Queens Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 25, 2021

Queens County City Council News

Ramos Holds Jackson Heights Town Hall

State Sen. Jessica Ramos

State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Jackson Heights, Corona, Astoria, Woodside, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst) is holding a virtual town hall on Monday for constituents who live in Jackson Heights.

The town hall will discuss issues that matter to the neighborhood and will be in English. 

The virtual town hall will be held on Monday, January 25 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. 

To register for the town hall in advance, go to this Zoom registration link. 

Meng Issues Statement on Biden’s Actions to Combat Hunger

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 Saturday issued the following statement after President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order to help working families have access to nutritious meals.

“Food insecurity during COVID-19 has brought immeasurable pain for millions of families. It breaks my heart that anyone—especially children—would go to sleep on an empty stomach. But this is a gut-wrenching reality for so many Queens and New York families,” said Meng. “President Biden is making real progress and using the levers of government to help those most in need. Last year, I led numerous letters urging the previous administration to take critical action to address the hunger crisis in our country. I applaud today’s action and look forward to working on the next coronavirus relief package to help millions of families facing food insecurity.”

Specifically, the Executive Order (EO) urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue new guidance that would help 12 million people receive enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. While Congress authorized emergency increases to SNAP, this was not available to the lowest income households. The EO corrects this error.

It also urges the USDA to issue new guidance that would expand Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) by 15 percent to accurately reflect the cost of missing meals and make it easier for families to access this program.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act that Meng supported permits temporary food benefits under the P-EBT program for households with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals. The benefit applies to private, parochial and charter school students who received free school lunches. Last year, the benefit provided New York City public school parents with $420 per child.

Those who need to replace their P-EBT card should call 1-888-328-6399 or visit New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website.

Gianaris, Mamdani Visit Astoria Businesses 

Senator Michael Gianaris
State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) and State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani (D-Astoria) joined the Save our Storefronts coalition to visit small businesses throughout Astoria on Friday. 

The visits came just days after the Senate passed a commercial eviction moratorium and other measures aimed at helping small businesses survive during the covid-19 pandemic.

“Earlier this week we passed a small business relief package that is just a down payment on what they need to survive,” said Gianaris. “I was pleased to spend the afternoon talking to local entrepreneurs with the Save our Storefronts coalition to discuss what more needs to be done.”

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a series of measures aimed at protecting small businesses, including a commercial eviction moratorium. 

“Hearing the concerns of Astoria small business owners with the Save our Storefronts coalition was powerful,” said Mamdani. “It is vital that we not only pass bills that prevent eviction, but also prioritize a budget that gives them the financial relief they so desperately need.”

For photos of the tour, click here.