Meng Introduces Legislation To Keep Women & Girls Safe In Refugee Camps

    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), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, yesterday introduced the Refugee Sanitation Facility Safety Act, a bill that would make restrooms in refugee camps safer for women and girls.

    Refugee camps around the world often fail to provide safe and secure infrastructure that allows women and girls to use the restroom safely and with dignity. In particular, there is limited access to sanitation facilities and those that exist are often mixed-sex, public, and without locks or well-lit paths. Of the 42 million people who have had to flee their homes due to war, 80 percent are women and children, and at least 10 million are estimated to be girls, according to a report by the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Additionally, Amnesty International reports that women are at a greater risk of experiencing sexual assault and violence if they do not have separate bathrooms. Many women and girls so fear using the bathroom at night that they develop urinary tract infections, are forced to relieve themselves in their tents, or are unable to change their clothes for weeks.

    “Unfortunately, many refugee camps have failed to provide adequate protections for women and girls when it comes to restroom safety,” said Meng. “Forcing them to endure dangerous and unsafe conditions when using these sanitary facilities is wrong and unacceptable. My commonsense legislation would finally remedy this problem, and I urge all my colleagues in the House to support it.”

    Under Meng’s legislation, recipients of U.S. refugee and migration aid would be required to provide safe and secure access to sanitation facilities, with a special emphasis on women and girls, and vulnerable populations.


    Van Bramer Lauds All-Way Stop Sign In Front Of School

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills) lauded the city’s Department of Transportation yesterday for installing a new all-way stop sign at 46th Avenue and 5th Street in Long Island City.

    This intersection, located outside of P.S. /I.S. 78, had been very dangerous to cross.

    For the last seven years, I have advocated with parents, students, and the Long Island City community for stop signs and other traffic calming measures along this busy corridor. I’m thrilled to announce that the DOT heard our voices and have installed an all-way stop sign at the intersection of 46th Avenue and 5th Street,” said Van Bramer.

    “Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe, and the installation of this new stop sign is a hard-earned victory for the parents, students, and residents of Long Island City,” he added.


    Sanders To Announce Collection of Donations for Federal Workers Affected by Government Shutdown

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) today will announce that he will be launching a collection drive to benefit the federal workers affected by the partial shutdown of the U.S. Government.

    This effort is conducted with support from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, which operates a food pantry.

    The announcement and details of the donation drive is slated for 9 a.m., today, Jan. 18 at the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, 240-08 135th Avenue in Rosedale.


    Eastern Queens Lawmakers Celebrate New Tech Center At Cordoza High School

    State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky

    City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik

    Eastern Queens Democratic Party lawmakers including State Senators Toby Ann Stavisky and John Liu, Assembly Memebers David Weprin and Ed Braunstein, and City Councilman Barry Grodenchik today will attend the ribbon-cutting for a new technology center at Cardoza High School.

    The tech center will feature 35 new computers, printers, a Promethean board, and smart pens, among other tech gadgets.

    The Subraj Foundation, a local Queens philanthropic organization, purchased the equipment it donated for $35,000 and will continue to support the technology center and school as a whole.funded the center.

    The Subraj Foundation was begun by the late George Subraj, a Guyanese immigrant who founded Zara Realty in 1982. The company is now one of the largest providers of affordable housing in Queens.

    The ribbon cutting is slated for 11:15, today, Jan. 18 at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, 57-00 223rd Street in Bayside.


    Moya Hosts Luncheon For TSA Agents Working Without Pay

    City Councilmember Francisco Moya .

    City Council members Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, LaGuardia Airport) and Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Brooklyn), along with other elected officials today will host a luncheon at LaGuardia Airport to thank the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents who have been working without pay while the President and Republican-controlled Senate refuse to fund the government over demands for a wall across the southern border.

    In response to the shutdown, American Airlines employees Obina Escort and Lorraine Wilson have launched a fundraiser for the LaGuardia TSA agents who are working without pay. The owner of Fig’s restaurant, located in LaGuardia’s Terminal B food court, has agreed to match every dollar they raise, in addition to feeding the agents tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

    “Hundreds of thousands of blue-collar, working-class Americans who have dedicated themselves to the service of others are now struggling to make rent, mortgage payments or eat all because the president has thrown a tantrum to get an enormous racist wall,” said Moya. “New Yorkers (minus the president) will not stand by while the White House holds these men and women, or their families, hostage.”

    The luncheon for TSA Agents working without pay is slated for between 11 a.m. – 12 noon, today, Jan. 18 at LaGuardia Airport, Terminal B.

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