Avella Decries Trump For allowing Elephant and Lion Trophies
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) yesterday decried the Trump Administration’s recent announcement that they will consider applications to import lion and elephant trophies on a case-by-case basis.
Previously, Trump was critical of allowing the trophies into the country and even stopped a previous attempt to allow the import of these trophies. However, as is usually the case, the president went back on that decision, said Avella, a longtime animal rights advocate.
“This week, President Trump’s administration announced that beginning immediately they will allow the remains of lions and elephants hunted in certain African countries to be imported into the United States. This decision to allow these ‘trophies’ into our country is shameful and will only expedite the decrease in the lion and elephant populations of these countries,” said Avella.
“I also fear that this decision will open the door to the extermination of the rest of the ‘Big Five African Species.’ The continued importation, possession, sale, and/or transportation of trophies of lions, leopards, elephants, white rhinos, and black rhinos is detrimental to the survival of these species,” he added.
Avella said it is more important than ever for the state to pass his proposed bill, S1883, to enact ‘African Big Five Act’—previously known as Cecil’s Law—that would ban the importation, transportation, and possession of the Big Five African Species and their trophies as soon as possible.
“New York is the number one port of entry into the United States from Africa. With that comes an exorbitant amount of big game ‘trophies’ being imported into the country that celebrates the unconscionable killing of the ‘Big Five African Species.’ While New York might not be the final destination of these trophies, it is their entry into the country. The ‘African Big Five Act’ seeks to close off their entry into the United States through New York,” said Avella.
“Like with most of this president’s policies, this decision is inhumane and does not reflect the values of our great state. The president may want to allow these murder trophies into our country, but by passing the ‘African Big Five Act’ New York can stand up and tell him to think again.”
Addabbo On New Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza
State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Elmhurst, Woodside, Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel, the Rockaways.), the ranking member of the senate’s Education Committee, yesterday said he is optimistic that the new city schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, will continue the work of current schools chancellor Carmen Fariña after she retires at the end of March.
“Carmen Fariña has done many wonderful things for New York City school children during her tenure as schools chancellor,” Addabbo said. “I am very hopeful that Richard Carranza will continue in her footsteps and be the guiding hand that all of our school children need.”
Carranza has spent time as a superintendent in Las Vegas and served four years as the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District before taking the position of Houston Superintendent in 2016.
Although he has experience managing schools and districts across the country, Addabbo believes Carranza will face many new challenges in helping New York City’s 1.1 million students.
“I respect Richard’s work as Superintendent of the Houston school district, especially the efforts he made in opening schools after his city was pummeled by Hurricane Harvey,” Addabbo said. “However, the New York City school system is much larger than Houston’s and can be overwhelming with the different problems facing each school. I am disappointed that Mayor de Blasio did not go with a candidate from New York City or New York State to lead our school children into the future.”
Koslowitz Oversees De Blasio Appointments
City Council Member Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills, Forest Park, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Richmond Hill), chair of the council’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections, today is having her committee meet and go over several of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appointments.
Specifically, de Blasio is submitting the name of Fernando Bohorquez, Jr. to the committee for its advice and consent concerning his reappointment to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board; Anthony W. Crowell for its advice and consent concerning his reappointment to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board; and Salvatore Scibetta for its advice and consent regarding his appointment as a member of the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals.
De Blasio must submit these appointments before city council members as per the New York City Charter.
The committee meeting is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, March 7 at City Hall in Lower Manhattan. The meeting is public.