Queens Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 7, 2021

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo Optimistic After Cuomo’s Acceptance of Mobile Sports Betting

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) released a statement on Wednesday in response to Cuomo’s announcement that he accepts mobile sports betting:

“It is encouraging to hear that Governor Cuomo will embrace mobile sports betting in his State of the State Address. By legalizing mobile sports betting, New York will be able to reap the benefits of the economic gains it will create and help the state rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to increasing educational funding, addressing illegal activity in the state and assisting those with gaming addictions. I look forward to working with the Governor and his office to efficiently implement mobile sports betting for the people of New York.”

Holden Joins Council Committee on Public Safety

City Council Member Bob Holden

City Councilmember Robert Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside), who is also Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology, released a statement about his new position on the council’s Committee on Public Safety: 

“If we don’t have public safety in our city, we don’t have anything. Our city has lost its way, as many of our elected officials have turned their backs on public safety policies that kept the city safer for decades. That’s why I’ve decided to serve as a member of the New York City Council’s Committee on Public Safety. I will be a voice of reason, fighting for common-sense policy and safer streets for my constituents and for all New Yorkers.”

Gianaris Formally Nominates Stewart-Cousins as Senate Leader

Senator Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) began the 2021 State Senate session on Wednesday by formally nominating Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to continue serving as Senate Leader. 

Gianaris serves as the Senate’s Deputy Leader, the second-highest ranking member of the State Senate and highest-ranking Senator from New York City.

“Our first term in the majority was one of historic progressive achievement, recognized by New Yorkers who voted for an unprecedented supermajority for our conference,” said Gianaris. “I am privileged to nominate Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to continue her incredible tenure as our Leader as we push further into the future.”

Gianaris’ full remarks are available here.

Photos from Wednesday’s session are available here.

Stringer Emphasizes Need for COVID-19 Vaccine Standby Cohort

Comptroller Scott Stringer

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a statement about the standby cohort for vaccination: 

“New Yorkers deserve a vaccine rollout that is fast, transparent, and equitable. We have had months to prepare for the rollout. New York City must lead the nation in the vaccination effort — there’s no excuse for delay. 

“Yesterday I sent Mayor de Blasio a letter with recommendations to expedite COVID-19 vaccine rollout and reach as many New Yorkers as possible. I specifically called on the city to gather names for a standby cohort of high-risk individuals in case of bottlenecks and delays to immediately vaccinate as soon as the City gains permission. 

“I am pleased that the Mayor has now announced they will begin pre-registering seniors shortly, but I remain troubled that the City did not plan for this earlier. We can’t reopen our economy or get people back to work without widespread vaccination. Lives and livelihoods are at stake.

“The City should also develop a database to help hospitals and health care providers track demand and usage and potentially redistribute doses, and we need to double down on outreach to New Yorkers. Time and again we have seen that transparency and communication are our best public health tools. The City must invest in public education and work with community leaders to ensure New Yorkers know who is eligible, where to receive vaccinations, and how to register in advance.

“We must waste no time and waste no dose. This is the city that never sleeps. Let’s act like it.”

Rosenthal Appointed Chair of Food, Farm & Nutrition Policy Task Force

Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal

State Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Kew Gardens, Pomonok, Electchester, College Point and parts of Whitestone, Richmond Hill, Briarwood and Forest Hills) announced his new appointment on Wednesday as the Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy.

“The past year has exposed the massive food insecurity issues facing our communities,” said Rosenthal. “I am humbled to be appointed as chair of this task force as we work to create policy that expands access to healthy food, bridges the gap in food insecurity and supports New York’s local agricultural sector. Now more than ever, we must affirm our commitment to ensuring that no New Yorker goes hungry.”

A report by the New York State Health Foundation estimated that nearly 1 in every 10 New Yorkers faces some form of food insecurity. This number has been certainly exacerbated by the recent pandemic and its economic impacts. 

Rosenthal has organized numerous food distribution events across his district. Through supporting local pantries, highlighting farmers markets, and securing city and state resources for nonprofits in Queens, Rosenthal has been acutely aware of the issues facing his constituents. Recognizing the varying needs of his constituency, Rosenthal also worked to secure kosher and halal meal services at local city schools. Furthermore, he is the sponsor of several pieces of legislation that expand access to fresh produce in New York’s food deserts. 

In his new role as Chair of the Task Force, Rosenthal will focus his attention on expanding these efforts statewide. By leveraging the existing strong agricultural community in New York, he hopes to increase access to affordable, healthy food.

“In the past year, New York has demonstrated that it has the ability and resources to feed every member of our communities,” he said. “We must continue to build on this momentum to not only eliminate food insecurity, but expand access to healthy foods that are grown right here in our state. I thank Speaker Carl Heastie for his faith in me to lead this taskforce.”

Moya Holds Hearing on Land Use Applications

City Councilmember Francisco Moya .

City Councilmember Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona in Queens, including Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Lefrak City and LaGuardia Airport), Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, and the rest of the committee are holding a hearing on Thursday. 

The hearing will discuss two land use applications in Manhattan. For more information, see the agenda.

The remote hearing will be held on Thursday, January 7 at 10 a.m. in Virtual Room 1.