Morning Political Odds & Ends, Nov. 15, 2021

Chalk loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends on black chalkboard
Black chalkboard with drawing of a loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends

Sanders Invites Residents to Redistricting Hearing 

State Senator James Sanders Jr. Photo from

State Sen. Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens), alongside several of his colleagues, is inviting the public to come and testify at the Independent Redistricting Meeting for Queens County this Wednesday.

Residents can testify in person or virtually – come tell the Commission about your communities and where they thrive. Please note: the sign-up deadline for this meeting is 3 p.m. today, Monday, Nov. 15. Proof of at least one dose of vaccination or negative COVID test within the last 72 hours is required to attend and testify in person.

The meeting is slated for 3 p.m., Nov. 17 at York College (CUNY) Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, Queens. Click here to register:

Fossella Backs Adams’ Pledge to Return Plainclothes Anti-Gun Unit

Staten Island Borough President-elect Vito Fossella

Staten Island Borough President-elect Vito Fossella last Friday voiced his strong support of Mayor-elect Adam’s promise to return the NYPD plainclothes anti-gun unit to the street.

“During our campaign for Borough President, I called for reintroducing the anti gun unit which is why I strongly support Mayor-Elect Adam’s commitment to getting violent criminals and guns off our streets and out of our neighborhoods,” said Fossella.

In response to the threats of violence from BLM leaders that have followed, Fossella added, “The threat of ‘bloodshed’, violence and chaos can not be tolerated and I commend Mayor-elect Adams for standing up against the radical, dangerous voices that have contributed to the lawlessness that is sweeping through our city.”

Fossella noted that last week an NYPD officer was assaulted in broad daylight by an individual in New Brighton, sending the officer to the hospital.

Concluded Fossella, “It’s time we put an end to the radical policies that are unraveling our quality of life. Mayor-elect Adam’s is setting the right tone and taking the right first steps, it’s up to Albany to follow suit and reverse the dangerous bail reform and discovery policies.”  

Colton on Belt Parkway Shooting, AG James Office to Investigate

Assemblymember William Colton
Attorney General Letitia James

Assemblyman William Colton (D- Brooklyn) visited Highway Patrol Unit 2 to present a citation to Detective Anthony Steward for exceptional service in arranging a funeral procession for the daughter of a Veteran.

“Little did I expect that on Thursday, November 11th at around 4:00 p.m. it would be reported that an officer from this same Highway Patrol Unit would be involved in a tragic incident. The Highway Patrol officer attempted to pull over a speeding driver on the Belt Parkway at Bay 8 Street. The driver refused to stop and when the officer cut in front of him and forced the driver to stop, he rear-ended the officer’s vehicle and sped off again. Officer called for a backup unit in pursuit. When the officers again cut him off, he exited his vehicle armed with a gun and walked toward the officers. He was ordered to drop the weapon but refused to do so. The man was fatally shot. Body cameras recorded the shooting,” Colton stated.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Letitia James’ office of special investigation ODI has opened an investigation into the death of Brian Astarita, the man who police shot dead.

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. 

Under the law, the officer may have been on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may have been armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not have been in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

These are preliminary facts and subject to change. 

Meng, Rozic Remind that Today is Child Tax Credit Deadline

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng
Assembly Member Nily Rozic

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens) is reminding families that today, Nov. 15 is the last day for families to seek the expanded Child Tax Credit this year.

Eligible families who filed taxes in 2019 or 2020 began receiving the monthly payments automatically in July. But those who have not filed a tax return or used the IRS non-filer portal to claim stimulus payments in 2020, must take action by the deadline in order to obtain the money. Click here for details.

The expanded Child Tax Credit is a critical tax cut to help working families as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. It was established in March by Congressional Democrats and President Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan which is the most recent coronavirus relief package that Meng helped to pass through Congress. It provides advanced monthly payments of up to $300 per month per child through December. The first payments started on July 15.

In October, there were an estimated 70,000 payments totaling $29.6 million that were sent to families in Meng’s congressional district in Queens, according to the Joint Economic Committee. Approximately 117,000 kids in the Congresswoman’s district qualified for the payments.

“The expanded Child Tax Credit has provided working families with critical relief as we continue our efforts to move past the pandemic,” said Meng. “Many families across the nation and throughout New York, including those in Queens, have benefited from these monthly payments which has put money back in their pockets to help with expenses so they can pay for child care, put food on the table, cover school costs or pay for many other necessities. Eligible families that have not received payments should act before the upcoming November 15 deadline.”

Van Bramer, Vallone Discuss Tourism at Joint Hearing

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer/Facebook
City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Members James Van Bramer (D-Queens), chair of the Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations; and Paul A.Vallone (D-Queens), chair of the Council’s Committee on Economic Development, today will hold a joint oversight hearing on New York City’s tourism industry and the COVID-19 crisis (update). 

The public remote hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, Nove. 15. Watch here

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