2010-02-10 / Political Page

Women Give Maloney Rousing Re-Election Campaign Kick Off

Citing Congressmember Carolyn Maloney’s strong commitment to women’s issues as well as her effort in Congress to aid consumers and 9/11 first responders, women’s organization leaders— and men supporters as well—turned out last week to show their strong support for the Queens/Manhattan lawmaker’s reelection at a breakfast fundraiser in Manhattan.

Hosted by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and women’s lib icon Gloria Steinem, both chairs of Women for Carolyn, hundreds of women were welcomed to the event, which was projected to raise $100,000 for the popular lawmaker’s campaign war chest.

Maloney is in her 18th year as representative of the 14th Congressional District, covering the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Astoria and Long Island City in Queens. She is the first woman lawmaker to chair the key Joint Economic Committee, which oversees banks and major investment corporations, and is also a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Steinem, at left, cited Maloney’s legislation that provided funding to access DNA evidence from rape kits that has helped to convict many rapists and assaulters of women. “We’re fortunate to have Carolyn in Congress breaking new ground in the fight to reduce violence against women,” Steinem said. Steinem, at left, cited Maloney’s legislation that provided funding to access DNA evidence from rape kits that has helped to convict many rapists and assaulters of women. “We’re fortunate to have Carolyn in Congress breaking new ground in the fight to reduce violence against women,” Steinem said. As co-founder of the House 9/11 Commission Caucus, Maloney helped write and pass legislation to implement all of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for improving intelligence gathering.

She has also been in the vanguard of legislators fighting to secure funding to monitor first responders’ health and sickness problems contracted at the Ground Zero cleanup.

Maloney also authored the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights to protect consumers from sky-high interest rates and unwarranted late fees. She has also participated in battles to secure funding for the Second Avenue Subway, the East Side Access Project and the Queens Plaza Roadway project.

Quinn noted, “She’s led the way on so many issues important to women, from fighting for pay equity to passing family and medical leave to ensuring women across the country have access to birth control.”

Steinem cited Maloney’s legislation that provided funding to access DNA evidence from rape kits that has helped to convict many rapists and assaulters of women. “We’re fortunate to have Carolyn in Congress breaking new ground in the fight to reduce violence against women,” Steinem said.

In addition to Quinn and Steinem, top women leaders and male supporters in civic, political, banking, labor and cultural arenas turned out for Maloney’s campaign fundraiser.

Included were Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and publisher of Ms Magazine; Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW); Marcia Pappas, president of NOW/New York State; Kathy Wilde, president of the Partnership for the City of New York; Diana Taylor, former NYS banking superintendent and Rochelle Slovin, director of the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Denis Hughes, chair of the New York AFL-CIO, Lillian Roberts, president of DC 37, the city’s largest municipal labor union and Maloney’s colleagues, Congressmembers Charles Rangel and Nita Lowey were also present.

In brief remarks, Maloney stated, “I am just so humbled to have the support of some of the leading, most important women in New York. They have placed their trust in me, and I, in turn, am committed as ever to continue to fight for New York’s and this nation’s women, children and families.”

CROWLEY, ADDABBO ON EITC: Congressmember Joseph Crowley and state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. recently seized the occasion of EITC Awareness Day to remind their constituents to file for the Earned Income Tax Credit when they send in their income tax filing this year.

Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) explained that EITC “serves as an income tax refund check for working families who do not earn enough to pay federal income taxes”.

Individuals and families who qualify for EITC can receive up to $5,600, he pointed out.

Crowley, who is on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which writes all tax laws, said that Congress last year increased the EITC and expanded it for families with three or more children and increased the amount of EITC benefits current beneficiaries receive. More than 650,000 new families and 1.3 million children are now eligible nationwide. Families earning up to $48,000 may qualify for the credit, which may be worth more than $5,600.

Crowley says that three easy ways to find out about EITC and determine eligibility are:

1. Go online to www.eitc.irs.gov. 2. Call the New York City IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center at 212-436- 1000, or

3. Meet one-on-one with a tax expert at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) preparation site for free tax prep. Call 1-800-829-1040 to find a VITA site.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) said that many people could qualify for EITC this recession year because income has declined, marital status has changed or the family has grown. Families with three or more children could get a larger benefit— a $5,657 maximum—but, he emphasized, “Eligible taxpayers can get the EITC only if they file a federal income tax return, even if they are not otherwise required to file.”

At some branches of the Queens Borough Public Library, taxpayers can find out whether they are eligible for the EITC. To find these locations visit www.queenslibrary.org, or call Special Services at the Queens Library, 718-990- 0746.

Addabbo suggests that in order to determine EITC eligibility and get returns prepared at a library, taxpayers should bring photo ID, the taxpayer’s Social Security card and spouses and dependents’ cards; birth dates for all people included in a return; the current year’s tax package, if one was received; wage and earnings statements, W-2, W-2G and 1099-R forms from all employers; all interest and dividend statements from all banks 1099 forms, a copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available; bank account routing numbers; all relevant income and expense information; total paid for day care, and day care provider’s identifying number.

ADDABBO TO VISIT MASPETH: Senator Addabbo will host a community discussion in Maspeth tomorrow evening, February 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Maspeth Town Hall, 53-37 72nd St. Addabbo says the visit is “for residents in the northern portion of my district” who can’t easily meet with him at his Howard Beach district office. Topics of discussion will be “whatever issues that concerns people the most”. He expects those will include jobs, transportation, education, public safety, sanitation, the new voting machines, the 2010-2011 budget, the 2010 census and

seniors and veterans matters.

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BACKS MAYOR’S GUN BILL: Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria) joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg, state Senator Jeffrey Klein (D–The Bronx) and Assemblymember Jose Peralta (D–Corona) last week as the mayor and the two lawmakers announced legislation they introduced making it illegal for an intoxicated person to carry a gun in New York, whether a permit to own or carry the firearm has been issued or not.

Vallone, chair of the council Public Safety Committee, introduced a resolution in support of the bill, and also introduced a bill in the council to make the measure apply in New York City if the state legislature does not pass the measure to make it applicable statewide.

Under state law, a person with blood alcohol content over .08 percent is considered intoxicated—the standard now used to determine DWI. Under the new law, common sense factors such as staggering, slurred speech, and smelling of alcohol would be considered evidence of impairment as well. Anyone displaying these indicators would be considered in violation of the carrying-a-firearm-while-intoxicated statute.

Violations of the law would carry a oneyear jail sentence plus a $10,000 fine.

Vallone commented, “Guns and alcohol are a dangerous combination. If you have an illegal gun, you’ll go straight to jail. If you have a carrying permit for a gun and you’re under the influence, unlike your American Express card, don’t leave home with it.”

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