Queens Gazette

I On Politics


 

QUEENS CHAMBER APPLAUDS NYS BUDGET: On April 22, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens’ oldest and largest business association, issued the following statement from President & CEO Tom Grech in response to the FY 2025 New York State budget, which includes a historic deal to create affordable housing and steps to combat retail theft:

“We applaud Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and members of the legislature for delivering a budget that includes a historic agreement to spur the much-needed development of new affordable housing, and strong action to combat retail theft.

“Every day I speak with business owners who are deeply concerned about the affordability crisis. In order for our borough and our entire state to remain competitive, we need to quickly develop thousands of affordable residential units to drive down the cost of living for workers and their families. This agreement takes on the affordability crisis head on. It includes an extension of 421a for six years for projects already underway, and introduces 485x – which will encourage the development of affordable units. It lifts outdated regulations, creates an innovative pilot program for ADUs so homeowners can create units on their properties, and offers incentives for office-to-residential conversions. We look forward to seeing shovels in the ground here in Queens County.

“Additionally, the budget takes strong action to curb retail theft by enhancing protections for retail workers, improving accountability and offering a tax break so businesses can upgrade their security systems. We are grateful that the Governor and the Legislature have listened to our concerns, and taken action to support businesses and workers throughout the state.”

‘SQUATTER’ DEFINED IN HOUSING LAW: State Senator John Liu, Assembly Member Ron Kim and Queens legislators announced that the final FY2025 state budget includes language that defines the term “squatter” in state housing law. The language was derived from legislation introduced by Senator Liu and Assembly Member Ron Kim, S8996/ A9772, following recent reports of squatters who take over private property.

The definition updates New York State real property law to read that “a tenant shall not include a squatter,” and further define squatter as “a person who enters or intrudes upon real property without the permission of the person entitled to possession, and continues to occupy the property without title, right or permission of the owner or owner’s agent or a person entitled to possession.”

Including this definition in real property law will help distinguish legal renters from those who unlawfully intrude or take over property. It establishes that squatters are not tenants and therefore not subject to tenant rights or protections after 30 days.

State Senator John Liu stated, “It was important that we acted with urgency to send a strong message to squatters who take over private homes that they are not welcome in our community. Scam artists who intrude on others’ homes should not have rights as tenants in state housing law, and this inclusion in the budget codifies that in simple, straightforward language. Defining squatter is an important step forward, and we will continue examining even stronger measures to protect homeowners without inadvertently putting renters at risk.”

State Assembly Member Ron Kim stated, ”Our state needed stronger protections for law abiding property owners who are being victimized by squatters. Our new law defines these terms more precisely. Any occupant who unlawfully resides in a property owner’s home will be more easily removed. I want to thank colleagues in the legislature for moving expeditiously on this new law.”

State Assembly Member Ed Braunstein stated, “New York State homeowners have been put on edge by the recent reports of people returning to their properties and finding squatters, only to discover that the squatters cannot be removed without a lengthy and costly eviction proceeding. Trespassing individuals in these situations are abusing a law meant to protect lawful tenants and they absolutely should not be afforded the same rights and protections. I was proud to co-sponsor this bill, which sought to close this loophole and protect New York homeowners from these unlawful opportunists. I am pleased that this clarifying language was included in this year’s state budget.”

State Assembly Member Nily Rozic stated, ”Today signifies an important step forward as we include language defining ‘squatters’ in the state budget. This measure will help safeguard property rights and ensure the well-being of our communities. Thank you to my colleagues for their collective efforts to address squatting issues across New York.”

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky stated, “I want to thank my colleagues in the legislature for supporting this bill, which I cosponsored. A problem was brought to our attention, and we got positive results.”

State Senator Leroy Comrie stated, “The state legislature took a hard stance against squatters who twist existing loopholes through acts that would, by any other circumstance, constitute theft. This change to the law is desperately needed, amongst our Queens residents, especially our seniors and homeowners, who have been living in fear and confusion as to how the law could possibly allow for such abuses. I am proud to stand with my colleagues to resolve this matter and hope for this bill’s swift passage.”

‘KEEP NYC CONGESTION TAX FREE’ By a 63% to 25% margin, a majority of New Yorkers oppose the soon-to-be-implemented $15 congestion pricing tax on vehicles driving south of 60th in Manhattan, the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) has found.

According to SCRI Director Steve Greenberg: “A majority of Democrats, two-thirds of independents and three-quarters of Republicans oppose the soon-expected congestion pricing toll plan, as do approximately two-thirds of downstaters and a majority of upstaters,” Greenberg said. “Nearly one-third of New Yorkers say they will either travel less to Manhattan or find ways other than driving to get there.”

“This survey makes it perfectly clear: New Yorkers do not want the congestion pricing tax to move forward,” said Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free spokesman Joshua Bienstock. “The plan is catastrophically flawed. It will increase traffic and particulate matter in the air of low-income communities, and it will reduce by 14 % the number of people traveling into Manhattan, at the very same time in which the city and state are trying to get shoppers and office workers to return there. The only winners in this fiasco are government bureaucrats and Uber and Lyft drivers who cut a deal with the City and State. The taxpayers themselves are being screwed.

“When 63% of New Yorkers oppose something, one would think Governor Hochul and her colleagues would listen up,” Mr. Bienstock continued. “New Yorkers will not forget their refusal to heed them at the polls this November. There will be a price to pay, and not just by New York drivers.”

COMMUNITY-BASED VIOLENCE INTERVENTION: On Wednesday, April 24, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) joined LIFE Camp Founder and CEO Erica Ford at the Bland Houses in Flushing to announce the Congresswoman’s success in securing $800,000 in federal funds for LIFE Camp’s violence intervention programs. Founded in April 2002, LIFE Camp, Inc. (Love Ignites Freedom through Education) is one of the leading violence prevention and intervention organizations, and this crucial money will enable the organization to expand its operations from south Queens to the 6th Congressional District of Queens, NY. Meng and Ford will be joined by other officials from LIFE Camp, other elected officials and residents and leaders from the Bland Houses.

“For more than two decades, I’ve been driven by a passion to build something meaningful – a movement dedicated to ending violence in my community,” said Erica Ford, Founder and CEO of LIFE Camp. “Thanks to leaders like Congresswoman Meng, we’re now able to expand and share this vision beyond my home community. This funding empowers us to effectively address violence as a public health crisis by offering services that combat the social determinants of health, which are often the root cause of violence among young people. That’s what is turning the tide on violence.”

