De Blasio Sets Special Public Advocate Election For Feb. 26

    Mayor BIll de Blasio

    Mayor Bill de Blasio over the holiday set the special election for public advocate date as Tuesday, Feb. 26.

    “With New York Attorney General-elect Tish James’ upcoming inauguration, it is my pleasure to announce the special election for Public Advocate will take place on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. This date will help maximize voter turnout, and my Administration will work around the clock to make sure every New Yorker is encouraged to exercise their right to vote,” said De Blasio.

    The election will also mark a new law granting an increase of public funding from the old $6 of taxpayer money for every $1 raised to $8 of taxpayer money for every $1 raised within certain thresholds.

    “With New York Attorney General-elect Tish James’ upcoming inauguration, it is my pleasure to announce the special election for Public Advocate will take place on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. This date will help maximize voter turnout, and my Administration will work around the clock to make sure every New Yorker is encouraged to exercise their right to vote.”


    Cuomo Announces Minimum Wage Increase

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced the minimum wage increase in New York State took effect on Jan. 1. rising to $15 for large employers in New York City and continuing to rise all across the state.

    The Governor also reminded workers to contact the Wage Theft Hotline (1-888-4-NYSDOL) to report employers not complying with the increase. In coordination with the increase, last week the New York State Department of Labor launched a public education campaign to raise awareness about the new minimum wage.  

    New York State is leading the way fighting for economic justice and making a real difference in the daily lives of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “We will always stand with the working women and men of New York, and with this historic minimum wage increase we have taken another step forward in the fight for the dignity and respect of hardworking families.”

    The New York State Department of Labor has established a hotline (1-888-4-NYSDOL) where minimum wage workers can call to report any employers who do not comply with the phase-in schedule.


    Addabbo Responds To Cuomo Veto Of Seawall Study Bill

    Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

    State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) over the weekend strongly disagreed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s veto of the New York City Seawall Study Commission.

    Addabbo sponsored the measure on the senate side (S6927), while Assemblyman Brian Barnwell (D-Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village, parts of Astoria, Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Long Island City) sponsored the measure on the assembly side (A8686).

    “As I have witnessed devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy and the frequency of damage caused by subsequent storms, I truly believed this bill, which was approved by every member of the Senate and Assembly, would have been a step in the right direction towards addressing the dire need for flood mitigation and resiliency,” said Addabbo.

    “This bill would have created a New York City Seawall Study Commission, which at no expense to the state, would have quickly gathered data solely for the city areas prone to storm damage and determine the feasibility and timeframe for a seawall that has been discussed for decades.  The fact that the study would have focused on New York City made it unique to the state legislature and its veto by the Governor only hampers our efforts to solve future flooding issues, at a time when we should be moving forward to protect an individual’s home, personal property and life.

    “I appreciate Assemblyman Brian Barnwell’s work on this bill and understanding of the severity of the flooding issue. I am hopeful that we can pass the bill again during the upcoming 2019 legislative session and convince the Governor to sign the bill into law.”


    Dromm Mourns Passing Of Larry Lombardi

    City Council Member Daniel Dromm

    City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights ) mourned the passing of longtime LGBT activist Larry Lombardi, who passed away peacefully on Saturday in his apartment in his own bed. 

    Lombardi was the longtime treasurer of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens.  He was an active member of the Queens Center for Gay Seniors in Jackson Heights.  Larry was also active in the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee which runs the borough’s LGBT Pride Parade annually.  He was 83 years old.

    “Larry was an amazing human being and he will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to know him,” said Dromm. “Larry spent at least the last 26 years of his life fighting for the rights of LGBT people in Queens and beyond. He was a progressive fighter who took to the streets to fight for the things he believed in. He was active in LGBT causes until the very end. I was fortunate to spend time with Larry on Wednesday in the Queens Center for Gay Seniors. He was on oxygen but was in good spirits. Rest in peace my friend and ally.”  

    A memorial service will be held in January.  Details will be forthcoming.


    Miller Lauds Transit Lockbox Law Enactment

    Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

    City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) hailed Governor Cuomo’s decision this past weekend to sign the Transit Lockbox Bill A.8511/S.6807 that Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) and former State Senator Martin Golden (R) sponsored.

    “The enactment of this law essentially ends the State’s abusive and arbitrary practice of siphoning MTA dedicated revenues for alternate purposes, and informs weary straphangers of the impact any future diversion of such funds will have on the system’s ability to function. I’ve proudly lent my voice to the call for its passage over the last three years, and congratulate Assemblyman Dinowitz and Mr. Golden on achieving this victory on behalf of our commuters,” said Miller.

    “Going forward, we should consider the long-neglected needs of residents that live in transit deserts, like my Southeast Queens constituents; many of whom are deeply skeptical of congestion pricing absent receiving any immediate benefits from initiatives like Commuter Rail Equity as well as others that my community has outlined for years now.”

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