2017-03-08 / Political Page

Crowley Responds To Trump’s Joint Address

House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D–NY) released the following statement Wednesday, after President Trump outlined his agenda that Crowley said “fails to lift up hardworking American families and strengthened Republicans’ resolve to dismantle health care for millions of families.”

“President Trump’s joint address this evening was more of the same. It was filled with proposals that will leave our country less secure and without the right investments in hardworking American families. The president’s speech doubled down on many of the worst actions his administration has taken during its first 40 days in office, including reinforcing the White House’s support of an unconstitutional Muslim Ban and Republicans’ desire to see individuals deprived of affordable health care options.

“While it was encouraging to see President Trump finally condemn threats against Jewish community centers, and the horrific shooting in Kansas, these platitudes are not enough. The president cannot just speak against horrible acts and threats of violence; his actions must follow. Even as President Trump paid lip service to tolerance, his White House is preparing to sign another executive order that threatens to tear families apart. Americans want to see comprehensive reform that fixes our broken immigration system, not unwarranted raids and deportations.

“It became clear after listening to President Trump that his actions do not match his words. Democrats want to find smart solutions that will make our country better for all, but until the White House’s actions match the many empty promises President Trump has made, there will be few opportunities for us to find common ground with President Trump.”

MENG’S REACTION TO PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS TO CONGRESS: US Rep. Grace Meng (D–Queens) issued the following statement on President Trump’s first address to a Joint session of Congress on March 1st:

“I was disheartened to hear about President Trump’s priorities for the upcoming year. His first month has been tumultuous at best, from the chaotic implementation of his disgraceful travel ban to the resignation of his National Security Advisor, to his self-inflicted war with the media.

“Tonight he spoke of tax reform that would mainly help wealthy corporations, not working men and women. His continued push for a border wall will not fix our broken immigration system. He talked about supporting law enforcement and victims of crime but won’t support gun safety legislation. His insistence on a repeal and replace of Obamacare that would expand choice and lower costs is not realistic. Congressional Republicans have not offered any replacement plans that would meet those criteria.

“I agree with President Trump that we must do more to find solutions to problems such as infrastructure investment, affordable childcare, paid family leave and helping our veterans. I hope Congress and the administration can work together on these and other important issues. I truly hope that the president will follow through on his pledge to find common ground, advance the common good, and work to make the future brighter for our children. I hope this will be a turning point for the administration— the American people deserve serious leadership.”

MALONEY CONDEMNS WAVE OF JCC BOMB THREATS, VANDALISM AT JEWISH CEMETERIES: Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) released the following statement the day after news broke of bomb threats made against Jewish community centers across 11 states, including New York, on February 27th, and after yet another incident of toppled and vandalized headstones in a Jewish cemetery:

“I am deeply disturbed by this wave of anti-Semitic actions in our country and repeat my call that the Department of Justice not only examine the recent bomb threats at Jewish community centers nationwide, but also address the recent vandalism at two different Jewish cemeteries and the overall uptick in anti-Semitic crime across our country.

“Our diversity is our nation’s strength – we are not a nation of hatred and cannot stand for these terrible actions motivated by such biases. These threats made against innocent children who attend school and extra-curricular activities at JCCs nationwide are beyond unacceptable, and the vandalism of cemeteries, of individuals’ final resting places, is simply horrifying. I hope the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”

PHEFFER AMATO BILL MAKES HOMELESS SERVICES ACCOUNTABLE TO COMMUNITIES: State Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato introduced a bill recently requiring 45 days notice before homeless housing is placed in a community. The bill would require that elected officials and community boards be made aware of any plans, making sure that through community conversation, the overall impact can be lessened and that vital services required by the homeless are actually delivered.

“Bringing the community into the conversation can’t be avoided. There are so many things – from security to economics to evacuation – that need to be discussed,” said Pheffer Amato. “The city administration’s policies have tried to hide and warehouse the homeless. While obviously we all commend getting them off the streets to sleep, hiding them and avoiding talking about them is not the answer.

