NY Lawmakers on the Move June 1, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

QBP Richards to outline plans for stronger, fairer Queens in state of the borough address

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards will highlight both the significant progress we have made to build back better as a borough over the first 18 months of his tenure and his bold, comprehensive vision for a stronger, fairer Queens during his State of the Borough address slated fort this Friday.

“From the ruins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queens is rising faster and higher than anyone thought was possible just a few short years ago. Together, we’re tackling inequity across our spectrum and putting all our families, regardless of ZIP code, on the path to prosperity,” said Richards. “Queens takes a back seat to no one. Queens leads. Our historic comeback is well underway, and I couldn’t be more excited to lay out our plans to build on our shared successes this Friday.”

The program will feature a diverse array of musical and dance performances, courtesy of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Concert Choir + Dance, the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Center, Jonathan Gomez and Gregorio Uribe, the Devore Dance Company and The Bartlett Contemporaries.

Elected officials providing remarks prior to Richards’ State of the Borough address include U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Queens Borough President Ebony Young and LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams.

The event is slated for 10 a.m., Friday, June 3 at the LaGuardia Community College Performing Arts Center, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, in Long Island City, Queens.

Meng lights up Empire State Building to bring attention to Anti-Asian hate

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens), to mark the final day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, yesterday flipped the switch to light up the top of the Empire State Building to continue bringing attention to the ongoing hate and violence against Asian Americans.

Meng took part in a lighting ceremony with Empire State Building officials, delivered remarks about the importance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and combating anti-Asian hate, and turned-on the ceremonial switch for the lights which will be displayed on the iconic building last night from sunset to 2 a.m.

The color of the lights were a combination of blue and yellow. 

“I thank officials at the Empire State Building for commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and standing in solidarity with the Asian American community as we continue to endure despicable acts of bigotry and violence,” said Meng. “It was an honor to join them and I thank The Asian American Foundation for their partnership and work as well. In lighting the towers of the building, we not only celebrate our heritage, but honor the victims of these senseless attacks, and underscore our commitment to standing up to xenophobia and racism whenever and wherever they occur. It also sends the message to the country and the world that there is no place for hate anywhere in our society.”

Myrie on the Senate passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) yesterday lauded the State Senate on voting to pass S.1046-E, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York:

“The right to vote is under attack in statehouses across this nation. But as our hearings and report demonstrated last year, New York has a long history of voter suppression, discrimination and disenfranchisement. The Voting Rights Act of New York, named in tribute to John R. Lewis, will enact the strongest voter protections of any state in the country and provide legal recourse for voters whose rights are denied or abridged. We’re fighting for the VRA not to favor any political party or ideology, but instead because we know the right to vote is the sacred underpinning of our system of government. With the federal government increasingly unable to advance voting rights, states must step into the void, and I’m incredibly proud the Senate has passed the VRA,” said Myrie.

“Make no mistake: democracy is on the line, but New York voters should know that your government will always defend and strengthen your right to participate and be heard.”

The VRA contains the strongest voter protections of any state in the country. Recent coverage about the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York can be read here and here.

Stewart Cousins, Persaud host from slavery to Juneteenth exhibit 

State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (d-Westchester) and Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Brooklyn) yesterday announced an exhibition in the New York State Legislative Office Building entitled “From Slavery to Juneteenth”, which showcases the atrocities of slavery, the fight for freedom and the effects of Emancipation.  

The exhibition, produced in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library, will be on display on the large wall in The Well of the Legislative Office Building (188 State Street, Albany) from Tuesday, May 31 through Tuesday, June 21.

“In 2020, New York State made Juneteenth a public holiday because it is important that we reflect on our country’s complex history,” Stewart-Cousins said.  “Oftentimes this period in American history is met with trepidation because it is so painful and the wounds are still felt, but Juneteenth is a significant moment in American history because ultimately, it is a celebration of freedom. It is my honor to collaborate with Senator Roxanne Persaud, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library on this exhibit which will give the public an opportunity to learn about Black Americans journey from slavery to freedom and how it is an intrinsic part of the American story.”

“I am honored to collaborate with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins on this historic exhibition at our State Capitol” said Persaud. “As New Yorkers get ready to commemorate Juneteenth Freedom Day, we remember the atrocities faced by our African ancestors and their struggles for freedom.  Forcibly removed from their native lands, enslaved, separated from their families and culture, exploited, beaten and killed at whim, the strength and perseverance of these disenfranchised Africans transcended their bondage and limitations. This exhibit provides the public with the opportunity to experience the journey to from slavery to freedom.”

AM Rosenthal announces passage of legislation to prevent child strangulation deaths

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) yesterday announced that her bill, Brendan’s Law, named after 2-year-old Brendan McCarthy, who was strangled to death in 2010 on the cord of a window blind, has passed both Houses of the Legislature and now heads to the Governor for signature. 

The bill, once it is signed, will require state-operated facilities for children, such as day care facilities and boarding homes, will be required to use and install cordless blinds or window coverings only.

“I introduced this legislation years ago, after Brendan’s grieving mother came to my office and shared the tragic story of losing her son, who was only 2 years old when he was strangled to death by the cords of the window blinds in his room,” said Rosenthal. “Brendan’s death rocked his Long Island community, and it was preventable. My legislation will help to prevent countless other needless deaths by ensuring that every facility for children uses blinds without cords. It’s simple: no matter how short the industry makes them, corded blinds and window coverings continue to pose a serious – and entirely avoidable – risk to our children’s’ safety.”

Between 1990 and 2015, more than 16,000 children in the United States sustained injuries related to window blinds that required treatment in the emergency room. In that time, 127 children died in that time.

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