2015-02-04 / Political Page

Nolan Says ‘Thank You’

Assemblymember Catherine Nolan sent out a “thank you letter” to all those who helped her in the campaign for Assembly speaker. By all standards it looked like her swan song six days before the voting was originally set to take place. The vote, however, was moved ahead to yesterday morning, and Nolan conceded minutes before that, saying, “I lost. I accept their judgment.”

Addressing Assemblymember Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), who will take over leadership of the New York State Assembly, Nolan wrote: “I am as aware of the historic nature of Assemblyman Carl Heastie’s candidacy as I am of my own. I believe that I have put at least a scratch in the glass ceiling for women. I congratulate Assemblyman Heastie and I understand the joy that his election will bring to all communities of our state.

“I offer both Assemblyman Heastie and Majority Leader Morelle my support and willingness to work hard for the people of New York.”

“I am as aware of the historic nature of Assemblyman Carl Heastie’s candidacy as I am of my own. I believe that I have put at least a scratch in the glass ceiling for women. I congratulate Assemblyman Heastie and I understand the joy that his election will bring to all communities of our state... “I am as aware of the historic nature of Assemblyman Carl Heastie’s candidacy as I am of my own. I believe that I have put at least a scratch in the glass ceiling for women. I congratulate Assemblyman Heastie and I understand the joy that his election will bring to all communities of our state... “Assemblyman Joseph Morelle (DRochester) and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) were both also originally in the race for spealer, but bowed out and threw their support to Heastie, giving him a huge lead.

Nolan also thanked Congressmember Joseph Crowley, the Queens Democratic Party leader, who reportedly supported Heastie, the Bronx leader, in the Speaker’s race. Her thanks went to Crowley, she said “for meeting with me to discuss my candidacy, as I did with so many colleagues this past week.”

Nolan also thanked her husband, Gerry, and son, Nicky, for their support, and also “the people of the 37th Assembly District, and her home club “for their support in 16 elections.”

She also explained why she “did not drop out of the process even as many reported various vote totals and withdrawn candidacies...” Nolan continued, “We announced last week that we would have a more open discussion about who would lead our conference and I think with the challenges we are facing, we needed to stick to that decision.

“Indeed, I would have preferred a vote on February 10, which would have allowed for discussion and review of proposals for reform and perhaps allowed some new rules to go forward in tandem with the election of a new speaker.”

Click here to read the assemblymember's complete statement, http://www.qgazette.com/news/2015-02-04/Features/Statement_From_Assembly...


Reacting to Con Edison’s proposed rate increase request, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Western Queens) issued the following statement:

“The last thing New Yorkers need right now is more of their paycheck going to Con Edison every month. The cost of living in our city is rising and it’s disappointing that Con Ed wants to make it harder for people to keep the lights on. I hope Con Ed will listen to the voices of everyday New Yorkers and rethink its proposal. Alternatively, the Public Service Commission should reject its request.”

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND GET $33M HOME HEATING AID: Just in time to deal with Winter Storm Juno and dropping wind chill factors, the state’s U.S. Senators announced that another $33.3 million in federal home heating aid is headed here to assist senior citizens.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand had been pressing federal officials for a second grant of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP) funding since October, arguing that seniors need the additional home heating funds because they are struggling to afford the rising cost of heat brought on by harsh winter cold.

New York State had previously recieved about $344 million of LIHEAP funding in previous home heating aid for 2015 and the additional $33 million brings the total to more than $377 million.

“Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year, many of whom are seniors on a fixed income, rely on LIHEAP funding to help pay for the home heating costs that have become a larger and larger share of their budget,” Schumer said.

“This additional funding will help people cover costs during this very cold winter and will mean fewer people will have to choose between paying for heat and the rent, heat and prescription drugs, or heat and putting food on the table.

Schumer pointed out, “Having these funds available now, in January, when winter is still rearing its ugly head across the northeast is critical. This boost in home energy assistance could not come at a better time.”