“I am excited to join LIFE Camp to commemorate these critical funds which will go a long way towards helping to make our communities safer,” said Congresswoman Meng. “LIFE Camp does important work to combat gun violence and I’m proud to have obtained this money so that its team can do an even better job and serve more residents throughout our borough. We have to do all we can to save lives and protect our neighborhoods and future generations.”

INVESTMENTS IN QUEENS NEIGHBORHOODS: Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas celebrated the passage of the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget and its inclusion of investments in issues critical to Assembly District 34, which encompasses the neighborhoods of Astoria, Corona, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside in Queens County. The budget passed on Saturday, April 21.

After advocacy from González-Rojas, she was pleased that the enacted budget eliminated a proposal by Governor Hochul to eliminate the “hold harmless” provision, which ensures that schools receive the same level of funding as the year prior. The budget also included tenant protections that will guarantee that covered tenants can renew their leases each year, as long as they stay current on rent and follow the terms of their lease; $10 million was allocated to address rental arrears as well. Several cuts were also proposed by the Executive to health care spending, which González-Rojas, as a member of the Health Committee, opposed and fought to restore. The enacted budget restored $800 million of the $1.2 billion the Governor proposed to cut, which will support financially strained hospitals.

Related to public transit, González-Rojas was a co-lead on a budget request for increased funding for the MTA’s public buses, which resulted in an $11 million increase. The legislature and Governor also passed Sammy’s Law in the budget, which allows New York City to lower its speed limits to 20 mph or 15 mph in school zones. The legislature also successfully secured $12 billion for the State University of New York and $3.3 billion for City University of New York systems.

Locally, the second-term incumbent also worked to help secure the following local investments and policy initiatives in the budget:

  • A pilot of a program to legalize basement apartments and bring them up to code in the neighborhood of Woodside
  • $140 million for capital projects at NYCHA buildings, including in NYCHA Woodside Houses
  • $40 million for the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) to serve the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers at risk of losing their homes
  • $4.2 million for the Lorena Borjas Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Wellness and Equity Fund
  • $1 million for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities
  • $1.5 million for the American Red Cross
  • $30 million for the Asian American Budget Equity Request, which provides funding to local organizations in the community to combat bias, hate crimes, and violence against Asian American communities
  • $903,000 for the Lexington School for the Deaf, a 4201 school in the district that educates deaf and blind students
  • $500,000 for Adult Literacy Education programs
  • $100,000 for Selfhelp Community Services, which serves Jackson Heights residents

The budget also included provisions to mitigate retail theft and the proliferation of illicit cannabis shops.

“This budget was a hard-fought and long process. I’m grateful to Speaker Heastie, my colleagues in the legislature, and the advocates who engaged in delivering the best possible budget for our neighbors. The funding we secured will help keep more tenants in their homes and protected from eviction and provide recording funding to our schools and health care institutions. I’m proud to have led successful campaigns on various issues, including providing continual coverage to children from birth to age six in Medicaid or Child Health Plus (CHP), securing $25 million to codify a reproductive care fund to support abortion providers, and $2 million to fund SNAP assistors who help hard-to-reach communities enroll in food stamps. I will continue to advocate for the necessary policy and budget investments, which will keep our neighbors safe and provide them with resources to care for themselves and their families,” said Assembly Member González-Rojas.

NO MORE INSULIN CO-PAYS: New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato shared that she voted for “a revolutionary change in the law for those with diabetes, or anyone who needs insulin, by banning cost sharing, or co-pays, for insulin prescriptions.” Aided by Pheffer Amato’s vote, individuals would have no out-of-pocket cost for insulin. Recent reports indicate that the average person with Type 1 Diabetes incurred annual insulin costs of $5,705, with some paying less, and some paying more.

It is widely known that when patients can’t afford insulin, they resort to rationing the little medication they can afford. In fact, one study found one in four people with Type 1 Diabetes admitted to not taking their insulin as prescribed due to the cost. This shocking and deadly statistic led Pheffer Amato to work on legislation to make insulin affordable for all New Yorkers. In New York, an estimated 10% of the population, or over 500,000 individuals require insulin every day. Through this new law which was included in the 2024 State budget, Pheffer Amato helped ensure that individuals would not need to make a choice between their healthcare and personal finances.

“This is a tremendous step forward for our State as we are removing a barrier between people and their health. If you need this life-saving medication, you can get it without a fear of out-of-pocket expenses. By voting yes and working on this type of legislation, I’m doing everything I can to make sure New Yorkers receive the best medical care and quality of life,” said Pheffer Amato.

NYPD RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION: New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato announced she successfully negotiated benefits for the members of the NYPD after intense conversations in the 2024 State budget. The Assemblywoman serves as Chairwoman of the NYS Committee on Governmental Employees which oversees all legislative action related to pensions, retirement systems, and the State civil service.

After the vote, the Assemblywoman tells of how she received hundreds of emails and calls from members of the police explicitly saying “Thank you Stacey!”

Pheffer Amato explained how she worked hand-in-hand with the NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the union that represents NYC police officers, to craft language that would increase the salary of police officers who have served for 25 – 30 years in order to combat the ongoing issue of retention and recruitment within the NYPD. This resulted in that NYPD Officers who serve 25 years will receive the pension of a third grade detective, and NYPD Officers who serve 30 years shall receive the pension of a sergeant. According to salary data, it is believed that these benefits could translate to a potential pension payment enhancement of $10,000 per year, or more, respectively.

“Every day our police officers put their lives on the line to protect our communities. They are out there to keep us all safe, which is why I think it is important that they be compensated for their dedication and hard work. By ensuring my bill, A.5202, was in the State budget, our State is making it clear that we not only recognize their hard work, but finally show our true appreciation for our police,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato.

PBA President Patrick Hendry said, “We have lost far too many of our most talented, experienced police officers to retirement or other policing jobs with better benefits. This important retention incentive will help keep our best cops on the job and in the New York City communities they know best. We are very grateful to Assemblymember Pheffer Amato for introducing this legislation and fighting hard to get it included in the budget. This legislation isn’t just good for police officers – it’s good for the safety of all New Yorkers.”

Supporters note that Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato has also received praise for being the fiercest supporter of the NYPD and actually getting legislation accomplished to benefit police officers. Throughout the 23rd Assembly District, there are over 281 NYPD police officers, along with their families, who could benefit from this pension enhancement sponsored by the Assemblywoman. Pheffer Amato is known for actually doing something to help the police, not just talking about supporting them. This stems not only from this year’s benefit, but also last year when she negotiated that Tier 3 NYPD Officers would finally obtain the ability to borrow from their pension – something that they had been explicitly denied.

