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    Meng Calls On Prison Head To Issue Guidance On Distribution Of Feminine Hygiene Products

    U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

    U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) last week sent a letter to Hugh Hurwitz, the Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), calling on him to issue guidance on his agency’s distribution of feminine hygiene products to incarcerated women.

    Last year, the BOP agreed to provide free tampons, pads, and liners to federal female inmates after Meng urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to do so. However, a September report from the DOJ Inspector General found that the distribution methods for these items, and the type of products provided to inmates, varied by institution, and did not always ensure that inmates had access to a quantity of products sufficient to meet their needs.

    “The August 2017 decision to make feminine hygiene products available free of charge to incarcerated women was a great victory that I was proud to champion,” said Meng. “However, making them available is not enough. Women must be able to have easy access to as many of these products as they require. The DOJ IG report makes clear that not all women at all facilities have sufficient access to these products.

    “I strongly urge Acting Director Hurwitz to correct this problem by immediately implementing the Inspector General’s recommendation and issuing the appropriate guidance. President Trump’s signing of the First Step Act today, which will mandate that tampons and sanitary napkins be made available to incarnated women, underscores the urgency of issuing this guidance as quickly as possible.”

    Constantinides Asks SLA to Deny Liquor License to a Store Adjacent to a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) last week sent a letter to the New York State Liquor Authority in opposition to Vernon Wine & Liquor, Inc., at 8-23 Astoria Boulevard.

    The store would be adjacent to the Reality House treatment center, which saves 30 beds specifically for recovering veterans, as well as in close proximity to the Astoria Houses.

    “I strongly believe a business established with the main driving purpose of selling alcohol would be a detriment to the surrounding community, which includes a veterans-focused rehabilitation facility and a public housing complex. Moreover, given the utter disregard for neighborhood context, I believe the applicant has made it explicitly clear that they do not seek to work in tandem or with respect towards the community, but in hostile opposition,” wrote Constantinides. 

    “Finally, a liquor license at this location would also be inappropriate due to its proximity to public housing. The Astoria Houses is a 22-building New York City Housing Authority development with 1,104 apartments and well over 3,200 residents. Opening a liquor store only a stone’s throw away from this public housing development would be completely contradictory to all of the City’s, non-profit organizations’, and community leaders’ efforts to foster neighborhood stability and improved quality of life,” the letter added.

    Braunstein Thanks Community for Donations to his 8th Annual Holiday Gift Drive

    Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

    Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) wrapped up his office’s 8th Annual Holiday Gift Drive for veterans and needy and hospitalized children.

    Once again, thousands of toys for children, as well as hundreds of items for veterans, including new clothing, candy, toiletries, and puzzles, were donated by 16 schools, numerous civic and senior organizations, and several hundred local residents.

    “I was overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of my constituents who helped bring holiday cheer to those in need. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and  gratitude to our community and our schools for continuing to make these gift drives such a success. Since we received so many donations, we were able to bring smiles to the faces of thousands of needy children, as well as hundreds of hospitalized veterans this holiday season,” said Braunstein.

    Braunstein provided toys to numerous institutions and charitable programs, including: 4 Kids in Need drive for homeless families; QNS Toy Drive for St. Paul the Apostle Church; QSAC Day School of Whitestone; QSAC Preschool & Early Childhood Center of Douglaston; Queens Chronicle 24th Annual Toy Drive; Ronald McDonald House; Sacred Heart Church Toy Drive; St. Mary’s Hospital for Children; Transition Domestic Violence Center; and the United States Army.

    All donations to the Veterans’ Gift Drive were delivered by Assemblyman Braunstein and his staff, along with students from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, to the St. Albans VA Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans Home at St. Albans.

    Among the schools and community organizations that contributed to this drive were:

    American Legion Edward M. McKee Post 131, Bayside Kiwanis, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Friends of Fort Totten Parks, Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association, Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Senior Center, IS 25, Jefferson Democratic Club, MS 67, MS 158, PS 32, PS 41, PS 98, PS 107, PS 159, PS 169, PS 184, PS 203, PS 209, PS 221, PS 811, Saint Mel’s Italian American Association, Senior Club at St. Kevin’s Parish, and the William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School.

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