Dromm, Van Bramer, Johnson Honor Rippon At City Hall
City Council Members Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhust, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside) and Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) joined dozens of LGBTQ advocates on the steps of City Hall Friday to honor the renowned figure skater Adam Rippon, the first openly gay athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics for Team USA.
Rippon made headlines earlier this year when he raised concerns about Vice President Mike Pence being chosen to lead the US delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony because of Pence’s long history of support for anti-LGBTQ legislation and policies. Rippon told USA Today that he would not meet with the Vice President before the 2018 Winter Olympics because of the latter’s anti-gay stances.
“Adam Rippon is an out and proud role model for all LGBTQ people,” said Dromm, who chairs the Council’s LGBT Caucus. “His message of empowerment — that it is great to be gay, and that we can excel at anything — resonates with those who embrace the concept of equality and justice for all. Adam is not afraid to speak truth to power and has used his fame to stand up for LGBTQ young people across this country. Therefore I was pleased to join Speaker Johnson and LGBTQ leaders from across the nation in honoring him on the steps of City Hall.”
Katz, Boro Board Hears Changing Demographics Discussion
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the the Queens Borough Board today will hear a presentation on the changing demographics of Queens from the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP).
Dr. Josephe Salvo, DCP’s Director, of the Population Division, will speak about the changing demographics and discuss the importance of ensuring that the upcoming 2020 Census accurately counts Queens residents.
In addition, the presentation will include a demonstration of DCP’s new Population FactFinder, a feature on the Department’s website that allows users to examine detailed population profiles of their communities.
The Population Division serves as the city government’s hub of demographic expertise and is responsible for the compilation, analysis and dissemination of Census data and related federal, state, and local demographic information. The Population Division aids city agencies in capital planning and policy formation.
The meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m., today June 11 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.
Miller-Addabbo Bill Raises Awareness & Increase Research Into Down Syndrome
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Glendale) and Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and the Roackaways) last week saw their bill (S.4013/A.5305) to increase public awareness of Down Syndrome and fund research projects into the chromosomal disorder pass both the state assembly and senate.
“This bill authorizes the creation of distinctive Down Syndrome Awareness license plates for people in New York who want to spread the word about this condition,” said Addabbo. “In addition, money raised from the sale of these license plates will be directed to a new Down Syndrome Research Fund. I am delighted that my Senate and Assembly colleagues recognize the importance of supporting individuals and families living with this disorder.”
“I am very pleased with bill no. A5305-B passing unanimously in the Assembly,” Miller said. “The Department of Motor Vehicles will now offer distinctive license plates for family members whose relatives have Down Syndrome. Anyone who purchases a license plate will help fund research for causes, treatment and prevention.”
Down Syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Every year, about 6,000 children are born with Down’s, or about one in every 700 babies. It occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
Both legislators noted that the life expectancy for individuals with Down Syndrome has increased significantly over the years – from 25 in 1983 to 60 years of age today. The assemblyman and senator said that the initiation of the bill originated with a request of a mutual constituent.
Miller and Addabbo pointed out that many individuals born with Down’s have made strides in many different fields of endeavor. For example, Angela Bachiller, a woman with Down Syndrome, is a city council member in Spain. Madeline Stuart, a professional Australian model, made a splash at New York Fashion Week, and is an inspiration to many with and without disabilities. Laz-D is a rapper in Oregon.
The measure now moves to Governor Cuomo for his consideration.
Avella Applauds Redesign Of 26th Ave & Francis Lewis Blvd
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) last week applauded the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) plan to redesign the intersection of 26th Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard and finally install left-turn signals he had been requesting.
This dangerous intersection, where 26th Avenue, Francis Lewis Boulevard, and 169th Street all converge at the same location. The design of the intersection as-is makes it difficult for vehicles to make safe turns and pedestrians to cross the roadway safely.
“I am happy that DOT has come up with a plan to redesign this intersection and reduce the dangers that come with walking and driving through it and I am thrilled that my request for left turn signals has been heard,” said Avella.