Kim Backs SHSAT At Assembly Hearing

    Assemblymember Ron Kim

    Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, and Murray Hill) on Friday voiced support for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) at Friday’s Assembly Standing Committee on Education’s Hearing on Specialized High Schools at 250 Broadway in LOwer Manhattan.

    “Today’s hearing on Specialized High Schools has its roots in the city’s divisive and exclusionary roll-out of its planned SHSAT changes. For six years, as the first and only Asian American member of the Assembly Education Committee, I introduced legislation and tried to work with the mayor and Department of Education to make our entire system less test-driven. They did not make any effort to work with me but chose to scapegoat one test as the main reason for racial inequality in our schools,” said Kim.

    “The city’s decision to force drastic changes to the admissions process for these few schools without any input or meaningful communication with one of the communities most affected by them, all while ignoring the same issues plaguing all other New York City high schools which serve 1.1 million students, is short-sighted and wrong.

    “True educational equity means addressing the systemic flaws that students face at all levels, it means being a parent who understands the anxiety of other parents who know public schools in their own districts and neighborhoods are not nearly as good as the ones their children have now been unfairly excluded from, despite six years of promises under this administration, and that is exactly what I came here today to give voice to.”


    Gillibrand Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Increase Global Competitiveness Of American Advanced Manufacturing  

    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

    U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chris Coons (D-DE) on Friday announced a new bipartisan bill to increase America’s global competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. T

    The Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing Act would expand the successful national network of Manufacturing USA institutes, which work to strengthen manufacturing throughout the country. The Manufacturing USA program is a national network of 14 public-private partnership institutes with 1,300-member companies and institutions working to keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing.

    The institutes collaborate with member companies, academic institutions, trade associations, and government partners to develop new best practices in manufacturing, help transition innovative technologies from lab to market, and expand the production of goods made in America.

    The bipartisan co-sponsors include U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

    “America has always been a global leader in manufacturing, and we need to do everything we can to make sure our country remains competitive to continue that leadership in the 21st century,” said “This legislation would improve job training programs and support entrepreneurs, creating more opportunities for our workers to succeed in manufacturing. These are the types of investments that strengthen our nation’s economy and ensure our products and workers can compete in the global market, and I urge my colleagues to join together to pass this bill.”


    Meng Helps Launch Smithsonian Display Honoring Chinese Immigrant Laborers Who Helped Build Railroad

    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) on Friday helped to open a new display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History that pays tribute and focuses on the nearly 12,000 Chinese laborers whose hard work and sacrifice made possible the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad which has long been considered one of the most remarkable engineering feats of the 19th century.

    The display, “Forgotten Workers: Chinese Migrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad,” as well as its companion display, “The Transcontinental Railroad,” mark the 150th anniversary of the railroad’s completion which is today, May 10. They offer insight into the backbreaking labor that ultimately connected the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad companies at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869.

    “Today marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad that connected our nation, spurred economic growth, and unleashed the unlimited potential of our nation,” said Meng.

    “Less known to the American public are the enormous contributions made by Chinese immigrant laborers who toiled in extreme weather to lay down the literal foundations of our nation. Today, we honor their memory, sweat, blood, and labor, and we provide them with the recognition they deserve. I thank and applaud the Smithsonian for recognizing and bringing attention to the story of the Chinese railroad workers. It is a story that must be told. As we celebrate their memory and this milestone anniversary of the railroad’s completion, I hope the contributions they made to our country are recognized and remembered by all Americans,” she added.

    More details can be viewed here. The displays at the Smithsonian in Washington DC run through spring 2020.


    Addabbo Urges Feds To Quickly Allocate More Superstorm Sandy Funding

    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) on Friday urged the federal government to quickly allocate the money earmarked to the city for Superstorm Sandy recovery.

    Superstorm Sandy, which struck in October 2012 killed more than 40 people and caused $19 billion in damage.

    Addabbo made his comments following a report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer that found the city had spent just 54% of the $14.7 billion in available federal funding for post-Sandy recovery and resiliency efforts as of March 31.

    The report found, among other things, that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has shelled out about 41% of the $3.1 billion in federal funds allocated to it, while the Health and Hospitals Corporation has only spent about 20% of its $1.8 billion, the report shows.

    “After seeing the devastation left behind by Superstorm Sandy, with some residents still not in their homes more than six years later, it is baffling that the city has only spent 54 percent of the $14.7 billion in federal funding for repairs due to the storm, according to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s recent report,” said Addabbo, Jr. “I join Stringer in urging federal agencies to hasten the process of getting these funds where they are desperately needed. That money is needed to help repair the damage that still remains, and just as important, to fortify communities that are still in danger from future storms and rising sea levels.”


    Sanders Honors Griffith-Hunte as 2019 “Woman of Distinction”

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) earlier this month honored Dr. Coralanne Griffith-Hunte as his 2019 “Woman of Distinction,” an award given through the senate to outstanding women living and working in New York State whose contributions have enriched the quality of life in their community and beyond.

    Dr. Coralanne Griffith-Hunte is a Human, Industrial & Trauma Psychologist, who is also the Founder and Chairwoman of Created for Greatness Leadership Group. Dr. Griffith-Hunte has over 25 years’ experience as an orator, educator, humanitarian, mentor, political & organizational consultant, advocate and playwright. She has been a Queens community advocate since 2000.

    Dr. Griffith-Hunte currently serves as a professor at the College of New Rochelle and Senior Training and Development Facilitator for The City University of New York.

    “Dr. Griffith-Hunte is a role model and an inspiration to the entire district, particularly women.,” Sanders said. “Her tireless work and devotion to helping others is admirable and makes her well deserving of the title, Woman of Distinction.”

    The induction ceremony was held in Albany on May 7.

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