Gillibrand stated: “This funding is a lifeline for so many New Yorkers struggling to heat their homes and stay warm this winter. It is crucial for families throughout the state who have braved through recent storms and frigid temperatures to have the resources they need to stay warm throughout the winter. I am pleased to announce this critical funding because no New York family should ever be left in the cold.”

LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing vital assistance during both the cold winter and hot summer months. Even though the number of households eligible for the program continues to exceed those receiving assistance, this funding has been a lifeline during the economic downturn and rising energy costs, helping to ensure that people do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for food or medicine.

SCHUMER RE-ISSUES CALL FOR DRONE REGULATIONS: Following the discovery of a small drone which landed near the White House last Monday morning, U. S. Senator Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) issued the following statement:

“With the discovery of an unauthorized drone on the White House lawn, the eagle has crash-landed in Washington; there is no stronger sign that clear FAA guidelines for drones are needed.

“Drones are an important new technology that will boost business, aid in storm preparedness and recovery, assist agricultural development and more, but rules to protect the safety and privacy of the American people must keep pace, and I am calling on the FAA and OMB to get these long-delayed regulations on the books.”

PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS MALONEY BILLS IN STATE OF UNION: President Obama spotlighted several pieces of legisation sponsored by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) in his recent State of the Union address, including the Credit Cardholder Bill of Rights and the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act.

Maloney said, “Pro-middle class policies like the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights have helped put money back in the pockets of middle class families. This bill has saved tens of billions of dollars for the American people, but we shouldn’t stop there. We can do so much more to build strong and healthy families. That’s why I’m working to pass bills that provide paid parental leave to millions of American workers and make it easier to create flexible working arrangements so that more workplaces adapt to the demands of families in a 21st century economy.”

Last Monday, Maloney re-introduced the Federal Employee Paid Parental Leave Act, which would provide six weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child to all federal employees. The legislation passed with strong bipartisan support in the 111th Congress and is budget-neutral, the lawmaker said.

President Obama called for passage of the legislation and flagged the need for paid leave policies during the State of the Union. Maloney is also working to pass a bill that would provde paid parental leave to all Americans, and will soon re-introduce another bill to make it easier for employees to negotiate flextime arrangements without the fear of losing their jobs.

Maloney said the President “drew particular attention” to the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, noting “today we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices.”

Maloney said estimates show that this law, which she authored, has saved the American people anywhere from $63 billion to over $100 billion over the past five years.

GOP SETS TRAPS FOR LYNCH, BUT SHE WOWS ‘EM: U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s selection as the next U.S. Attorney General, was set to be roasted at her confirmation hearing by Republicans controlling the Judiciary Committee. But by the end of just the first hearing date, she had won over a senior Republican member, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who declared, “I’m going to be a strong supporter of her nomination… and I believe she’s not only qualified, but exceptionally well qualified, and a very good person, to boot.”

Echoing Hatch, two other Republican Senators on the committee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake, of Arizona, let it be known that they would also be supporting Lynch, which gives her the three votes needed for committee approval that would then send her nomination to the full Senate, also controlled by Republicans, for the necessary final confirmation.

That would put Lynch on a path to become the first black woman to serve as the attorney-general of the United States of America.

Lynch who served as a professor at St. John’s University School of Law is presently the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which oversees all federal criminal and civil investigations and cases in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties covering Long Island.

Lynch was appoined to this key post by President Obama on May 3, 2010. She was well acquainted with the office because she had previously held the same office from 1999 to 2001 by appointment of President William J. Clinton. Prior to the Clinton appointment, Lynch had held other positions in the same district’s Long Island office, including chief from 1994 to 1998.

When Lynch was nominated by Obama to succeed Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney- General, it was assumed that the Republicans who assumed the majority of the Senate beginning on January 1 of this year would take an extra hard and long look at any nominees sent by the president to the Senate for confirmation. Lynch was among the first who had to face Senate hearings and as expected, GOP animosity to both Obama and Holder was clearly evident when Lynch took her seat before the committee.

Sure enough, Obama’s executive order on immigration came up and Lynch was asked her opinion about it. Lynch avoided any political or social aspects in her response, but stuck to the law and was brief, saying she didn’t see “any reason to doubt” analyses she had seen that were written by Justice Department lawyers and scholars.