“Homeless families were recently placed at the Comfort Inn in Ozone Park,” she continued. “Community leaders were not given a heads-up. The Department of Homeless Services brought in a private security force, without checking in with the local police precinct. From a conversation we had with the hotel’s owner, it didn’t seem that job training or placement was being provided. It was just warehousing.

That’s unacceptable, and it must end.”

This past week, Assembly Member Pheffer Amato and other elected officials released a joint statement, calling for an end to the DHS policy of spontaneous housing of homeless individuals and families in area hotels, with no notification of community leadership. “Mayor de Blasio’s failed policy of housing homeless families in hotels is simply unacceptable,” said the statement, in part. “These types of shelters are not cost-effective, and do not offer any real services that actually help homeless families get back on their feet. To add insult to injury, the administration did not notify any of the elected officials in the area that 50 families are being housed at the Comfort Inn in Ozone Park.”

“Until communities are included in the conversation, people with complex needs will never get the consideration and planning they need,” said Pheffer Amato about her bill. “During my campaign, I heard from communities who had been shut out of the process, and I promised to make sure they would be let back in. This bill does that. The relationship between homeless people and communities should be established and thoughtful, not anxious and uncertain. Let’s bring this conversation into the open, and find a way forward that works for everyone, regardless of economic status.”

CROWLEY REINTRODUCES BILL FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D–NY), along with Congress Member Jeff Fortenberry (R– Nebraska), announced today the reintroduction of the bipartisan International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Authorization Act (H.R.1221). First introduced in the 113th Congress, the Fortenberry- Crowley legislation would establish a multi-national fund to support grassroots programs that promote peace and reconciliation in the region.

“By engaging everyday people and seeking grassroots cooperation and reconciliation, we will help ensure that any future agreements are sustainable,” said Chairman Crowley. “This kind of work can be an antidote to terrorism because it gives people who want to work together toward reconciliation a path to do so.”

“Despite the difficulties and challenges involved in bringing about secure and sustainable peace in the Middle East, the United States has made strong bipartisan efforts over decades to help achieve this important objective,” said Congress Member Fortenberry. “We must continue to foster relevant and constructive dialogue among Israeli and Palestinian communities. It is my hope that grassroots reconciliation efforts, however small, may spark renewed hope for a future built on peace, people, and prosperity.”

The International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace would promote people-to-people efforts to build peace through grants to scale efforts at the grassroots level. The fund’s resources could assist with a wide array of programs, including education, sports, culture, cross-communal economic development, shared environmental programs, and bring youth from different communities to work together to develop a better understanding of Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions. The legislation is supported by several organizations, including the Alliance for Middle East Peace, American Jewish Committee, and Jewish Federations of North America.

ADDABBO MOBILE OFFICE HOURS AT HOWARD BEACH LIBRARY: As part of his ongoing effort to provide assistance for constituents throughout the district, New York state Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. invites you to participate during his mobile office hours in Howard Beach.

Every year, Sen. Addabbo visits each library in the district multiple times, as part of his ongoing commitment to personally assist as many people in his district as possible. On Thursday, April 20th, Sen. Addabbo will be at the Howard Beach Library, at 92-06 156th Ave. in Howard Beach, from 5:30 to 7 pm, to meet with residents wishing to talk with him about a problem they may be having or to bring a community issue to light. By holding mobile office hours at different libraries throughout his vast Senate district, Addabbo makes it more convenient for constituents to come to him at a time that is easier for them, and at a site right in their own community.

“For as long as I have been an elected official, I have made it my obligation to make sure I interact with the residents and civic leaders of the communities I represent,” Addabbo said. “I have always urged my constituents to contact me if I can help them in any way, but it is not always easy for some people to do that during normal business hours. These extended office hours, held at night in various neighborhoods throughout my district, are an excellent way to make sure I am not only reaching as many residents as possible, but also making it more convenient by coming to them. I look forward to another successful round of mobile office hours over the next few months and, as always, encourage those who need assistance to take advantage of these library visits.”

