NY Lawmakers on the Move, June 24, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Comrie to host art exhibition featuring Jamaican Artist Courtney Morgan 

State Senator Leroy Comrie

Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Queens) and Complete Home Care Services, Inc., on Sunday will host an art exhibition and wellness event featuring Jamaican visual artist Courtney Morgan.

The art exhibition will include more than twenty artworks by Morgan, an acclaimed Jamaican visual artist and founding member of the Trafalgar Artists Group of Jamaica. Morgan’s artworks have been collected by figures like performing artist Roberta Flack, corporations, and heads of government; Morgan’s work has been exhibited by the Jamaican embassy in Washington DC at exhibitions by each Jamaican ambassador since 1991. 

The wellness portion of the event will include sharing information and resources for health issues that disproportionately impact the Southeast Queens community including diabetes, hypertension, and COVID-19 — sharing community-focused health and wellness information and educational resources.  

“I welcome this opportunity to celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month, lifting up both the arts and wellness in our community, and providing a timely celebration of an artist whose works grace the walls of private collectors, C-suites, and embassies,” said Comrie.

The event is slated for between 3-7 p.m., Sunday, June 26 at Complete Home Care Services, 117-03 203rd Street, St. Albans, Queens.

AM Rosenthal hails FDA’s ruling banning the sale of JUUL vapes

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) yesterday hailed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s ruling banning the sale of JUUL vape products.

“Finally! I am immensely gratified that the (FDA) has dealt Juul a death blow by ordering it to stop selling its vaping products on the US market. Since I introduced in 2009 the state’s first bill regulating e-cigarette sales, I, along with countless advocates, have been sounding the alarm about Juul and its deceptive and manipulative marketing,” said Rosenthal.

“Juul is almost single-handedly responsible for the vaping crisis among this country’s youth. Ripping a page out of Big Tobacco’s playbook, Juul aggressively and recklessly marketed its products to young people and teens, with the hopes of hooking the next generation on nicotine products.

“While I am pleased the FDA finally took this long overdue step to finally end Big Tobacco 2.0’s stranglehold on the market, so much damage has already been done. In the last decade, vaping products have flooded the market and millions of teens and young people have struggled with health problems associated with e-cigarette use.

“Just like you can’t put the vape back in the pen, we cannot put the vaping genie back in the bottle, but we can commit to addressing the continuing public health crisis caused by Big Tobacco 2.0, by investing resources in prevention, education and treatment and recovery services. And no doubt Juul will sue to contest the FDA’s decision. I will continue to lead this fight and work with my colleagues to provide support to young people and adults who need assistance on their journey to stop vaping.”

Colton slams DOE’S lottery high school admissions process

Assemblymember William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) said yesterday he is enraged with the DOE’s lottery high school admissions process.

“In 2020 when the prior City Administration and the DOE Chancellor had announced extensive changes to the middle and high school application process, we knew that it was going to be a problem, but not to the extent where students putting their 12 choices on the application would find all 12 would be rejected! Instead, students were placed in low-performing schools or into schools that have nothing to do with their interest,” Colton stated.

“Children that are members of the National Junior Honor Society, or the ones that have high achievements report cards, or straight “A” students were not screened accurately and were placed into schools that have low academic performance. The DOE’s lottery high school admission process has destroyed many students’ dreams. Parents had complained that there was limited or no information on the admission process. The system was implemented to ensure equality, but we see the opposite, where kids that worked hard all those years to achieve their dreams have encountered fewer or no opportunities. The City Administration has failed them,” he added.;

Colton said the admissions process together with the recent cuts to individual school budgets, has created an alarming crisis at the very time when the state has given historic increases of $600 million in aid to NYC schools funds. 

“I am very disturbed by complaints from countless parents and students about the high school admissions policies. My office has been attempting to assist families who have come to us with complaints and the DOE responses have been unacceptable. Therefore, I am calling on all the parents to unite and protest these outrageous policies which are hurting so many vulnerable children. It should be the student’s decision on a school selection, not the City Administration or the DOE. Together we can win this fight,” the lawmakers said.

Addabbo hosts free events to get residents free legal counsel

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) is partnering with the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to bring free legal help to constituents with two free events next month. 

NYLAG staff are able to provide free legal assistance on civil issues related to: Housing (tenant only), Foreclosure, mortgage and homeowner tax and lien issues, Public Benefits, Disability Benefits, Healthcare Benefits, Identity Theft, Debt Management, Consumer Credit, Immigration, Domestic Violence, Divorce, Custody and Visitation, Child support, Employment, and Advance Planning.  

“It may be difficult navigating the legal process, and you may not know what do next or where to turn to get answers to questions you may have. NYLAG is an organization that helps people with their legal issues and provides free counsel to them,” Addabbo said. “As a former practicing lawyer, I know how important it is to get sound legal advice, which is why I partner with NYLAG to provide that advice to my constituents.” 

During NYLAG’s visit to the Deshi Senior Center, NYLAG representatives will speak to constituents who visit the Mobile Legal Help Center to see if they can help with the issue and give them information or referrals on the next steps they should take. If they are unable to provide assistance at the Mobile Legal Help Center, and if it’s something that requires a full intake, they can sign them up for a full intake session to get the help they need. 

The first event is slated for between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Friday, July 8 when  NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center will be parked at the Deshi Senior Center, 83-10 Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park, Queens.

Then on Thursday, July 14 Addabbo’s office will sponsor a Phone Intake Day with NYLAG so the legal group can speak with constituents who register for a call about their legal matters. 

To register for the Phone Intake Day with NYLAG on July 14, call Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111, or visit NYLAG.org/van. Spaces are limited for the phone intake spots, so call early to secure your spot. 


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