Queens Lawmakers on the Move Nov. 13, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Ramos, Kim, Richards, Van Bramer, Constantinides Join Call to #SaveOurSmallBiz

State Sen. Jessica Ramos
Assemblymember Ron Kim/Facebook
City Council Member Donovan Richards
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer/Facebook
City Council Member Costa Constantinides

State Senator Jessica Ramos, State Assemblymember Ron Kim, Queens Borough President-Elect Donovan Richards, and New York City Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides and joining the Western Queens Small Business Council and small business owners, and business advocates from throughout the borough to lead a call to action to provide immediate small business relief during the second wave of COVID-19. 

The small business community is very concerned about the rising cases of COVID-19 in the city and state but it is alarmed by the governor’s decision this week to announce further restrictions on bars, restaurants and gyms with almost no evidence to back up the restrictions, the group of lawmakers, business owners and advocates said. Any restrictions, including restrictions on the amount of time businesses are allowed to operate or any other regulations that reduce their capacity must be met with financial relief, they said.

The press conference will be held on Friday, November 13 at 3 p.m. at Little Chef Little Cafe 5-43 48th Avenue in Long Island City.

Holden Hosts Technology Hearing

City Council Member Bob Holden

City Councilmember Robert Holden, Chair of the Committee on Technology, and the committee are holding a hearing on Friday to discuss multiple items. 

The committee will hold an oversight hearing about the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence and automated decision systems. They will also discuss a bill that would regulate the sale of automated employment decision tools. Please see agenda for details. 

The virtual hearing will take place on Friday, November 13 at 1 p.m. in Virtual Room 1.

Sanders Nominates Local Vet for Hall of Fame

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) nominated Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer (Surface Warfare) Bernard Boowah Chong of Springfield Gardens for induction into the 2020 New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. 

Officer Chong is currently a member of the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483 in Queens, New York and helps with its food pantry program. He also mentors youth in the community.

“I am proud to recognize Bernard Boowah Chong for his dedication to serving our country and our community,” said Sanders, who is a Marine Corps veteran. “He has done so much to help so many of us and is well deserving of this honor.”

Each year senators from across the state are asked to select a veteran from their district to be inducted into the NYS Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The honor was created to recognize and celebrate outstanding service members from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.

Addabbo Honors 99-Year-Old Veteran

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. honored the life and sacrifices of a local veteran by inducting him into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame on Veteran’s Day this past Wednesday. 

Addabbo presented Ermondo “Butch” Puccio — a 99-year-old Queens native — with the honor for serving in World War II.

“It was an honor and a privilege to be able to present Butch with this plaque and to thank him for his years of service to our country,” Addabbo, a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, said. “There are not too many of our World War II veterans left, so it meant a lot to recognize Ermondo for his service time during the world’s greatest conflict.”

Puccio was born on April 15, 1921, in Queens, and at the age of 21 he enlisted as a Private in the United States Army and completed his basic training at Camp Davis in North Carolina. Before being deployed to California in 1943, Puccio married his wife Jennie, and on August 28, 2020, they celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary.

During his years in service, Puccio spent time in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. While in combat, a .50 caliber machine gun fell on Puccio, injuring him. In January 1946, Puccio returned to the United States, and on February 2, 1946, he was honorably discharged from the Army, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant.

“Our veterans give up so much, including time at home with their families, while some make the ultimate sacrifice and lay down their lives for our country,” Addabbo concluded. “It is a great feeling to be able to give back to our veterans, and this induction into the NYS Veterans Hall of Fame for Butch is one small way that I can help honor a great soldier, especially on Veterans Day.”

BP Lee Hosts 11th Virtual Job Fair

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee is hosting the 11th “Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair” next week featuring more than a dozen employers and recruiters including Empire Vets, Food Bazaar and R.A.I.N. Total Care, Inc. 

The fair is part of an ongoing push to connect Queens job seekers with available employment opportunities.

Participants and viewers will hear brief presentations from employers and recruiters seeking to fill hundreds of positions in a variety of service fields including developmental support, transportation, retail, security and more.

The ongoing hiring push comes as Queens’ unemployment rate sits at 13.8 percent as of September, down from a high of 21.6 percent in June but up more than 10 percentage points from February’s 3 percent unemployment rate. According to the New York State Department of Labor, more than 2.04 million New York City residents have filed unemployment claims between March 8 and October 31.

Held every three weeks, the 11th virtual job fair will take place on Wednesday, November 18 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Prospective applicants interested in participating in the live interactive Q&A via Zoom Webinar must RSVP by Tuesday, November 17. Instructions on how to participate will be emailed within 48 hours to those who register.

The Jobs Recruitment Fair will be livestreamed. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided live by Sorenson Community Interpreting Services.

To view the videos of the previous fairs, visit the Queens Borough President’s website.