Additional mobile office hours have been scheduled for April 27th at the Peninsula Library in Rockaway Beach, May 4 at the North Forest Park Library, May 11th at the Forest Hills Library, May 18th at the Glendale Library, May 25th at the Woodhaven Library, June 1st at the Middle Village Library and June 29th at the Maspeth Library. Each of the mobile office hours will be held on Thursday afternoons from 5:30 - 7 pm.

For more information, contact NYS Sen. Addabbo’s Howard Beach Office at 718-738-1111.

CUOMO ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION TO END CHILD MARRIAGE: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on February 28th that he is advancing new legislation to end child marriage by raising the age of consent to marry from 14 to 18 years of age in New York. The legislation strengthens protections for minors by preventing child marriage and holding violators accountable. Under the new measures, those who issue a marriage license to anyone under 18 years old without parental and judicial written consent will be charged with a misdemeanor.

“New Yorkers will be shocked when they learn this law has been in place for so many years, and with this new legislation, we will put an end to child marriage, give our young people a voice, and provide the rights and protections to minors that they deserve,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is a major step forward in our efforts to protect children, prevent forced marriages, and create a safer and more just New York for all.”

“Governor Cuomo has repeatedly taken steps to ensure that women are empowered to have control over their own lives,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. ”Whether they are decisions about healthcare, family planning, education, marital status or sexual consent, this administration has a strong record of promoting the interests of all women, and ensuring the protection of exploited and disadvantaged New Yorkers. Ending child marriages is a continuation of those objectives.”

Under current law, children as young as 14 years old may get married with parental permission and written consent provided by a judge. The law, which dates back to 1929, does not provide guidance to judges determining whether or not to grant consent. As a result, more than 3,800 minors were married in New York between 2000 and 2010.

Research shows that young women who marry before 19 are 50% more likely than their unmarried peers to drop out of high school, and four times less likely to graduate from college. In addition, women who wed before 18 are at increased risk of developing mental and physical health disorders.

The Governor’s legislation includes the following provisions:

• Raises the age of consent to marry to 18;

• Makes it illegal to get married under the age of 17;

• Requires parental and judicial written consent for New Yorkers between the ages of 17 and 18 years old to get married;

• Strengthens protections for minors by making it a misdemeanor to issue a marriage license to someone under 18 years old without written consent.

Additionally, the new legislation includes guidance for judges issuing consent for New Yorkers between the ages of 17 and 18 years old to get married.

In order for a judge to provide written consent, they must ensure that neither party has a history of domestic violence, orders of protection issued against them, or is a registered sex offender. The judge must conduct an in-person interview with the minor to ensure the following:

• The minor is entering into a marriage of his or her own free will;

• The minor is not being forced, coerced, or otherwise compelled to enter into the marriage;

• The marriage will not endanger the mental, emotional or physical safety of the minor.

LIZ CROWLEY’S WOMEN’S HEALTH BILL PASSES UNANIMOUSLY IN CITY COUNCIL: On March 1st, the first day of women’s History Month, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of three bills introduced by Council member Elizabeth Crowley addressing vaccination rates for the human papillomaviruses (HPV), long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and maternal mortality.

“First, it’s important to emphasize the fact that all over the country, women’s health and reproductive rights are being attacked. These bills on health are necessary for this city to protect those rights and better understand the utilization rates of women’s health services, which so many of our local communities need better access to. Women’s health is family health, and family health is community health,” Crowley said.

Introduction 1161 requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to report to the council annually on HPV vaccination rates for all New York City residents, both men and women. HPV is most common sexually transmitted infection in the country. It has infected about 79 million people nationwide and affects another 14 million each year. In New York City, an average of 2,375 people are diagnosed with HPV-related cancer each year, nearly two-thirds of whom are women. Half of these new infections occur among those aged 15- 24. In order to tackle these startling numbers, data collected pursuant to this bill can be used to determine how effectively DOHMH is reaching target groups and to determine where early prevention resources are most needed, Crowley explained.

