Queens Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 21, 2021

Queens County City Council News

Stavisky Lauds Advancement of Small Business Legislation

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Central Queens), together with the Senate Majority, advanced legislation to support small businesses that have taken the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This legislative package builds on legislation passed last summer, protecting small businesses from eviction and foreclosure with the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act. This measure protects restaurants from third-party delivery fees. The package also promotes the shared work eligibility program, freezes unemployment insurance rates, and establishes a partial-unemployment system.

“We have asked our small businesses, and especially our restaurants, to make unprecedented sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stavisky. “The recent rollout of vaccines is very encouraging, but we must stay vigilant. This legislative package protects small business, so they can continue to serve the community during what we hope is the virus’ final surge.”

More information on all the bills advanced in this package is available here.

BP Richards Raises Awareness About COVID-19

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards will join other elected officials and community leaders in holding a press conference to raise awareness about the prevalence of COVID-19 in Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park. 

The Borough President will also encourage local residents to take advantage of the distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) at the press conference, which can help protect them against the virus.

Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park are Queens’ neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

During the press conference, Richards will heighten awareness about the large number of COVID-19 cases in the neighborhood and encourage Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park residents to take the precautions that can protect them from infection and limit the spread of the virus in this vibrant community.

The press conference will be held Thursday, January 21 at noon at the Ozone Park/Lefferts Boulevard subway station on the A line.

Miller Holds Virtual MLK Day Programming

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, and Springfield Gardens) held his Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration via Zoom and Youtube this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program typically brings hundreds of attendees to the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. This year the program was worked into a virtual format, while still providing the same world-class entertainment and powerful tributes to Dr. King.

“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to provide this program virtually, as we all stay home and ride out the second-wave. Based on our viewership numbers, we were able to bring our MLK Day celebration to even more attendees than in previous years. Thanks to our talented performers, speakers, and staff, we were able to tell our story, and that of Dr. King, through the arts and music,” said Miller. “Dr. King spent a lifetime speaking on social and economic justice, the impact of racism in healthcare outcomes, and the importance of labor. His forward-thinking and fortitude in the face of darkness holds many lessons for us today as we battle dual pandemics: racism and COVID-19. As we renew our collective spirit in his teachings, we must continue to move forward with the example he set for us in mind.”

Guest speakers included U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, and State Senators Leroy Comrie and John Liu.

Richards served as the keynote speaker for the event and was introduced by his wife, Tameeka Richards. Prior to Richards’ keynote address, he was presented a congratulatory video on behalf of community leaders from Jamaica residents.

Local Boy Scout Troops 263, 144B, and 144G presented the Honor Guard, and Cydnee Buggs performed the National Anthem. Entertainment included dance performances by the Edge School of the Arts and the Dream Team Leaders, vocal performances by Christine Thomas and Andrew Clarke of Braata Productions, and musical performances by Joe’s Academy of Music and saxophonist Ashley Keiko Chambers.

The event was held through Zoom and was live-streamed on Youtube. A recording of the program can be found on YouTube and on the Council Member’s social media pages.

Meng Congratulates Biden on Inauguration Day

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) issued the following statement on Wednesday hailing the swearing in of President Biden:

“I congratulate Joe Biden on becoming the 46th President of the United States, and I cannot wait to partner with him and our new Vice President Kamala Harris to address the many critical issues impacting our country.

As I have said, I look forward to opening a new chapter in our history with the Biden-Harris administration. It will be an era that promises to be one of healing, hope, and opportunity for the American people.

President Biden will embrace and fight for all Americans, and will work tirelessly to get our nation and economy back on track. He will immediately implement a plan to combat the unprecedented challenges caused by the coronavirus, and he’ll waste no time in moving forward with his ambitious agenda to: strengthen and humanize our immigration system; expand health care; address climate change; transform our infrastructure; repeal the Muslim ban; and so many other bold initiatives.

Better days are ahead under President Biden’s leadership, and I look forward to working with him and his administration to improve the lives of my constituents in Queens and Americans everywhere.”