QUALITY-OF-LIFE IN STATE BUDGET: Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, “Three weeks after the State Budget deadline and before casting my vote, I combed through the budget with acute consideration for constituent needs. The difficulty is balancing the good with the bad, knowing that a vote against part of the budget might be improperly viewed as unsupportive of critical programs and services. I take my responsibility seriously, and this year I was compelled to vote against the ELFA (Education, Labor, and Family Assistance) Article VII bill because I felt the ‘Good Cause’ housing section wouldn’t benefit all New Yorkers, namely my constituents on both sides, tenants and landlords. My decision to vote in the best interest of the individuals I represent was important, knowing the budget with all the worthy programs it supports, would pass despite my opposition to the lackluster plan inadequately addressing our housing crisis.”

ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS

“Illegal cannabis shops have been infiltrating our neighborhoods, and even though my office, working with local authorities, has been effective in shutting down a few reported to us, keeping up with them was a daunting task that necessitated new policies for enforcement. Policies enacted as part of the adopted budget allow authorities to shut down illicit dispensary premises during disciplinary proceedings so they can’t reopen days later. New provisions to suspend liquor, lottery, and tobacco licenses from storefronts selling cannabis illicitly, were also included. I am pleased our state has acknowledged the need to address the proliferation of illegal pot shops that has plagued my constituents and I look forward toward working with law enforcement and OCM with a new sense of optimism in shutting down these unwanted businesses in our communities.”

SQUATTERS

“Additionally, ‘squatting’ defined as occupying an abandoned or unoccupied building, usually residential, that the squatter doesn’t own, became a hot issue in the news recently and throughout my district. The enacted budget provides much-needed clarity to the law, so these ‘squatters’ will no longer be considered tenants, and my homeowners won’t be unjustly stripped of their rights. The budget rightfully shifts the property rights back to the homeowner where they belong.”

PUBLIC SAFETY

“My bill (S.2148B) providing equitable police pension fund benefits for experienced police officers was approved in the budget. Creating a retirement benefit to incentivize NYPD longevity makes sense beyond maintaining experienced, knowledgeable officers who will enhance public protection through their understanding of the job, it will improve the safety of freshman officers who train from skilled, veteran officers. Fighting crime and protecting residents and businesses in our neighborhoods, while helping to improve the safety of all law enforcement, are just some of the benefits it will provide.

“Overall, I believe the vital programs and services included in this year’s budget is predominantly a positive step for our state. There’s always more we can work on to enhance the safety, affordability, and overall services for New Yorkers, which is why I pledge to continue fighting for the needs of my district during the remaining legislative session days.”

STATE BUDGET: MENTAL HEALTH IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Governor Kathy Hochul announced an investment of more than $33 million in the State’s FY 2025 Enacted Budget to expand mental health services for individuals who are living with mental illness and involved in the criminal justice system. During a visit to the Midtown Community Justice Center in Manhattan, the Governor discussed how this funding will help ensure those individuals with a history of mental health treatment, lack of engagement in treatment, or other mental health concerns can connect with necessary services and supports, and experience better outcomes.

“The FY 2025 Budget doubles down on New York’s commitment to public safety by supporting people with mental illness who are also in the criminal justice system,” Governor Hochul said. “Every New Yorker deserves to feel safe as they walk down the street, use the transit systems and go about their daily lives. By addressing mental health, New York continues to help people find stability and peace while making entire communities safer.”

Governor Hochul visited the Justice Center – part of the Center for Justice Innovation and the Manhattan Misdemeanor Mental Health Court – to gain further insight into the mental health court system and to view holding spaces that will be transitioned into new on-site supportive services for individuals experiencing severe mental illness. The Midtown Community Justice Center works closely with the Manhattan Misdemeanor Mental Health Court to connect individuals with serious mental health needs to treatment, housing, and other supports, often as an alternative to traditional prosecution for low-level offenses.

This funding will also help these individuals to return to their own communities for care whenever possible.

This funding includes $8.2 million to place mental health navigators in courts to identify defendants with a history of mental health treatment, lack of engagement in treatment, or other mental health concerns. These specialists will then work with community partners, including local providers, to refer individuals to treatment and services. Many of these navigators will have lived experience and will be well-equipped to help others find the supports that can help them recover.

The budget also allocates $14.6 million to enhance and expand specialized Forensic Assertive Community Treatment teams, which will have lower caseloads and deliver intensive support to individuals with serious mental illness. This will allow the teams to maintain continuous engagement with these individuals and connect them with care and housing, ensure adherence to medication and treatment plans, and support life skill development.

Additionally, the budget invests $4.3 million into developing transitional housing for individuals referred through the court system. Another $2.8 million will provide housing and supports to individuals with mental illness experiencing homelessness or involved in the criminal justice system.

To support individuals placed in inpatient psychiatric treatment, the Budget includes funding for 200 new beds at state-operated psychiatric facilities. This includes funding for 25 forensic beds, which provide assessment and treatment for individuals involved with the criminal justice system; and three new 25-bed Transition-to-Home units, which serve those in need of specialized care, including individuals with a history of recurring criminal justice involvement and in need of psychiatric inpatient treatment.

The enacted Budget also includes $1 million to fund law enforcement and mental health coordination team and expands crisis intervention team training for police agencies and their partners, which will promote better outcomes when law enforcement responds to an individual with acute mental health needs.

This funding complements Governor Hochul’s landmark $1 billion mental health plan, which recognizes the links between chronic homelessness, substance use disorder, and severe mental health challenges, and prioritizes coordination of services to ensure no one falls through the cracks.

MAYOR’S BALANCED BUDGET: New York City Mayor Eric Adams released the City of New York’s balanced $111.6 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Executive Budget. Mayor Adams’ budget builds on the administration’s actions, since last fall, to stabilize the city’s fiscal outlook, and has positioned the city to backfill long-term programs that had only been funded with temporary stimulus funds while making the investments that double down on the city’s efforts to strengthen public safety, rebuild the economy, and make the city more livable, the Mayor noted. These investments will specifically add more police officers to city streets and subways, protect educational programs with city and recurring state funds and increase access to early childhood education, provide support for thousands of cultural institutions, and boost programs that improve the quality of life for working-class New Yorkers. Mayor Adams shared that his strong fiscal management and better-than-expected revenue, the Adams administration balanced the budget, stabilized the city’s fiscal position and outlook, and prevented major service cuts, tax hikes, or layoffs.

FY24 and FY25 remain balanced, with outyear gaps of $5.5 billion, $5.5 billion, and $5.7 billion in Fiscal Years 2026 through 2028, respectively. Growth of $2.2 billion in FY25 over the Preliminary Budget is driven by stronger than expected economic activity in FY24 and an improved outlook in FY25.

