2018-08-15 / Political Page

I On Politics

VELÁZQUEZ ON COURT ORDER TO BAN CHLORPYRIFOS: Congress Member Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement after a federal appeals court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bar the use of chlorpyrifos, a dangerous neurotoxic pesticide:

“I am pleased the court recognized that the EPA has ignored scientific evidence about the dangers chlorpyrifos presents to farmworkers, children and the overall public health. This ruling is especially necessary as President Trump’s EPA chose to pander to corporate chemical companies by failing to enact an Obama-era ban on chlorpyrifos.

“While this ruling is an important step, it is unclear what will happen next and whether the EPA may appeal. To that end, I urge Congress to pass my bill, which would codify a ban on chlorpyrifos into statute.”

The court’s ruling comes after then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt refused to implement a ban on the pesticide in 2017. Velázquez previously introduced legislation, The Pesticide Protection Act of 2017, to prohibit the use and sale of chlorpyrifos.

MENG WANTS FDA TO KEEP HARMFUL CHEMICALS OUT OF FOOD: Congress Member Grace Meng (DNY) sent a letter to the head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling for the agency to address the threat that food additives pose to children.

The congress member’s letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb is in response to a new American Academy of Pediatrics report which found that certain chemicals in processed food and food packaging may be dangerous to children’s health.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our kids,” said Meng. “As co-chair of the Congressional Kids’ Safety Caucus and as the mother of two young boys, I am gravely concerned that American families and children are unknowingly exposed to chemicals that may cause them harm. I urge the FDA to carefully review this report and make the needed regulatory changes that would ensure these additives are safe for kids. I stand ready to assist Commissioner Gottlieb in any possible way should he decide to implement the report’s recommendations, and I look forward to his response to my letter.”

CONSTANTINIDES CALLS FOR BETTER WATER TANK MONITORING: Council Member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, spoke outside the Astoria Houses on August 10 in support of Intro. 1056, which would give the city a clearer picture of what potentially hazardous materials are inside a drinking water tower on any given day.

Constantinides, along with Council Members Mark Levine and Ritchie Torres, introduced the bill on August 8 in partnership with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. The legislation calls for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct unannounced, spot inspections of water towers atop both public and private buildings.

“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to worry about what will come out of the faucet when they get a glass of water. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case for many, especially our low-income residents, as loopholes are exploited to misrepresent what’s in these water tanks,” said Council Member Constantinides.

On Friday, Constantinides was joined by Deputy Bronx Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden on behalf of Diaz; Claudia Coger, the Astoria Houses Tenants’ Association president; and Bethany Goldszer, senior director of Programs & Development at Urban Upbound.

Intro. 1056 would add an extra layer of oversight to water tanks, requiring DOHMH to conduct periodic inspections without advanced notice to the landlord. Findings of the surprise reviews would then be posted online to ensure this process remains transparent. This will give the city a clearer picture of the conditions inside a tank on the average day—not immediately after insects, sediment, muck, and rodent carcasses have been washed away.

The tanks are used in more than 10,000 New York City buildings that are typically taller than six stories, according to official estimates. The existing law also allows the inspection to be done immediately after the tank is cleaned, meaning the city does not have a clear picture of how many dead pigeons, rats, or cockroaches are floating in the water on any given day.

STAVISKY’S PERFECT SCORE FROM LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS: NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) received a perfect score of 100 percent on the New York League of Conservation Voters’ (NYLCV) State Environmental Scorecard. The scorecard highlights the performance of every New York State legislator on key environmental issues. This is the second year in which the NYLCV evaluated state legislators.

This year, NYLCV has examined voting and sponsorship records on 13 key environmental bills in each house. The bills ranged from prohibiting offshore drilling to increasing solar power in New York. Among the senators and assembly members from Queens, Stavisky was one of only three elected officials to receive a perfect score.

“Scorecards like this are important in determining whether an elected official is living up to their promises,” Senator Stavisky said. “With the many threats we are facing from Washington, it is important for the New York State Legislature to advocate for environmentally friendly causes and enact necessary legislation. I am proud to have received a perfect rating and look forward to returning to Albany and continue the fight for a cleaner New York.”

