Maloney Urges Caution On Syria
As President Obama deals with the sticky problem of whether or not to take action against the Syrian government for allegedly using poison gas against its own people and reportedly killing many, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) issued a statement urging our president to use caution in dealing with the issue. At this point, Congress is taking up the matter to give its consent or withhold it as requested by Obama.
The following is Maloney’s statement:
“The use of chemical weapons, especially against a civilian population, is an act of egregious moral depravity that I wholeheartedly condemn. I support the work of the United Nations’ inspectors in Syria and it is essential that the inspectors are given the time and resources they need to thoroughly investigate these reported atrocities.
“While it’s clear that the president can and should act to defend our country, it is equally clear that the president should seek Congressional authorization before engaging in military action against Syria. The situation in Syria is extremely complex and uncertain. At this point, we do not know all the facts. Before the U.S. engages in military action, Congress must have the opportunity to examine all of the evidence, consider all of the alternatives, and understand the goal and end point of any use of force.”
GILLIBRAND, MENG IN FAR EAST: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressmember Grace Meng are currently in the Far East as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation traveling to China, South Korea, and Japan.
The lawmakers said in a statement previous to the trip that they expect to meet with “high level government officials to discuss our bilateral relations, including regional and national security issues, with a focus on North Korea’s nuclear program and cyber security. The delegation will also meet with top U.S. military leaders in the region”.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to meet with leaders in China, South Korea, and Japan to discuss issues of vital importance to the national and economic security of both the United States and the Asian-Pacific region,” said Gillibrand (D–N.Y.). “We must continue to strengthen our nation’s alliance with our partners in East Asia based on mutual interests and shared priorities.”
Meng, referring to the three nations they are to visit, said, “All share critical issues with the United States, such as trade and regional and national security.” Meng said they would also work “to further strengthen bilateral relations with the United States”.
Gillibrand, a member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, said she was an East Asian Studies major at Dartmouth College and lived in China and Taiwan for six months while studying as an undergraduate.
Meng is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and also serves on the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, which addresses the needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The trip will be Meng’s first visit to the three nations.
LHOTA ENDORSED BY JEWISH ORGANIZATION: A last minute endorsement of Lhota was made by the Sephardic Community Federation (SCF), a political advocacy group. It said in a statement that it supports candidates they “believe will serve New York City’s best interests, while being the best on important issues to our community, including public safety, anti-terrorism, lower taxes and support for business and education”.
Lhota responded, “Whether it’s issues of making New York City more affordable, keeping our streets safe, educating our children or caring for the needy, these are the issues that all New Yorkers care about.”
WEINER’S GOT A GOOD IDEA: Democratic candidate Anthony Weiner came up with a good idea ending the use of uniformed, active duty cops that set up the barriers alongside parade routes and replacing them with retired cops and volunteers. He explained:
“Tasking officers with badges and guns with this manual labor makes no sense. It takes officers off the beat and it often drives up overtime. The job is perfect for civilian replacement—ideally, retired cops or other trained personnel can do it for far less than the cost of a beat cop.”
Weiner, citing the number of parade and other occasions that call for barrier set ups, and beyond just taking on barrier duty, the potential for additional cost savings from civilianizing the NYPD are great. He estimates that civilianization of this work could save more than $127 million a year by getting able-bodied police officers—who average $60,000 to $70,000 or more per year—off desk duty and assign those jobs to civilians.
SENIOR CENTER THANKS LAWMAKERS; In a recent issue of The Midville Monthly, published by the Middle Village Adult Center, Director Rabbi Richard Levy thanked Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley (D–Glendale) and Karen Koslowitz (D–Forest Hills) for “allocating major funding” to his center this year.
“It is heartwarming to know that our center has the strong support of our community leaders who channel important funding to the Middle Village Adult Center,” said Levy.
Other lawmakers besides the three saluted here, include state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D–Howard Beach) and Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi (D–Forest Hills), whose districts extend into Middle Village.
Levy also took the occasion to thank Marshall, whose public service career spanning about 40 years and including stints as an assemblymember and councilmember, is coming to an end as she will retire as borough president at the end of this year.
In his farewell, the rabbi stated that he wanted “to express our profound appreciation to our illustrious Borough President, Helen Marshall, who takes leave of office this year”.
Levy continued, “Ms. Marshall has been in the forefront of supporting not only the Middle Village Adult Center, but many other organizations throughout Queens. Her bright smile and contagious positive energy will sorely be missed. We wish her and her family well.”
Marshall and her husband have been residents and community leaders of East Elmhurst for more than 60 years and raised their family there. She started out as a school teacher before beginning a long career in public service and politics.