Queens Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 28, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Rozic Announces “Proximity Bill” Signed into Law

Assembly Member Nily Rozic

State Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) announced last week that her legislation with State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) to ensure that incarcerated parents are placed in facilities closest to the home of their children was signed into law. 

There are more than 100,000 children in New York that have at least one parent in state prison with the majority of these individuals housed in facilities that are hours away from their children and families. The bill passed both houses of the State Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this year.

“The signing of the Proximity Bill is a step forward in making visiting more convenient and affordable for families experiencing the strain of separation along with their loved ones who are incarcerated. This new law will go a long way in not only maintaining family bonds but also improving successful reentry and family reunification all while reducing recidivism in New York,” said Rozic.

The Proximity Bill would require the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to place parents who are incarcerated in correctional facilities in close proximity to their children and in turn encourage visitation. Consistent, ongoing contact in the form of in-person visits is a critical factor in determining whether a family will reunite after incarceration. Research also demonstrates visits decrease disciplinary infractions and lower recidivism rates.

Of incarcerated people, those who receive no visitors have a 50 percent chance of making it a year on parole without an arrest. That number climbs to 70 percent for those with at least three visits. Additionally, 63 percent of people in state prison are placed in facilities more than 100 miles from their families and distance from home is a strong predictor for whether a person in a state prison will receive a visit in a given month.

Grodenchik Reports Expansion of PS 46Q to Start

City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik

City Councilmember Barry S. Grodenchik (D-Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) said last week that the long-awaited construction to add a new wing to PS 46Q was scheduled to begin.

The expansion of the elementary school, also known as the Alley Pond School, will bring 440 seats, as well as a number of specialty classrooms and suites for students and staff. The new wing of the building will include an elevator, making the entire facility accessible.

The new addition is the result of support from Grodenchik, New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) President and Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Grillo, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Central Queens), and Assemblymember Nily D. Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows). PS 46Q principal Stamo Karalazarides requested the expansion to accommodate the growing student body.

The SCA anticipates work to begin with the installation of a temporary and protective fence around the playground perimeter; tree protection in the playground; and installation of a temporary ramp on 219th Street. The project is expected to be complete in time for the September 2023 school year.

BP Richards Announces COVID Testing at Boro Hall

City Council Member Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced that no-cost, no-appointment COVID-19 testing is returning to Queens Borough Hall for a second week on Monday.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Richards is proud to continue his partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals Test and Trace Corps to encourage Queens residents to get tested regularly. 

Queens Borough Hall is located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Testing hours are Monday, December 28 through Wednesday, December 30 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday, December 31 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be no testing on Friday, January 1. 

Sanders Wishes Happy Kwanzaa

State Senator James Sanders Jr. Photo from nysenate.gov

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D–Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Edgemere, Bayswater, Arverne and Far Rockaway) sent out a message over the weekend wishing those who observe a happy Kwanzaa:

“I would like to extend my warmest thoughts and wishes to those observing the holiday of Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa represent some of the values that many of us hold dear — Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

As you light the Kinara in the spirit of Umoja, or unity, may you be blessed with good health and happiness that continues throughout the holiday and into the new year.

Yours in Service,

NYS Senator James Sanders Jr.”