Meng Urges State Department To Fly LGBT Flags At U.S. Embassies

    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 Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, yesterday sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing concern about the State Department’s rejection of requests by U.S. Embassies to fly rainbow flags in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

    Meng’s letter urges the State Department to reverse its position and immediately allow Pride flags to be flown.

    “The Trump Administration’s quiet efforts to undermine America’s international support for LGBT rights is deeply discomforting and sends the wrong message to LGBT Americans about our moral compass,” said Meng. “June is LGBT Pride Month and it is a time to reaffirm our commitment to LGBT rights at home and abroad. Simple acts of solidarity, such as flying the Pride flag, demonstrate our resolve to be a beacon of hope for those who reside in hostile environments for LGBT individuals. We shouldn’t backtrack on LGBT rights; we should march forward and pursue efforts that strengthen LGBT rights at home and abroad. Mr. Secretary, let the Pride flag fly proudly at all U.S. Embassies.”


    Gianaris Bill Requires DCJS to Publish Data Regarding Origins of Guns Used in Crimes

    State Senator Michael Gianaris

    Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven) yesterday announced the Senate passed his legislation (S.4442A), mandating the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) establish a database tracking the state and county of origin of guns used in crimes in New York.

    This proposal would tackle the “Iron Pipeline,” whereby guns purchased in states with lax gun laws are brought into New York and used in crimes.

    “Stopping the ‘Iron Pipeline’ is possible if New York leads the way. Despite having among the toughest gun laws in the country, our state experiences too many gun-related crimes due to firearms originating elsewhere,” said Gianaris “While the federal government will not take action to combat gun violence, New York should use data to expose states that are part of the problem. I am pleased the Senate has passed this crucial legislation today.”

    Gianaris’ bill requires DCJS and the New York State Police to publish a quarterly report about the origins of guns used in crimes. According to a 2015 analysis by the New York Times, two-thirds of guns used in crimes in New York were imported from other states.


    Van Bramer Constituents Deliver Letters Opposing Proposed Fur Ban

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside), this week, saw small business owners and workers in his district deliver hundreds of letters of opposition to the city’s proposed fur ban and urged him to oppose the bill.

    The constituents say while the bill could destroy jobs and small businesses in the council member’s district, Van Bramer has repeatedly refused to meet with constituents or representatives from the fur industry. In response, members of the industry came directly to the council member’s district office to express their views.

    They say a ban on the sale of fur would:

    • Shut down 150 small businesses – more than 30 of which are located in Speaker Johnson’s district office building
    • Put 7,500 New Yorkers out of work
    • Remove $850 million per year in revenue from NYC’s coffers
    • Ban the sale of products that incorporate shearling into their designs
    • Expand the use of fake furs made of non-biodegradable plastics
    • Open the door to banning other animal products, including leather and wool.

    Constantinides To Unveil Newly Renovated Schoolyard

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, parts of Long Island City, Rikers Island, Woodside) today will help unveil the newly renovated schoolyard at P.S. 151 — The Mary Carter School in Woodside.

    Renovations follow the removal of transportable classroom units based at the school for nearly 20 years, limiting the amount of constructive play space for young learners.

    The unveiling is slated for 1 a.m., today, June 12 at P.S. 151 — The Mary Carter School, 50-05 31st Avenue in Woodside.

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