Queens Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 5, 2021

Queens County City Council News

Comrie Helps Pass Legislation to Address Racial Disparities in Healthcare

State Senator Leroy Comrie

State Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Briarwood, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Hillcrest, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) and the Senate Democratic Majority advanced legislation to close the racial disparities gap in healthcare, building on Comrie’s continued work to protect the healthcare rights of all New Yorkers. 

This package will enact cultural education training for medical professionals, establish programs to recognize healthcare disparities, examine environmental effects of urban settings on public health, review changes in hospital services, and encourage equity in the addiction treatment services. These bills will also enact an evaluation of ethnic disparities in infant mortality and breastfeeding to enhance the quality of  healthcare services in New York and provide the necessary protections, and support these underserved communities need.

“Healthcare disparities have always existed,” said Comrie. “COVID-19 only exacerbated what we’ve long known to be true. Communities of color deserve equal access to treatment and health literacy.

The legislation passed by the Senate Majority includes: Cultural Education for Medical Professionals (bill S.1352); Collaboration Programs to Address Healthcare Disparities (bill S.1374); Interagency Taskforce on Health Literacy: (bill S.1407); Health Equity Assessment For Certificate of Need Applications (bill S.1451); Minority Coordinating Council on Asthmatic Affairs (bill S.410A); Study of Asthma in Cities (bill S.646A); Addiction Treatment Equity (bill S.679A); Study of Ethnic Disparities in Infant Mortality (bill S.879); Study of Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding (bill S.1296

Adams Issues Statement on Firing of NYPD Official 

City Council Member Adrienne Adams

City Councilmember Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park), Chair of the Committee on Public Safety issued a joint statement with Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), and City Councilmember Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx), Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Investigations, on the firing of NYPD Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel over racist and misogynistic online posts:   

“NYPD Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel, whose racist, misogynistic and homophobic language disqualified him from public service, should have been fired immediately. The NYPD must work to bring real reform to policing, including fairer and more transparent disciplinary and accountability systems. This case, which was uncovered by the Council’s Oversight and Investigations Committee, illustrates the need for robust independent oversight into the NYPD, and its value in rooting out biased police officers. The Council will continue its oversight into the NYPD and is looking forward to hearings on its legislative package of police reform bills this month.”

Meng Tries to Lower Voting Age to 16

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) announced on Thursday that she reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives to lower the voting age in America to 16 years old.

Meng’s measure seeks to replace the 26th amendment to the United States Constitution with a new amendment that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.

“Our young people, including 16- and 17-year-olds, continue to fight and advocate for so many issues that they are passionate about from gun safety to the climate crisis,” said Meng. “They have been tremendously engaged on policies affecting their lives and their futures. Their activism, determination, and efforts to demand change are inspirational and have truly impacted our nation. It’s time to give them a voice in our democracy by permitting them to be heard at the ballot box. 16- and 17-year-olds are legally permitted to work and drive. They also pay federal income taxes. I believe that it is right and fair to also allow them to vote. Let’s let them be heard and make their voices count. Let’s give them a say in choosing who they want their government representatives to be.”

Constitutional amendments require passage by two-thirds of the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the nation’s state legislatures. If enacted, the voting age would be lowered for federal, state and local elections. The last time that the voting age was lowered was when it went from 21 to 18 in 1971.  

Meng’s legislation, which includes 17 original cosponsors, can be viewed here.

Addabbo to Co-Host Notice of Property Value Outreach

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) is partnering with the NYC Department of Finance (DOF) to bring a Notice of Property Value virtual outreach session to his constituents later this month. 

On Tuesday, February 16 residents can log on to the virtual seminar to have their questions answered regarding their Notice of Property Value statement.

They will be able to learn more about:

  • Their market and assessed values;
  • How their taxes are calculated;
  • How to change a property’s description; and
  • How to save with property tax exemptions and abatements.

Those who need assistance with their Notice of Property Value should have their notice on hand at the time of the virtual session. Anyone who is interested in learning more about property tax exemptions and abatements and how to apply for them should have a photo ID, tax returns or proof of income for 2018 or 2019 for all owners, DD214 or discharge papers (for veterans), and trust documents (if applicable).

“Property values are seemingly always changing and are a very important piece of information for any homeowner,” Addabbo said. “That’s why it is vital that residents are up to date on their property values and know what they owe.”

The virtual outreach session will take place on February 16 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. To register, visit https://bit.ly/nopv021621

There are other sessions available as well at other times and different dates. To find out more about the additional dates and times, call Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.