“When we came into office two years ago, during the height of another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were determined to protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make our city more livable for working-class New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “We have made great strides in these commitments, and today, crime is down, jobs are up, our streets are cleaners, we’re taking on major quality of life issues, and we have financed the most newly constructed affordable housing in a single year in our city’s history. Thanks to our strong fiscal management, we are able to invest in the things that matter to New Yorkers in this Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget, including public safety, early childhood education, and the needs of working-class people. As New York City moves toward the future, our core values will continue to guide us as we continue to build a safer, more equitable, and more prosperous city for all New Yorkers.”

The Mayor shared that on the heels of the pandemic, New York City had to confront substantial challenges, filling holes left where long-term programs were funded with temporary stimulus dollars, and the costs of funding fair labor deals that went years unresolved with city employees. While there are still reasons to remain cautious — like slowing revenue growth in coming fiscal years — by making smart decisions in the November and January plans — like monitoring spending and trimming agency and asylum seeker budgets — as well as better-than-expected revenue, the administration has balanced the budget and steadied the city’s fiscal position.

Strong and decisive action led to achieving a record level of gap-closing savings, and due to better-than-expected economic growth, the administration was able to cancel the previously announced Executive Budget Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG). As good stewards of taxpayer dollars, the administration still achieved $41 million in agency expense savings, over FY24 and FY25, driven by underspending, where agencies spent less than expected to fund a program or service. This has no impact on service delivery.

Additionally, because continuing to fund the needs of the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis without any limits was not sustainable, Mayor Adams committed to PEG the city’s asylum seeker spending over FY24 and FY25 by a total of approximately 30 percent between the Preliminary and Executive Budgets. As a result of the administration’s policies — including providing 30 to 60 days of housing, legal support, intensified case management, and reducing per diem household costs — more than 65 percent of the asylum seekers who have come through the city’s intake centers have left the city’s care and taken the next steps in their journeys. The administration has successfully cut migrant costs in the Executive Budget by $586 million over FY24 and FY25. Along with $1.7 billion in migrant costs previously cut in the FY25 Preliminary Budget, this brings the two-year total migrant PEG savings achieved to nearly $2.3 billion.

Total savings — including the asylum seeker PEGs — achieved in FY24 and FY25 over the November, January, and April Financial Plans is now $7.2 billion.

Additionally, tax revenue has been revised up by $619 million in FY24 and $1.7 billion in FY25 compared with the Preliminary Budget due to better than anticipated economic performance in 2023 and an improved economic outlook in 2024. These additional revenues were used to help remain balanced in FY24 and FY25. However, tax revenue growth is expected to cool in upcoming fiscal years as the local economy slows, bolstering the fact that the city cannot rely exclusively on revenue growth to resolve fiscal challenges.

Maintaining budget reserves as a hedge against the unexpected is a critical part of the administration’s strong financial management strategy. The FY25 Executive Budget maintains a near-record level $8.2 billion in reserves, including $1.2 billion in the General Reserve, $4.8 billion in the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund, $250 million in the Capital Stabilization Reserve, and $1.96 billion in the Rainy-Day Fund.

FY25 Priorities

The FY25 Executive Budget enhances safety and doubles down on the Adams administration’s efforts to continue to bring down crime by adding two more police classes this year and putting 1,200 additional police officers on the streets by adding July and October New York City Police Department (NYPD) classes. Now, all police academy classes will be fully funded in 2024. This adds 2,400 new police officers to city streets in the coming year and puts New York City on the path to having a total of 35,000 uniformed officers protecting New Yorkers in the coming years.

The Adams administration’s strong fiscal management, combined with a stronger than anticipated economic performance in 2023, helped put the city in a position to fund a number of stimulus-funded long-term programs that could be backfilled with city and state dollars. In the FY25 Executive Budget, Mayor Adams uses $514 million in city and recurring state funds to support key education programs that had been funded with expiring stimulus dollars, including mental health care, career readiness, and literacy programs for New York City public school students.

Additionally, the administration is making multiple investments in New York City’s cultural sector by allocating more than $22 million over the next three fiscal years to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. These investments will support over 1,000 cultural organizations, which make up the heart and soul of New York City and are the cornerstone of its economic rebound.

More specifically, some highlighted investments of the FY25 Executive Budget include:

  • Keeping New Yorkers Safe
  • Doubling down on decreases in homicides and shootings by adding 1,200 more police recruits between the July and October NYPD classes, putting New York City on a path to have 35,000 uniformed officers in the coming years ($62.4 million, FY25).
  • Funding for the Job Connections initiative, which will connect 500 young New Yorkers at risk of gun violence with career readiness and green job placement programs ($16.9 million, FY25).
  • Expanding the Crisis Management System to support additionalCure Violence coverage areas and additional mental health services in gun violence safety precincts ($8.6 million, FY25).
  • Supporting the Neighborhood Safety Alliance, which fosters collaboration between communities, actors, law enforcement agencies, and city services to reduce gun violence in six additional precincts ($2.5 million, FY25).
  • Securing a Better Future for New York City Children
  • Supporting citywide 3-K expansion as it transitions from its original stimulus funding source ($92 million, FY25).
  • Supporting nearly 500 social workers and psychologists who provide mental health supports in schools ($74 million, FY25)*.
  • Maintaining funding for special education Pre-K providers to increase service hours, and resources for DOE-related services and evaluation teams ($56 million, FY25)*.
  • Investing in pathways programs that facilitatecareer pathways programs in high schools — offering apprenticeships, career-readiness, and access to college credits ($53 million, FY25)*.
  • Arts funding programming ($41 million, FY25).
  • Literacy and dyslexia programs and academic assessments for both English language arts, and math ($17 million, FY25)*.
  • Funding for coordinators for students in temporary housing in schools and shelters ($17 million, FY25)*.
  • Bilingual education funding for curriculum and assessment, teacher preparation and staffing, professional learning, and multilingual family and community engagement for 100 bilingual programs ($10 million, FY25)*.
  • Increasing the availability of in-school early childhood education classes and services for students with special needs ($25 million, FY25).
  • Maximizing enrollment in early childhood education programming and helping parents connect with Pre-K and 3-K seats with an extensive media outreach and marketing campaign ($3.5 million, FY25).
  • Indicates funded with recurring state resources.
  • Investing in Cherished Cultural Institutions
  • Allocating funding for the Cultural Institutions Group, 34 cultural nonprofits operated on city-owned property ($5.4 million, FY25).
  • Investing in the Cultural Development Fund, which supports over 1,000 cultural nonprofits across the city ($2.2 million, FY25).
  • Putting More Money in the Pockets of Working-Class New Yorkers
  • Investing in stable housing for the most vulnerable New Yorkers by funding the City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement programs in the baseline ($615 million, FY25).
  • Wiping out $2 billion in medical debt for qualified low-income and severely debt-burdened New Yorkers through RIP Medical Debt, which buys debt at a steep discount and forgives repayment. This is the largest municipal medical debt program of its kind in the country ($6 million, FY25).
  • Ensuring eligible New Yorkers learn about supportive city programs that are available to them and make accessing the resources easy and efficient via the NYC Benefits Access Initiative ($4.6 million, FY25).
  • Helping unemployed New Yorkers connect with job opportunities and career support across the city’s public workforce through the Jobs NYC Employment Sprint system with a talent portal and by bringing hiring halls to communities experiencing high unemployment ($1 million, FY25).
  • Accelerating Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) and community hiring by implementing toolsto track the implementation of community hiring legislation and the new city-wide M/WBE program ($5.5 million, FY25).
  • Helping low-to moderate-income communities by funding grants to create and support new Small Business Improvement Districts and merchant associations ($5.3 million, FY25).
  • Establishing the NYC Future Fund that will make loans to Black, indigenous, and people of color-owned businesses with a focus on early-stage businesses ($2 million, FY25).

