Queens Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 18, 2021

Queens County City Council News

Van Bramer to Hold Cultural Affairs Hearing

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer/Facebook

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills), Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations and the rest of the committee are holding a hearing on Thursday. 

The committee will discuss establishing a task force to create a Freedom Trail linking historical sites associated with the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroadin the city, requiring at least 50 percent of all chosen art works funded through the Percent for Art program to be installed outdoors, and creating a task force to consider the various factors involved in creating a memorial to frontline workers who died as a direct result of COVID-19.

See the agenda for more details.

The remote hearing will take place on Thursday, February 18 at 10 a.m. in  Virtual Room 3.

Meng Calls for Translation of COVID-19 Materials 

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 Wednesday the introduction of legislation that would require federal government agencies to translate into multiple languages all written COVID-19-related materials including resources on coronavirus vaccines that are produced for the public. 

“COVID-19 continues to ravage our nation, especially communities of color. To help close the health disparities these communities face, federal agencies must translate COVID-19-related materials into additional languages,” said Meng. “This is a necessary—and lifesaving—step that will reach those who may not possess English proficiency. I am proud that my bill has served as a basis for President Biden’s recent presidential memorandum to address cultural and linguistic barriers to COVID-19 relief and recovery, especially for Asian Americans. President Biden’s executive actions underscores the inequities of language access particularly in the fight against this COVID-19 pandemic. As our nation prepares to ramp up vaccine administration for every American, we must make sure no one is left behind. Ultimately, one’s grasp of the English language should never determine their ability and access to fighting against this pandemic. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and look forward to it becoming law.”

Congresswoman introduced this measure last Congress.

The COVID-19 Language Access Act would apply to any federal agency that receives coronavirus-related funding. It would mandate agencies to provide written resources in 20 languages including: Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Haitian, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Gianaris Speaks to Community Board 1

Senator Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) spoke at Queens Community Board 1’s Tuesday night meeting where he delivered an update on his efforts to further pandemic recovery. 

During his remarks, Gianaris talked about his efforts to push for more small business relief and prevent the siting of a new power plant in western Queens.

“Our small businesses have suffered greatly over the last year, as has our environment. I will continue fighting to get small businesses the relief they deserve, and to stop yet another fossil fuel plant on our waterfront” said Gianaris.

Gianaris also stressed his availability to assist local residents with vaccination appointments, unemployment applications and PPE supply.

To watch Senator Gianaris’ comments, click here.

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