Queens Lawmakers on the Move Nov. 24, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Ocasio-Cortez Honors Jackson Heights Jewish Center

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ( honored the centennial of the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights with a speech on the House Floor on Friday.  

The Center was founded as the Queens Independent Society in 1920 when a few Jewish families looked for a safe place to congregate. The Center was first called the Queens Independent Society because the term Jewish was not permitted at that time. The original building itself was based in Woodside, an adjacent neighborhood to Jackson Heights, because Jews were not welcome in Jackson Heights. However, in 1928, the Center was able to rename itself the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights and in the 1950s they officially moved their brick and mortar into Jackson Heights. Today the Center is known in the community as an inclusive and accepting space, hosting a number of diverse community events throughout the year as well as housing the Queens Center for Gay Seniors.

The video of her remarks can be viewed here.

BP Lee Announces Lactation Pod at Queens Borough Hall

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee announced on Monday the purchase and slated installation of a publicly accessible lactation pod at Queens Borough Hall, ensuring a private space to nurse a child or express milk. 

Constructed by lactation suite design company Mamava, the pod is scheduled for installation by December 2020 at the indoor entrance to the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall.

Upon the nursing station’s opening, parents in need of a private space — including city employees at Queens Borough Hall as well as visitors — will be able to find the pod’s location, check its occupancy status, unlock its door, control ventilation and more by using Mamava’s free mobile app. The spacious, ADA-accessible suite — nearly 10 feet wide and more than 7 feet tall — also has its own charging station to power lactation pumps that require electricity. The pod will be maintained by the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

“Establishing a private space for nursing city employees and visitors to Borough Hall, the civic center of Queens, is about moving us closer to the values of dignity and fairness we all hold dear,” said Lee.

Borough President Lee’s purchase expands on New York City Local Law 94 of 2016 — co-sponsored by Queens Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz, Barry Grodenchik and Eric Ulrich — which required lactation spaces be made available to members of the public at various locations where the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, NYC Department of Social Services and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene offer services.

Miller Hosts COVID-19 Testing, Turkey Distribution

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Councilmember I. Daneek Miller will host his annual turkey distribution this year featuring a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals to provide COVID-19 testing. 

Thanks to generous local sponsors –– Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056, Mattone Investors, Royal Waste Services, Inc., Zara Realty, American Recycling, Omni New York LLC, BRP Companies, Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, Artimus, Showing Hearts Foundation, and the Vulcan Society –– a total of 1,200 turkeys (including halal) will be distributed to the community. All participants will be strongly encouraged to be tested for COVID-19, given DOHMH guidelines that all New Yorkers be tested regardless of symptoms and as we face the potential of a second wave. Information on how and where to get tested, as well as a bag of PPE (sanitizer and masks), will be distributed.

The turkey distribution and COVID-19 testing will take place at Shiloh Baptist Church located at 173-70 106th Avenue in Jamaica on Tuesday, Novemeber 24. 

The COVID-19 testing will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 4 p.m. The turkey distribution begins at 1:00 PM.

Constantinides Chairs Oversight Hearing on Offshore Wind Power

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

City Councilmember Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, and the rest of the committee will hold an oversight hearing on offshore wind power on Tuesday. 

For more information, see the agenda.

The remote hearing will take place on Tuesday, November 24 at 11 a.m. in Virtual Room 2.