Queens Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 10, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Van Bramer Holds Vote on Outdoor Space for Arts and Culture

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer/Facebook

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills), and the rest of the committee will hold a vote on several items on Thursday. 

The committee will vote on two bills regarding the use of outdoor space for arts and culture. See the agenda for more details. 

The virtual hearing will take place on Thursday, December 10 at 9 a.m. It will be held in Virtual Room 1.

Koslowitz Holds Rules, Privileges and Elections Committee Vote

City Council Member Karen Koslowitz

City Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Chair of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections (D-Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill), and the rest of the committee are holding a vote on Thursday.

The committee will vote on a preconsidered resolution amending rules of the Council in relation to changes in membership to the standing committees of the Council. See the agenda for more details. 

The remote hearing will take place on Thursday, December 10 at 10:30 a.m. in Virtual Room 1.

Koo, Moya Announce Flushing Waterfront District Agreement

City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook
City Councilmember Francisco Moya

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill), and Zoning Chair Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona in Queens, including Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Lefrak City and LaGuardia Airport), along with Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), Land Use Chair Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx), and labor unions announced on Wednesday that an agreement has been reached to ensure good jobs, community benefits and more for the Special Flushing Waterfront District – a 29-acre proposal that would bring waterfront access, environmental cleanup and new development to a decades-long isolated and polluted section of downtown Flushing.

Koo stated: “At long last, I am happy to announce an agreement between the applicants of the Special Flushing Waterfront District, organized labor, and members of the City Council that will ensure quality jobs in Flushing, public waterfront access, expanded open space, environmental cleanup, local workforce development, a long-term commitment to affordable housing, and more.

“The Special Flushing Waterfront District aims to revitalize the downtown Flushing waterfront – a barren and polluted manufacturing district comprised of construction parking lots, warehouses and empty lots, all along the Flushing Creek. For decades, planners have tried to activate this space in hopes of transforming it from a polluted brownfield into a publicly accessible waterfront connected to downtown Flushing that can be enjoyed by all.

“In recent months, my office has been in deep discussions with the applicants, our Land Use staff, labor groups, advocacy groups, council members, and other stakeholders, in hopes of reaching an agreement that would be realistic, fair, and considerate of the many community concerns we heard at the City Planning and City Council Zoning Subcommittee public hearings.

“As our city comes to terms with a second wave of COVID-19, rising unemployment, and a faltering economy, this project has the potential to revitalize the downtown Flushing economy at a time when we need it most. Our community has suffered long before COVID ever reached our shores. Now is the time to rebuild.”

The project calls for several community amenities, including jobs, waterfront access, workforce development, small business support, affordable housing, waterfront education and programming, community facility space, economic stimulus and tax revenue and environmental remediation.

Moya stated: “As I stated from the very beginning, it would have been irresponsible to approve this application without commitments to provide good-paying jobs for local community members and deep community benefits like real affordable housing. I have always stood by my brothers and sisters in labor, 32BJ and HTC. That’s why it was imperative that we reach a deal that met these demands. COVID hit NYC hard, especially the communities we represent, and the path forward is ensuring opportunities are available to get us back on our feet. That means good-paying jobs and supporting our small businesses by expanding their customer base. This is the time to start rebuilding for the future.”

Meng Helps Bring Union Jobs to Flushing 

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) on Wednesday issued the following statement about helping to bring union jobs to the Flushing waterfront project:

“Over the past several months, I worked to bring all of the project’s stakeholders together, and I’m pleased that these efforts helped to result in an agreement being reached. From the public waterfront access to more affordable housing to the increase in union jobs, this is a much better project for our Flushing and Queens community than we would have gotten as of right (without the approval). I hope that this project will allow our community to benefit from and enjoy responsible growth and success like other neighborhoods already do. I want to thank Speaker Johnson and Councilman Koo for their leadership and Chairman Moya and the Subcommittee members for their vote today.”