In 2015, DOHMH officials testified before the Health Committee, stating that the most effective way to stop HPV is to vaccinate people. The agency strongly encouraged vaccination for pre-teens, and for teens and young adults who were not previously vaccinated, Crowley explained.

Introduction 1162 requires DOHMH to report on the use of LARCs by New York City residents. This includes intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, and is the most effective form of reversible birth control. However, most women opt for another form of birth control, because of misinformation or high costs. But improved access, education efforts and physician training have led to an increase in LARC usage in recent years, Crowley explained.

Finally, Introduction 1172 requires DOHMH to report maternal mortality rates annually to the City Council Speaker. This would include the number of deaths of women who were pregnant or recently pregnant at the time of death, the rate of these deaths per 100,000 births, the leading causes and recommendations regarding actions the city can take to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality.

The Mayor’s Management Report does not report any data on the rates of maternal mortality, noted the Council Member. Rather, the Department of Health issues a report every five years. Having the information required through Introduction 1172 would provide the insight needed to ultimately have fewer maternal deaths in New York City, Crowley emphasized.

“From vaccinations for cancer-causing viruses, to utilizing more effective forms of birth control, to improving maternal health, we as a city need to better know who these programs are reaching and where the Department of Health and community health facilities can improve. When we have more comprehensive information on how effectively the city is reaching target groups, we can work more effectively on building a healthier city,” Crowley concluded.

JOINT STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE HATE CRIME IN ASTORIA: A joint statement was released by Congress Member Joseph Crowley, Senator Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, and Council Member Costa Constantinides addressing a possible hate crime in Astoria.

“This despicable attack has no place in our city – or anywhere. Now more than ever, we must stand united for tolerance and respect. All New Yorkers, including our immigrant communities, deserve the opportunity to walk our streets safely and without being viciously harassed or assaulted because of the way they look. Our nation was founded by immigrants and they continue to be an integral part of the American fabric. As hate crimes have risen over the past year, we reaffirm our belief in justice and cooperation, and stand united with our community against hate and bigotry. We thank the NYPD for their thorough investigation of this heinous act.”

STATEMENT BY FERRERA-SCOPELAND ‘RACIST COMMENT’ BY CB 4 MEMBER: “Last night, Queens Community Board 4 Member Ann Pfoser Darby said at a public meeting, ‘Once Trump removes all the illegals from Corona, there won’t be anybody to ride bike lanes.’ This is a shockingly racist and xenophobic statement from a public servant. Such comments which are unambiguously racist and morally repugnant will not be ignored nor met with silence or indifference, stated Council Member Julissa Ferreras- Copeland.

Ferreras-Copeland continued, “Queens Community Board 4 represents a large immigrant community which is vital to our city’s economy and civic society. These comments raise legitimate concerns that this bigoted attitude is behind delaying necessary safety improvements on 111th Street, which CB4 has obstructed for the past three years.

I am demanding the immediate removal of this board member for promoting hatred and ignorance. It is time she is removed and is replaced with someone who is serious about restoring the people’s trust in their government.”

MENG COMMENDS DELTA FLYING QUIETER AIRPLANES AT LAG: US Rep. Grace Meng (D–Queens) commended Delta Air Lines on March 2nd for its decision to fly quieter airplanes at LaGuardia Airport.

Effective today, Delta will stop flying loud MD- 88 aircrafts on a scheduled basis, and will instead fly the existing routes with a mix of quieter Airbus A320 family aircrafts, Boeing 737s and a limited number of MD-90 mainline aircrafts, Meng (Flushing) stated.

“I am thrilled over Delta’s decision to use quieter airplanes at LaGuardia and I applaud the airline for being responsive to the needs of Queens residents,” said Meng. “Delta’s move will have a positive impact on airplane noise over our borough and it will make a difference to those who reside near the airport. I look forward to building on this switch to quieter aircrafts, and working with airline officials to further mitigate airplane noise.”

Meng has launched numerous initiatives to reduce airplane noise over Queens and is a founder and active member of the Quiet Skies Caucus.

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