona

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) will distribute food in Corona to help meet the needs of this community that was so hard hit by COVID-19 and the subsequent economic distress on Tuesday. 

She will be joined by Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Corona, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights), State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Jackson Heights, Corona, Astoria, Woodside, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst), Democratic candidate for Assembly District 34 Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (D-Jackson Heights, Woodside, East Elmhurst), and representatives from Make the Road NY, a Queens based community organization dedicated to building the power of working class and immigrant communities.

The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress Campaign has distributed over 80,000 meals and bags of pantry items — including fresh produce — since the beginning of the pandemic, partnering with the Hungry Monk Rescue Truck and the Street Vendor Project to source food pantry supplies and fresh produce. See a video on our efforts here

Koo Calls for Flushing Busway to be Delayed

City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook

Councilmember Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill) stated the following regarding the recent confirmation that the DOT will move ahead with implementing the Main Street, Flushing busway despite community opposition:

“We asked the DOT to delay the implementation of the busway while our community continues to suffer disproportionately from the pandemic, however we recently received confirmation that the DOT has decided to implement the busway over our community’s objections. The mayor has described his efforts to create this busway as an ‘urgent need,’ but he is content to ignore so many other pressing issues our community faces every day such as rising unemployment, shuttered businesses, and countless illegal street vendors overwhelming our streets who sell everything from potato peelers to parasite-filled live crabs right off the sidewalk. This is the wrong plan at the wrong time and could be the dagger in the heart of what was once a vibrant Flushing community.”

Stringer Calls on NYCHA to Protect Tenants During Winter Amid COVID-19

Comptroller Scott Stringer

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer (D) called on Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and NYCHA Chair and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Russ on Monday to address alarming ventilation deficiencies and other conditions in NYCHA buildings that leave residents vulnerable to a potential second wave of COVID-19 during the winter months. 

In his letter, Stringer called on the agency to expedite capital projects that address chronic issues across New York City’s 326 public housing developments – from poor ventilation and elevator outages, to broken boilers and mold outbreaks – that will become even more dangerous when colder weather keeps residents indoors.

Conditions in many NYCHA buildings fall alarmingly short of the standards set by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) current COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. Defunct ventilation systems do not provide the airflow that is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and respiratory conditions like asthma. Elevator outages force residents to crowd into a smaller number of available, functional elevators, preventing social distancing and increasing the likelihood of viral spread. Broken boilers and heating systems lead to cold temperatures that can further exacerbate respiratory illnesses and leave residents immunocompromised and susceptible to infection.

Stringer also called for a concentrated effort to supply PPE and meal delivery to NYCHA tenants and ensure residents are protected from a possible “second wave”.

The full letter from Stringer to de Blasio and Russ is available below and here. To view a livestream video of Comptroller Stringer’s announcement, click here.

BP Lee Launches Coat Drive

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, in partnership with all 14 Queens Community Boards, has announced the launch of a boroughwide coat drive to support families in need as the cold weather months approach.

From now through Friday, November 13, New Yorkers can drop off new adult and children’s coats in the lobby of Queens Borough Hall at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., as well as at the offices of each participating Queens Community Board. 

The locations of each participating Queens Community Board office, along with the dates and times donated coats can be dropped off, are:

  • Community Board 2: 43-22 50th St., Suite 2B in Woodside
  • By appointment only (718-533-8773)
  • Community Board 4: 46-11 104th St. in Corona
  • By appointment only (718-760-3141)
  • Community Board 7: 133-32 41st Road, Suite 3B, in Flushing
  • Weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM
  • Community Board 8: 197-15 Hillside Ave. in Hollis
  • By appointment only (718-264-7895)
  • Community Board 9: Queens Borough Hall (drop-off in lobby)
  • Weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM
  • Community Board 10: 115-01 Lefferts Blvd. in South Ozone Park
  • Mondays between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM
  • Community Board 12: 90-28 161st St. in Jamaica
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Constantinides Announces a Reimagined Hallets Cove Waterfront

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) and the Economic Development Corporation on Monday announced that work will begin early next year to revitalize the Hallets Cove waterfront. 

The highly anticipated investment will both improve the quality of life around the NYCHA Astoria Houses as well as connect western Queens residents with the East River.

“The days of Hallets Cove as a crumbling dumping ground are over,” said Constantinides.

The Office of Management and Budget recently released the funds to commence habitat restoration in early 2021. Construction crews will finally remove debris and trash, restore the riverbank’s ecology, and take down a decaying pier known as the “radio tower.” Built almost 70 years ago but long closed to the public due to its rotting condition, the radio tower has embodied how physically and emotionally cut off western Queens residents are from the East River.

Work undertaken after Monday’s announcement will revitalize the waterfront and restore the natural condition of this cove in response to community advocacy.  Residents have long fought to stop illegal dumping in the area, which sits near Vernon Boulevard and 30th Road. Constantinides has sought to build a coalition around cleaning up the cove since he took office in 2014. Starting in 2015, his office has allocated $1 million to the revitalization, while former Borough President Melinda Katz invested another $3 million.

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