Climate Budgeting

Mayor Adams shared how he is taking a critical step towards making the city cleaner and greener over generations to come in his FY25 Executive Budget. New York City is the first big city in America, and among a small elite group of cities internationally, to implement climate budgeting, a system that integrates climate targets and considerations into the budget process to help achieve the city’s goals of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and resiliency to climate threats. Critically, climate impact will now be one of the many factors that will be balanced when allocating the city’s limited resources to ensure resources are aligned with sustainability and resiliency needs. And — for the first time and moving forward — the Executive Budget will also include a Climate Budgeting publication that will include an analysis of the city’s new and ongoing climate investments and progress toward emissions goals.

PRAISE FOR MAYOR’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET: Following the release of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Executive Budget, New York’s leaders – from across labor, business, advocacy, arts and culture, tech and more – joined in applauding the Adams administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Executive Budget. Mayor Adams’ budget builds on the administration’s actions, since last fall, to stabilize the city’s fiscal outlook, and has positioned the city to backfill long-term programs that had only been funded with temporary stimulus funds while making the investments that double down on the city’s efforts to strengthen public safety, rebuild the economy, and make the city more livable.

These investments will specifically add more police officers to city streets and subways, protect educational programs with city and recurring state funds and increase access to early childhood education, provide support for thousands of cultural institutions, and boost programs that improve the quality of life for working-class New Yorkers. By virtue of Mayor Adams’ strong fiscal management and better-than-expected revenue, the Adams administration balanced the budget, stabilized the city’s fiscal position and outlook, and prevented major service cuts, tax hikes, or layoffs.

Here’s what New Yorkers are saying:

“Small businesses are the catalyst behind New York City’s economic recovery, contributing to record job numbers,” said Tom Grech, President and Chief Executive Officer, Queens Chamber of Commerce. “As we continue to build out more tech incubators in addition to the five we already have in operation throughout Queens, these entrepreneurs are sure to benefit from the mayor’s budget. Currently, we have 15 tech firms that are 70 percent M/WBE. The mayor’s executive budget builds on this progress by making historic investments in small businesses, including access to grants and capital, and will ensure we have vibrant commercial corridors in all five boroughs.

“The restored budget cuts will have an immediate impact for Queens Theatre, increasing our capacity to bring programming to the communities we serve, and we are tremendously grateful to Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer and Commissioner Cumbo,” said Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director, Queens Theatre. “This is an important step toward funding New York City cultural institutions at a level commensurate with the sector’s importance to the economic and social health of the city. We are also thankful for the consistent support of Speaker Adams, Councilmember Rivera and Councilmember Justin Brannan, as reflected in their strong advocacy for culture funding in their Budget response.”

“We are thankful to Mayor Eric Adams for the significant cultural sector restoration of funds that will help New York City communities thrive,” said Regina Bain, Executive Director, Louis Armstrong House Museum. “Art and culture are critical to the success of our neighborhoods. Thank you as well to Commissioner Cumbo, Speaker Adams, Chair Rivera, Council Member Moya, and to arts and culture colleagues throughout the city who are preparing to bring this important work to the students, seniors, travelers, and families we serve.”

SPEAKER: MAYOR MUST DO MORE: Speaker Adrienne Adams and Finance Chair Justin Brannan released the following statement on the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget: “The City has a responsibility to invest in the essential services that New Yorkers rely on and can help working- and middle-class families remain in our city. The Mayor’s Executive Budget begins to reverse a fraction of previous cuts that have proven harmful to our city’s stability and were unnecessary in the context of our resilient economy, but significant work remains ahead to ensure a city budget that advances the health, safety, and strength of our communities.

“As responsible stewards of our city’s fiscal health, the Council presented a Preliminary Budget Response that identified $6.15 billion in newly available resources for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. Some of these funds can be used to produce a sound city budget by restoring and ensuring investments in education, cultural institutions, proven mental health and safety solutions, libraries, and many other vital services, yet the Executive Budget only realizes a portion of these resources leaving too many cuts in place. We are disappointed that critical support for key mental health services, programs to reduce recidivism, and libraries that our city desperately needs are not included in the Executive Budget. The Council’s budget response proposed $1.63 billion for the restoration of essential services and set aside nearly $3 billion to protect against fiscal risks and under-budgeted costs, while dedicating $500 million to the Rainy Day Fund and leaving an over $1 billion surplus as a safeguard. The Council’s balanced approach is one that can protect vital services and chart a path towards greater stability for our city and its neighborhoods, outlining the roadmap necessary between the Executive Budget and the Adopted Budget.

“The Council will closely review the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget through our public hearings and other efforts to examine its impact on City agencies and New Yorkers. We look forward to working together as a Council, alongside the Administration and all stakeholders in our city, to deliver a final budget that fulfills our obligations to all New Yorkers and supports their success.”

OFFICIALS PASS ANTISEMITISM ON CAMPUS ACT: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, alongside 29 other senators, announced the introduction of the bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act. The bill will help address antisemitic sentiment and action on college campuses—which has been rising across the nation for years and spiked in the wake of Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7, 2023—by requiring the U.S. Department of Education to consider the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws.

