Nolan Decries City’s Sunnyside Yards Project

    Assembly Member Catherine Nolan

    Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Astoria, Woodside, Long Island City, Maspeth, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Blissville) expressed deep concern over the city’s announcemnet yesterday that they announced a lead consultant and formed a steering committee on developing the 180-acre Sunnyside Yards project with little community or local elected official input.

    “I am incredibly disappointed that Deputy Mayor Glen did not reach out to get my input as the elected representative of this district for over 30 years.  I have worked closely with the mayor on many issues and it is shocking to see community voices denied in this process at the very beginning. I commend the many talented leaders on this [steering committee] group but it must be more diverse and reflective of our Western Queens community,” said Nolan.

    “I must insist that locally elected officials be able to recommend community leaders to this panel, that it be expanded to include more voices and that more local residents and businesses, not just nonprofit groups, be included,” she added.

    Nolan plans on introducing legislation to give the governor and state legislature more input into this process.


    Kim, Braunstein Applaud DOE Announcement Of Dual Language Programs

    Assembly Member Ron Kim

    Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

    Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, Murray Hill) and Edward C. Braunstein (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Bayside Hills, Broadway-Flushing, Douglaston, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Whitestone.) lauded yesterday’s Department of Education announcement that the city will expand its city-wide Dual Language programs, including to two schools in Queens.

    Local schools P.S. 22 Thomas Jefferson & I.S. 25 Adrien Block will be taking part in the expansion. P.S. 22 will begin a Spanish-language program, and I.S. 25 will feature the first ever middle-school level Korean-language program.

    The announcement comes after the lawmakers have been calling on the expansion of dual language programs for months. Both Kim and Braunstein have large Korean-American populations in their district.

    “I was extremely pleased to hear about the expansion of these dual language programs to Flushing, including the first ever middle-school Korean dual language program. Students benefit greatly from a bilingual education and providing continued education beyond elementary school will help cement the benefits from these programs. We sincerely thank all of the organizations, advocates, and community leaders who never waivered in advocating for expansion of these programs, and look forward to both their continued growth and the future benefits they will bring to students,” said Kim.

    “I want to thank the DOE for adding 44 dual language programs, including a Korean language program at I.S. 25. In today’s global economy, the ability to speak multiple languages is becoming increasingly more valuable. Since many children in Northeast Queens already begin to learn the Korean language at home, it only makes sense to refine those skills in a school setting,” said Braunstein.


    Meeks Honors Jewish American Heritage Month

    U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

    U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway, JFK Airport) yesterday put out a statement honoring May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

    “During Jewish American Heritage Month, we reflect on the rich history and culture of Jewish Americans. The contributions made by Jewish Americans have had an everlasting impact on our nation and on the fabric of our society, in every field of study and every line of work,” said Meeks.

    “Yet, the celebration of this rich history must go hand-in-hand with a sober reflection of the struggles that Jewish Americans have had to overcome, and persevere through to this day. Alarmingly, anti-Semitism, has seen a new rise in recent years. It has emboldened hate-crimes in even my home city of New York, a bastion for diversity which has served as home for one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in our nation.

    “Jewish Americans, Muslim-Americans, black and brown Americans have all been victim to a spike of intractable intolerance. We must always demand justice for those affected, and champion diversity and equality for all. This May, I am proud to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month and all of the achievements and contributions of Jewish Americans.”


    Peralta Urges State To Pass Carlos’ Law to Protect Construction Workers

    State Senator Jose Peralta

    State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) and the New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) yesterday urged the state senate to debate and pass Carlos’ Law (S.4373B), which aims at protecting construction workers from employers who do not comply with the required safety protocols.

    Peralta is a lead sponsor of the bill. Under the proposal, fines and penalties will increase when a developer “ignores, disregards or fails” to follow safety protocols and procedures, and that “contributes directly to bodily injury, serious physical injury or the death of a worker.”

    Workplace deaths and injuries continue to be common at construction sites despite health and safety training. Although workers generally understand how to be safe, developers and employers must establish the necessary conditions to have a safe working environment. Carlos’ Law will strengthen New York State’s laws by amending the penal law to increase fines and penalties of up to $500,000 for developers who ignore workplace safety protocols. In the past decade, about 500 construction workers were killed at the jobsite in New York State.

    “We are facing an unacceptable crisis when we are talking about the number of on the job deaths and serious injuries. We must ensure we use all the necessary resources to help reduce occupational deaths and injuries. Edgar Pazmino. Carlos Moncayo. Juan Chonillo. They were all killed at construction sites. It is time we honor their memory by working all together to avoid any future on the job deaths. We have an obligation to protect workers, and this is why it is imperative we debate Carlos’ Law on the Senate floor this year,” said Peralta.

    According to a 2013 report by the Center for Popular Democracy, Latino and immigrants are disproportionately killed in construction accidents. Between 2003 and 2011, 75% of construction workers who died on the job were U.S.-born Latinos or immigrants. The report points out that in 60% of the fall death cases investigated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the victims were Hispanic and/or immigrants. That percentage jumps to 74 in New York City, and to 88 in Queens.

    “This is very troubling. We need to put an end to this crisis,” said Peralta.


    Sanders Has Free Computers For Non-Profits

    Se. James Sanders

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) has a very limited amount of computers to donate to non-profit organizations located in his district who are in need.

    Requests must be made in writing on the organization’s official letterhead and signed by an officer of the organization. Request letter should state equipment needs and briefly describe the planned use of the computers.

    A copy of the organization’s federal tax exemption Letter of Determination, 501(c)(3), must come with the request. If the Letter of Determination does not include your Employer Identification Number (EIN), please include your EIN on the request letter.

    Requests that do not include the 501(c)(3) and EIN can not be honored. Be sure the request includes a contact person’s name, phone number and e-mail address, so that Sanders’ office can contact them to confirm your request and obtain any additional information or clarification.

    Send your completed request letter and 501(c)(3) to Senator Sanders’ Office.

    NYS Senator James Sanders Jr.
    142-01 Rockaway Boulevard
    South Ozone Park, NY 11436

    If you have any questions, call 718-523-3069 or 718-327-7017. Requests will take a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks to process.

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