Political Odds & Ends Dec. 20. 2021


CM Adams on Shooting in Rochdale Village

City Councilmember Adrienne Adams

City Council Member Adrienne Adams (D-Queens), incoming Speaker of the City Council said yesterday she is monitoring the situation following the shooting of three men in an alleged drug deal gone wrong in the Rochdale Village Shopping Center near Baisley Blvd. and Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Queens.

All three victims are expected to survive.

“I have been in direct contact with the 113th Precinct about the shooting outside the Rochdale Village Mall this afternoon,” said Adams. “My prayers go out to the three individuals who were shot in an incident today. Life Camp and King of Kings Foundation are on the scene working with the community, and I thank them for their swift response alongside the NYPD. This underscores that gun violence is still very prevalent in our city – literally hitting close to home in this case.”

Braunstein Slams Proposed School in Bay Terrace

Assemblymember Edward Braunstein.

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein (D-Queens) on Friday slammed the de Blasio Administration for moving forward with the proposed school at 24th Avenue and Waters Edge Drive in Bay Terrace without substantively answering several concerns raised by his office and the local community. 

“First and foremost, the community expressed concerns about environmental impacts and how the traffic increase and transportation needs will be addressed. Only after the school received approval by the City Council did my office receive an abbreviated State Environmental Quality Review, which cites “significant” anticipated impacts on local traffic and parking conditions. The report draws this conclusion under the assumption that nearly all students will reside within a half-mile of the school, and that 41% of students would walk to school,” said Braunstein. 

“Additionally, the DOE has repeatedly cited a need for seats in the Beechhurst/College Point/Whitestone “subdistrict.” However, the DOE has also indicated that, with the expansion of P.S. 169/Bell Academy, the Bay Terrace neighborhood’s need for primary seats will be met. When pressed about what impact the new school will have on the population at P.S. 169 and admissions priority at Bell Academy, the DOE and SCA have failed to deliver any clear answers.

“Going forward, the City must fully address all of these concerns and better engage parents and stakeholders in the decision-making process related to this site. I urge the incoming Mayoral Administration to make strides to increase transparency in the City’s site selection process,” the lawmaker concluded.

Eugene Doubles Down on his COVID Resolution

Mathieu Eugene
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Brooklyn, a lifelong advocate for healthcare, on Friday made note of his legislation calling for separate medical units to deal with COVID and other infectious diseases due to epidemics and pandemics.

“Resolution 638 calls upon The New York Department of Health to create standalone medical centers or units for the treatment of patients with infectious disease due to epidemics, pandemics similar to COVID-19, and highly contagious and airborne diseases. We have all been witness to the horrible tragedy that came as a result of an overflow of COVID-19 patients that impacted the ability of medical facilities to provide the proper care for all of the patients in need of critical treatment. It is now up to us, as a governing body, to do what is necessary and create medical centers or units that can handle patient care in the event of a pandemic similar to COVID-19, epidemic, or spread of infectious disease,” said Eugene.

“This piece of legislation is one that I personally feel is essential to preparing our city for a better and more focused response to the next public health emergency. As public servants, we have a moral obligation to save lives, and I believe the creation of standalone medical centers or units will prove to be an invaluable resource in our city’s prompt response to the next health crisis. I am confident that this initiative will put our city at the forefront of public health crisis management and reshape how our medical infrastructure is able to respond to these emergencies.”

Meng Announced LaGuardia Airp[ort to receive Over $29M in Fed Funding

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced Saturday that $28.4 million from the recently enacted federal infrastructure bill is headed to New York to make much-needed improvements to LaGuardia Airport.

“I was proud to help pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act because I knew it would make a difference in our city, and I am glad to see this vital funding coming to LaGuardia,” said Meng. “This money will go a long way toward needed infrastructure improvements and jobs for New Yorkers, and I look forward to this funding benefiting the airport for decades to come.”

LaGuardia Airport will receive a similar tranche of funding from the historic bipartisan infrastructure law each year for the next five years, as part of a program for airport development. The tranche is likely to slightly vary from year to year, as the funding reflects annual enplanement totals. In addition to these guaranteed funds, LaGuardia can compete with other airports across the country for grants from an additional $5 billion nationally for terminal and landside improvements.

Clarke Issues Statement on Release of Hostages in Haiti

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), one of the co-chairs of the House Haiti Caucus and Caribbean Caucus – along with the other co-chairs – on Friday released the following statement regarding the release of the remaining 12 captured U.S. and Canadian missionaries in Haiti.

“We are profoundly grateful and relieved to learn that the final 12 hostages held in Haiti, who were abducted more than two months ago, were safely found yesterday. With their release, all 17 of the missionaries representing Christian Aid Ministries are able to return to their homes. These individuals, five of whom are children, ventured into Haiti for a noble cause: helping people in need. We wish them well as they recover from the trauma of the past two months, and we thank them for their dedication,” said the co-chairs. 

“Though this terrible chapter has concluded, the tragic conditions that have struck Haiti throughout the past year and enabled lawlessness of this degree persist. U.S. policy concerning Haiti must be rooted in building upon a partnership that will continue to promote democracy, human rights, and security throughout the nation. It is our hope and intention that efforts to support a Haitian-led democratic government’s stabilization and reemergence take priority for this administration. To prevent further tragedies, it is paramount we reimagine our approach and policies to supporting our Haitian neighbors,” they added.

Reilly, Tannousis Announce School Safety Legislation

Assemblymember Michael Reilly

Assemblymembers Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) and Michael Tannousis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) announced on Friday that they would draft and introduce legislation that would require schools and/or school districts throughout New York to notify school communities in a timely manner when a safety incident occurs in or near a school. 

The two lawmakers are introducing this legislation following a rash of safety incidents that have occurred at Staten Island schools in recent weeks, the most notable of which have been at Susan Wagner High School, where one recent altercation in front of the school involved a firearm.

This legislation would require school and/or school districts to notify school communities of incidents via letter, email, phone, or any other electronic methods that may be available.  These notifications would be required to describe the type of emergency protocol(s) implemented, its duration, the status of the incident, and whether law enforcement was notified.

“I have long advocated for increased safety in our public schools, as well as better accountability and transparency from the Department of Education,” said Reilly, who is the parent of two public school students and previously served as President of Staten Island’s Community Education Council 31.  “As a parent, I completely understand how scary it can be when school safety incidents occur and, subsequently, how frustrating it can be when school communities aren’t made aware of the incident until long after its occurrence.”

In 2019, Reilly introduced legislation to expand the New York City Department of Education’s use of their Online Occurrence Reporting System (OORS) so that school administrators can track incidents throughout the entirety of a student’s academic career and offer the support and resources necessary to prevent the recurrence of incidents.