“In recent years, and especially over the past several months, we have seen a disturbing rise in antisemitism across the country and on our college campuses,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This rise is unacceptable, and we must do more to protect our students. The Antisemitism Awareness Act would ensure the Department of Education has the right legal definitions needed to take action against all forms of antisemitism on our college campuses. No student should ever be the victim of antisemitic discrimination, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to get this vital bill passed.”

The Antisemitism Awareness Act would formalize the Department of Education’s consideration of the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism, which is a vital tool helping to clarify and identify the various manifestations of antisemitism. Since 2018, the Department of Education has used the IHRA definition when investigating violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This definition is supported by President Biden’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, was included in President Biden’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, and has been used by the State Department since the Obama administration.

In addition to Senator Gillibrand, the Antisemitism Awareness Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), James Lankford (R-OK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rick Scott (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Boozman (R-AR), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Katie Britt (R-AL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Cornyn (R-TX), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

JEFFRIES ON COLLEGE CAMPUS UNREST: Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries released the following statement: “The antisemitic rhetoric and intimidation deployed by some students and outside protestors on college campuses in New York City and beyond is completely unacceptable and deeply disturbing. Every American has the constitutional right to free speech and peaceful assembly in the public square. However, intentionally targeting Jews or any community on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity, acts of harassment and the use of physical violence will never be tolerated. No Jewish student or faculty member should fear for their safety on campus or anywhere else in our nation.

“The effort to crush antisemitism and hatred in any form is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s an American issue that should bind us all together. We will continue to do everything possible to protect the Jewish community during this very fraught moment, fight the cancer of antisemitism and redouble our efforts to bring communities together.”

MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS IN TAP: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of TAP, the Tuition Assistance Program, the New York State Budget included major improvements:

 Minimum award to double from $500 to $1,000

 Increases dependent student income eligibility from $80,000 to $125,000

 Increases the income level for independent, single students from $10,000 to $30,000

 Increases the income level for independent, married students from $40,000 to $60,000

Senator Stavisky and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy worked collaboratively to promote these improvements in a program they called “Turn on the TAP.” Stavisky stated: “This year’s changes in TAP will enable more students to take advantage of TAP which must be used at a New York State college. Increasing the income eligibility to $125,000 will, hopefully, encourage more middle class students to stay in New York. I am delighted that we were able to Turn on the TAP.”

STATE’S LARGEST SOLAR CARPORT AT JFK: Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York Power Authority began construction of New York State’s largest onsite solar plus storage project: a solar carport canopy at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Once operational, the solar carport project will generate electricity to help power the AirTrain and to reduce electricity costs for residents of low-income neighborhoods in Queens. Located in the airport’s long-term parking lot 9, the JFK solar carport will be erected as a canopy, providing the added benefit of covered parking for 3,000 vehicles.

“We are breaking ground on a game-changing solar project, which will give power to the AirTrain and support thousands of families in Queens,” Governor Hochul said. ”Supporting local minority- and women-owned businesses, this project will deepen our investment in the community while pushing forward New York’s nation-leading climate goals.”

The Port Authority, in partnership with the New York Power Authority, has contracted TotalEnergies, a global leader in solar power, to build and operate the JFK International Airport solar project. With enough solar panels to cover an area large enough for 11 football fields, the solar carport will generate approximately 12 megawatts of onsite power and will include a 6-megawatt community solar generation facility. The project will also include 7.5 megawatts of battery storage that will be used to help reduce airport energy use during peak periods. When complete, the JFK solar carport will produce enough clean energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6,000 tons annually – the greenhouse gas equivalent of 26 million miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle – and will contribute substantially to the Port Authority’s goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the agency’s facilities by 2050. Additionally, the project will enable designated low-income communities in Queens to support clean energy and to save on their utility bills.

Governor Hochul cited the JFK solar carport and battery storage project in her 2024 State of the State message as an example of New York’s transformative infrastructure projects. The JFK solar carport is also consistent with the Governor’s climate agenda, which calls for a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in a way that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that a robust share of clean energy investments is directed to disadvantaged communities. As with all Port Authority capital projects, development of the solar carport will adhere to the 30 percent goal for participation by minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

The project will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will deliver energy to the airport starting in March 2025. Phase 2 is the community solar project and will deliver energy to Con Edison for the surrounding community beginning in April 2026. Through the NYS Community Distributed Generation Program, the project will provide guaranteed electric bill savings for 25 years to historically disadvantaged and environmentally impacted households. The community benefit addresses the disparity in access to clean energy among lower-income communities. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, households that have difficulty paying their energy bills also typically face higher energy costs – about 20 percent higher per square foot than the national average.

The project is a significant milestone for the Port Authority’s industry-leading sustainability agenda. On-site solar and other renewable energy initiatives are among seven key areas that the agency’s overall sustainability program encompasses, along with clean electric vehicles; energy efficiency; “green” facilities; clean ship practices for ocean-going vessels; offshore wind and partnering to combat climate change.

A variety of solar projects are currently in operation across Port Authority facilities, including a 5-MW solar parking canopy at Newark Airport, a 1.5-MW rooftop solar array on LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B garage, and a 600-kilowatt solar roof on a PATH warehouse rooftop. Additional solar projects are planned at JFK airport, where construction of a new Terminal 1 and a new Terminal 6 will include rooftop arrays of solar panels that will generate power at the airport.

NYPA is also implementing a $4 million project for the Port Authority that includes the installation of energy efficient LED fixtures throughout the airport’s Hangar 19 and the replacement of the AirTrain’s track heater controls that will allow Port Authority to remotely monitor and control track heaters at every AirTrain station, including at the Jamaica station in Queens. The measures will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 960 metric tons. Sixteen electric vehicle chargers are also being installed for Delta to power plane tugs and baggage loaders. An earlier project completed 120 chargers at Terminal 5 for Jet Blue fleets.

CROSSING GUARD CHARGED WITH ATT’D RAPE: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jared Jeridore was charged with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, attempted rape and other crimes following an undercover investigation during which the defendant, who was working as a school crossing guard in Jamaica, allegedly tried to lure an NYPD officer he believed to be 14 years old to participate in a sexual act.

District Attorney Katz said: “Young people need to be able to trust the adults who are charged with keeping them safe. This defendant is accused of violating that trust with someone he thought was a teenager. His arrest should serve as a warning to any sexual predator who thinks they will not be caught and held responsible Thank you to our partners at the NYPD for their work on this.”

Jeridore, 24, of Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, was arraigned on a seven-count criminal complaint charging him with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, three counts of attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors in the first degree, attempted rape in the third degree, official misconduct and attempted endangering the welfare of a child.

Judge Julieta Lozano ordered Jeridore to return to court June 7. If convicted, Jeridore faces up to seven years in prison.