The NYLCV Scorecard can be viewed at: www.nylcv.org/wpcontent/ uploads/2018/08/2018-scorecard- Final.pdf

NYC COMPTROLLER ENDORSES JOHN LIU FOR STATE SENATE DISTRICT 11: On August 8 NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer endorsed John Liu for NYS Senate, District 11. Comptroller Stringer said his endorsement is a testament to John Liu’s experience in government, strong community roots and dedication to progressive values that make him the clear choice to represent eastern Queens.

The endorsement further cements Stringer’s support for the challengers running to unseat the former members of the Independent Democratic Conference.

“The corrupt IDC has voted against what the people of New York want,” said Comptroller Stringer. “With John Liu representing Queens in Albany, we will have a true progressive ally fighting to give us the state we all want and deserve.” The necessity of a State Senate led by Democrats has never been more urgent, Stringer stressed. “We need true Democrats working together to protect New Yorkers from the dangerous Trump agenda.” Stringer was the first citywide elected official to endorse the IDC challengers.

“This is a welcome endorsement,” said Liu, “especially coming from a friend and colleague who knows, as do I, how important it is for New York to be a state of progressive values and fiscal responsibility.”

It has been less than a month since Liu announced his candidacy yet he has already gained the support of NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and a large-scale volunteer base of such grassroots groups as NoIDCNY, Empire State Indivisible and True Blue NY. He has been endorsed by IBEW Local 3, HTC Local 6, NASW - NYC PACE, Tenants PAC, Muslim Democratic Club of New York and the Stonewall Democrats. Several Queens elected officials have also endorsed Liu’s campaign including Congress Member Grace Meng (NY-6), Assembly Member Ron Kim (AD 40), Council Member Peter Koo (District 20) and Council Member Rory Lancman (District 24).

John C. Liu is the former comptroller of the City of New York (2010-2013) and a former member of the New York City Council (2002-2009). In 2013, Liu was a candidate for mayor of New York City, instead of running for reelection as comptroller. Currently, Liu teaches municipal finance and public policy in master’s programs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia University.

SPEAKER JOHNSON ON ANNIVERSARY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE ATTACK: NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson issued a statement on the anniversary of the demonstration by white supremacists and the counter-demonstration in Charlottesville, in which a young woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when a man rammed his car into the crowd of counter-protesters. Speaker Johnson said, “One year ago, America saw the images of senseless violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia and watched with shame as an American president failed to condemn outright bigotry. These demonstrations empowered those who align themselves with white supremacists and those filled with hatred. That is not who we are as a nation. Heather Heyer bravely stood up to the injustice over that fateful weekend and showed what our country really is: a melting pot filled with Americans who welcome others with open arms, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. We are still mourning the loss of Heather. On this first anniversary of the Charlottesville demonstrations, let us keep her memory alive by recommitting ourselves to creating peace, fulfilling the American promise and living up to our ideals as a nation.”

ADDABBO BRINGS MOBILE OFFICE TO GLENDALE LIBRARY TEMPORARY SPACE: As part of his continuing effort to engage with his constituents, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. will be bringing his Mobile Office Hours to Glendale this month.

On Thursday, August 16, Addabbo will be at the Glendale Library’s temporary space located inside Atlas Mall at 8000 Cooper Avenue from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

Each year Addabbo hosts these Mobile Office Hours at libraries throughout his senate district in order to meet with residents who wish to speak with him about any problem they may be facing or to bring a community issue to light. By holding them in libraries, it allows constituents to have access to their senator right in their community.

“Since I was first elected to the senate, I made it a top priority to make myself accessible to more of my constituents across my large district,” Addabbo said. “I know it can be difficult for many people to come into my three district offices during normal business hours. That is why I hold these Mobile Office Hours, so they have the chance to bring their problems or questions to me directly.”

Additional mobile office hours are currently scheduled for future dates and locations throughout the district. For more information on these dates and locations, contact Addabbo’s Howard Beach Office at 718-738-1111.

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