When Holder was brought up in the questioning, Lynch responded that an attorney general must be independent of anyone in the administration. The Daily News printed her response, which was, “I think I have to be willing to tell not just my friends, but colleagues ‘no’ if the law requires it. That would include the president of the United States.”

Lynch says in her biographical sketch distributed to the media that during her tenure as U.S. Attorney she “has expanded the office’s leading national security practice into the area of cyber security, and has also made community outreach a priority.”

Also, while in the Long Island office she was the lead prosecutor in a series of trials “involving allegations of public corruption” in the Long Island town of Brookhaven. She was also a member there of a trial team in a five-week “civil rights case involving the sexual assault by uniformed New York City police officers upon Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.”

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.), in introducing her to the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated:

“If there is an American dream story, Ms. Lynch is it. As the Eastern District prosecutor she found her calling handling some of the toughest litigation cases in the country: on cybercrime, public corruption, financial fraud, police abuse and gang activity, organized crime, and especially terrorism. When you look at the breadth and depth of the cases she’s handled, it’s clear that Loretta Lynch is law enforcement’s Renaissance woman.”

“When we move to a vote, hopefully sooner rather than later, you won’t be voting for or against the president’s policies, you’ll be voting on this eminently qualified law enforcement professional, a first-rate legal mind and someone who is committed in her bones to the equal application of justice for all people.”

Lynch was born in North Carolina, her father was a fourth-generation Baptist minister, and her mother is a retired English teacher and librarian who had picked cotton as a child. Lynch graduated from Harvard in 1981 and from Harvard Law School in 1984.

CROWLEY, CITY COUNCIL HONOR STEVEN FROSCH: Steven Frosch was a special New Yorker, having served New York City as a police officer, a firefighter and a sanitation man. So it was especially fitting that Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) proposed honoring Frosch, and his memory and his death in the line of duty while performing maintenance work last summer on a street sweeper at the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) depot in Maspeth.

Last Thursday, the City Council voted and passed Crowley’s bill to co-name 67th Drive between 78th and 79th Streets in Middle Village in Frosch’s honor. Frosch had worked 15 years at the DSNY after having proudly served with the NYPD and the FDNY.

Crowley said afterward, “Steven was a devoted family man who gave himself to our community and loved his wife, Bina, and their four children with all of his heart. His tragic death should serve as a reminder to all of us about the very real risks our uniformed workers take each single day in the service of everyday New Yorkers.

“Throughout his life, Steven truly personified New York’s Finest, Bravest and Strongest, and he deserves to be recognized and remembered by our city.”

Crowley’s district covers Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale in the City Council.

ADDABBO SUPPORTS FUNDING FOR CHOCOLATE BUSINESS: Commenting on the funding awarded to a Rockaway chocolate store to help its recovery, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) stated: “For the city and EDC to award $13.2 million to Madelaine Chocolate is to invest in the future of Rockaway. It’s an investment in the recovery of one of the hardest hit communities in the city by Superstorm Sandy. It’s an investment in additional jobs for one of the largest employers in the Rockaways, a peninsula with a high unemployment rate. I appreciate the award granted to Madelaine Chocolate.”

B.P. KATZ, CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER TOP NYFAC AWARDS DINNER: The NYFAC Foundation, whose motto is “bettering the lives of those with Autism,” will pay tribute to seven outstanding honorees at its 17th annual dinner-dance on Thursday, February 26 at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark- Viverito, serving as the evening’s Honorary Dinner Chair, will present awards to the following recipients:

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz heads the list, receiving the Guardian Angel Award.

Joseph Gambino follows, receiving the Man of the Year award.

Jack Friedman, Queens Chamber of Commerce executive director, will receive the Advocate of the Year award.

Jack LaSala of Satisfaction Guaranteed Entertainment gets the Community Service award.

Matthew J. Cavalier, Esq. will be this year’s NYFAC Hero, and closing out the awards,

Michael P. Albarella, of People’s United Bank will receive the Community Partner award.

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