According to the charges:

– An undercover operation was started based on complaints about Jeridore – a crossing guard near a Jamaica school – from underage individuals to the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.

– On March 28, 2024, at approximately 7:36 a.m., an undercover posing as a 14-year-old girl met Jeridore at the intersection of 108th Avenue and 167th Street near the school.

– On April 18, the undercover and Jeridore exchanged their Instagram screen names. At about 2:10 p.m. they walked together from the intersection of 108th Avenue and 167th Street to a nearby bus stop and he interlocked his arm with hers.

– At 11:22 p.m. on April 18, Jeridore had a video call with the undercover, whom he believed to be 14 with a birthday on April 20, and asked her to join him in a sexual act.

– From April 18 to April 21, Jeridore sent text messages through Instagram to another undercover officer, posing as the first one, describing sexual interactions he wanted to have with her. He also sent the officer nude photos and a sexually explicit video.

– On April 23, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the first undercover received multiple phone calls from Jeridore asking her to meet him at a hotel at 87-07 Van Wyck Expressing in order to have sex.

– Police were at the hotel, waiting for Jeridore. Jeridore arrived at the hotel room and was arrested on scene. Police recovered three condoms from him.

REDUCE TRUCK DELIVERIES DURING RUSH HOURS: New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced new incentives to help reduce truck deliveries during the busiest hours of the day to improve traffic safety, protect the environment, and combat daytime congestion and double-parking. The agency will allocate $6 million to incentivize businesses receiving deliveries overnight. NYC DOT’s Off-Hour Delivery program (OHD) will provide financial incentives for businesses to shift deliveries to off-peak hours, between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Excessive truck traffic during peak daytime hours contributes to congestion, increased carbon emissions, and greater safety risks to pedestrians, cyclists, and others when the streets are busier. The funding, allocated through the US DOT’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, is part of the agency’s larger effort to rethink how the city manages deliveries and better meet the demands of e-commerce.

“90% of everything in our city– our food and drink, our clothing and paper towels– comes in by truck. To decrease congestion on the roads, we have to get a handle on our deliveries,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “While we work to route deliveries into lower-emissions vehicles, we can make immediate inroads by spreading them out across the day– if we can encourage businesses to be open to pick them up. This program will go a long way towards helping businesses help our city, decreasing emissions, improving our air quality, and keeping our thoroughfares moving. This is a real win for New York.”

“New Yorkers are receiving more deliveries than ever before, and we are making them cleaner, safer, and more efficient,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “This incentive program will support local businesses and benefit all New Yorkers by reducing the number of delivery trucks on our roads during busy daytime hours.”

The Off-Hour Deliveries incentives will fund tools and strategies to make overnight deliveries feasible for businesses. This includes the installation of low-noise equipment for delivery vehicles (such as newer hand pallet trucks and backup alarms), building security retrofits to enable unattended deliveries, and safety equipment such as security cameras. Participating businesses will receive one-time payments. The incentives program specifically aims to help smaller businesses that face financial barriers to transitioning to off-hour deliveries, though the program will be open to businesses of all sizes. NYC DOT will also encourage participants to consider sustainable last-mile delivery options, such as electric vehicles and cargo bikes. The incentive program will be managed by Arcadis, which will develop, administer, and monitor its implementation.

Roughly 90% of goods are moved through New York City by truck—and businesses often receive their deliveries during the middle of the day when streets are congested and demand for space at the curb is at its highest. Shifting commercial deliveries to the evening and overnight hours can help reduce traffic while also cutting costs for shippers. NYC DOT made its Off-Hour Deliveries pilot program permanent in 2010 and has used it to provide technical assistance to freight receivers and shippers to help them shift deliveries to off-peak hours. To date, the agency has enrolled 27 businesses with close to 1,120 locations receiving off-hour deliveries. As outlined within the Delivering Green plan, NYC DOT aims to reach 5,000 OHD locations by 2040, shifting an estimated 62,000 trucks away from peak hours. NYC DOT aims to achieve this goal through the $6 million incentive program announced today and an additional $5 million committed to the NYC OHD program through the Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP).

The OHD program includes businesses that receive large amounts of goods into the five boroughs, like Just Salad, ABI (Anheuser Busch-Inbev), Wegmans, Odeko, and Whole Foods Market.

Increasing freight efficiency with an expanded OHD program promotes sustainable business practices with multiple benefits – from the reduction of daytime roadway congestion and double parking in active bus lanes to advancing the City’s Vision Zero goals with fewer truck-pedestrian conflicts.

BUSINESS OUTREACH AND DELIVERY MANAGEMENT

This spring, NYC DOT will host two information sessions with businesses to help tailor the incentives program to businesses’ needs.

Webinars will be held virtually on June 3 and June 10. Interested businesses can fill out the form on their Get Started page.

The Off-Hour Deliveries incentive program is part of NYC DOT’s efforts to reimagine freight delivery in New York City, restructure freight distribution, and create a sustainable last-mile delivery system for getting goods where they need to go safely and efficiently. Earlier this month, NYC DOT launched LockerNYC to combat package theft and reduce the negative environmental and safety impacts of truck deliveries. In March, the agency authorized the use of e-cargo bikes on city streets to make deliveries safer and more sustainable. The agency is also working to install delivery “microhubs,” where trucks can safely offload to smaller, greener delivery modes like cargo bikes, handcarts, and electric vans. Additionally, through the Blue Highways program in coordination with EDC, the city is working to reactivate marine infrastructure helping to shift deliveries from larger trucks to our waterways.

CON ED SUSTAINABILITY REPORT: Con Edison makes clear in its Clean Energy Commitment that it supports the state’s climate and clean energy law, which is among the most ambitious in the country. The Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 emissions levels by 2030.

By the end of 2023, customers of the company’s utilities, Con Edison Co. of New York (CECONY) and Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R), had installed 822 megawatts – or 822 million watts – of clean, renewable power capacity.

During the year, the companies’ energy efficiency programs provided customers with more than $304 million for making upgrades to their homes and businesses that will save them money and reduce emissions. Those upgrades are the equivalent of taking more than 93,000 cars off the road.

CECONY customers installed 92.1 megawatts of solar in 2023, a company record. O&R customers installed 30.1 megawatts, the second most in O&R history.

Battery energy storage systems will play an important role in a clean energy future. At the end of 2023, the utilities had connected 1,125 customer battery systems with a capacity of 82 megawatts.

The Clean Energy Transition

Last year added to the mounting proof that climate change is bringing harsh consequences. The Canadian wildfires affected life in New York by sending ash and smoke to the region, forcing the cancellation of outdoor work and recreational events.

