Meng Rips Into Trump’s $4.7 Trillion Proposed Budget

    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 Committee, yesterday was highly critical of President Donald Trump’s proposed $4.7 trillion budget for 2020.

    The proposal calls for $8.6 billion in new border wall funding and a five percent increase in defense funding while decreasing spending of non-defense funding for agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, State Department, and Department of Agriculture.

    “I feel bad for the trees that were cut down to print the president’s 2020 budget proposal. This budget is a nonstarter for Congress and asking for additional funding for a medieval border wall sets up another government shutdown fight this year. We should be having a discussion about how to keep our environment clean, provide job training and education to millions of Americans still recovering from the Great Recession, and how to revitalize our infrastructure,” said Meng.

    “Instead, President Trump has teed up a spending fight over his failed campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the border wall. I’m also disappointed that the president continues to attack programs that make our nation safe, secure, and prosperous. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee and writing a spending bill that actually reflects the priorities of the American people,” the lawmaker added.


    Weprin Mourns Passing of Former Assembly Speaker Melvin H. Miller

    Assembly Member David Weprin

    Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill) yesterday mourned the passing of former Assembly Speaker Melvin H. Miller.

    Miller, who represented Brooklyn, died on March 8 of lung cancer. He was 79.

    It is with great sadness that I join my Assembly colleagues today to mourn the passing of one of our most devoted legislators, the Honorable Melvin H. Miller. Serving in the Assembly from 1971 to 1991, Former Speaker Miller was a dedicated advocate for the 44th Assembly District in Brooklyn as well as an advocate for all the people of New York State as Assembly Speaker,” said Weprin.

    “The passing of Hon. Melvin Miller is a great loss to the Assembly institution. After his service in the Assembly, he continued to play a role in Albany as an expert on the budgetary process and through his lobbying activities. Former Speaker Miller’s intellect and passion will surely be missed and my condolences go out to his wife Liz, family members, loved ones, and friends,” he added.


    Constantinides Joins Nepali Community to Unveil Mount Everest Way

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) on Saturday joined Nepali dignitaries and community leaders to officially co-name 75th Street and 31st Avenue as “Mount Everest Way” in Jackson Heights.

    The Nepali-American community now has a permanent tribute to its many contributions to western Queens.

    “Queens is a better place thanks to the generations of hardworking, devoted, and giving members of the Nepali community,” said Constantinides. “It is only right that we give something back: a token of our appreciation for making our community richer. Mount Everest is a fitting metaphor for how strong the Nepalese have been throughout the diaspora, especially here in Jackson Heights.”

    The City Council in December approved “Mount Everest Way” in a citywide legislative submission to co-name historically important streets. Constantinides’ request noted about 10,000 Nepalese live in New York City with a high concentration in Jackson Heights. But, it added, the population is possibly twice as high as the census estimate.


    Queens Electeds Celebrate Greek Independence

    Assembly Member Aravella Simotas

    Queens elected officials including Borough President Melinda Katz, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and City Council Member Costa Constantinides this Friday will honor three Greek-Americans as part of their annual celebration of Greek independence.

    The honorees include Florence Koulouris, District Manager, Queens Community Board 1; Effie Lekas, Program Coordinator, Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Queens College, CUNY; and Father George Anastasiou of the Parish of the Transfiguration of Christ in Corona and NYPD chaplain.

    This free community event is part of the longstanding tradition of celebrating Greek and Greek-American culture in Astoria and will feature traditional Greek food and entertainment.

    The event is slated for 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 15 at the Stathakion Center, 22-51 29th Street in Astoria.

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