Con Edison shared they are committed to confronting climate change by leading a transition to a low-carbon future with ample green jobs and equal opportunity for all to benefit. The company is building transmission lines to carry power from offshore wind turbines to customers. In 2023, Con Edison put into service a new transmission line that connects two substations in Queens and enabled the retirement of an inefficient, fossil fuel power plant.

And in January, Con Edison got state approval for its Reliable Clean City – Idlewild project, a substation complex in southeast Queens. That infrastructure will help meet the growing demand for power as buildings become electrified, more electric vehicles hit the road and John F. Kennedy International Airport undergoes a major redevelopment.

Protecting Infrastructure from Climate Change

Con Edison recognizes that the harsh reality of climate change requires bold steps to protect energy equipment from severe weather and prevent and shorten outages.

The utilities last November each completed a Climate Change Resiliency Plan, proposing $1.3 billion in investments in the first five years to fortify equipment against severe heat waves, storms and flooding.

The plans rely on the latest science from Columbia University, which indicates that a rise in the number of extreme heat events will occur faster than prior research predicted.

SUPPORT AUTISM WALK & RESOURCE FAIR: State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Community Board 9 will present their 2nd Annual Autism and Developmental Disability Walk and Resource Fair on Saturday, May 4, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto Park/Smokey Oval Park in Richmond Hill. Everyone is invited to attend.

During the event, participants will walk around the perimeter of the park four times. The rain date is May 18 at the same time and location.

Resources and educational materials will be distributed, and speakers such as Janet Forte, a school physiologist specializing in helping children with special needs will share their knowledge on autism and developmental disabilities. Fun activities such as Zumba sessions will also take place to keep families engaged. Complimentary snacks and beverages will be distributed.

Participating organizations will include Mercy Drive Inc., New York Life Insurance Company, EmblemHealth, Bena Homecare Agency, the River Fund, Caribbean Cabana, Trinidadian and Tobagonian USA group, NYC Sikh Community, and Heart of Gems.

“Autism can come in many different forms and affects each person with it differently, so because of that, each person with Autism — and the families and loved ones that care for them — require different levels and types of care,” Addabbo said. “That is why it is vitally important that we have events like this. However, we are also walking to raise awareness of other developmental disabilities that impact so many lives right here in Queens, let alone across the country and the world.”

Autism is a complex brain disorder that often inhibits a person’s ability to communicate, respond to their surroundings, and form relationships with others. According to the CDC, in 2020 more than 5.4 million adults in the U.S. — or 2.2 percent of the population — are on the autism spectrum and using data from 2020 the CDC estimates that 1 in 36 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with autism in 2023.

“As the mother of a son with autism, I am personally excited to have Senator Addabbo sponsor this walk again along with Community Board 9,” Sherry Algredo, the Chairwoman of CB 9 said. After the great success we had with the walk last year it has become clear that this is an event that is needed in the community and must continue. This is not just a walk, but also an opportunity to engage and speak with participating families and hear about their struggles and the need for more equitable and fair services for people with special needs. We encourage folks to come out and join us in support of this great cause and keep this awareness going. I know the struggles that families of special needs children face because I have walked their path and I continue to walk their path. When my son was younger it was very difficult to access resources. Since then, we have come a long way, and we will continue to raise awareness until all families have access to fair and equitable special needs services. We look forward to community leaders and community members coming out and supporting families and to continue to raise awareness. I personally want to thank Senator Addabbo for being open to this idea and helping cultivate it.”

“I would like to thank the partners of this great event, including Community Board 9 and its Chairwoman Sherry Algredo who was instrumental in helping to plan the walk,” Addabbo said. “I also want to thank everyone who has supported this amazing cause.”

RECYCLE OLD ELECTRONICS AT FOREST PARK: State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. will host his free spring bi-annual free electronic waste recycling event on Sunday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Forest Park Bandshell Parking Lot where Lower East Side Ecology Center will be collecting old and broken electronics to be properly recycled.

“When electronics are not properly recycled they can end up in our landfills causing harmful chemicals to get into the soil which are quite harmful to the environment and to us,” Addabbo said. “By recycling your e-waste, you help to clean up the environment and create a healthier planet now and for future generations. I understand that it can be difficult to know when and where to dispose of your old electronics, which is why we hold this event twice a year centrally located at Forest Park so residents have the opportunity to join us and get rid of their e-waste right in their community.”

Electronics that will be accepted during the event are: Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes); Monitors (CRT and flat screen); Handheld devices (smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, e-readers, etc.); Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.); Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, cords, chargers, etc.); Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.); Printers, scanners, fax-machines, etc.; TVs, VCRs, DVRs, DVD & Blu-ray Players; Digital Converter Boxes, Cable/Satellite Receivers; Audio-visual equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.); Video-game consoles and accessories; Cell phones, pagers, PDAs; Stereo equipment; Landline phones/answering machines; Extension cords.

Items that will NOT be accepted are: Batteries of any kind; Floppy disks/VHS tapes/CDs/DVDs/cassette tapes; Smoke detectors; Medication; Any hazardous materials or paint; Household appliances.

For more information about this event, contact Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.

GREEK AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS MEETING: The Greek American Homeowners Association announced to members the next General Meeting of the Greek American Homeowners Association. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at our headquarters located at 23-49 31 Street, Astoria N.Y. 11105.

The meeting’s Guest Speakers include:

– Dr. Katerina Georgantza, DDS. – How the inflammation of the internal mouth area affects the overall body health.

– Dr. Panagiotis Manolas, M.D., F.A.C.S. – Skin Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer and New Genetic Testing.

DESIGN A NEW LOGO FOR CB 6: Out with the old: Community Board 6 announced the New Logo Competition, calling for all aspiring and professional graphic designers to create a new logo representing the neighborhoods of Forest Hills & Rego Park.

Voting will occur May 24 – June 3, 2024 via a google form shared on Community Board’s Facebook page and X account.

Competition Rules, what you need to know:

3 submissions per person maximum

Must include the words: Queens Community Board 6

Image should represent Forest Hills and Rego Park

Submissions should be a .jpeg or .png, using CMYK color

Must also be legible in Black & White, in case it is used for print

File size should be a 1:1 ratio

Entrant must be a New York State Resident, 11 years or older (entrants under 18 will have an opportunity to click and submit guardian consent)

Entries must be received by May 15, 2024.

For more info, visit www.nyc.gov/site/queenscb6/index.page.

LANGSTON HUGHES LIBRARY’S 55TH ANNIVERSARY: Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center’s 55th Anniversary Celebration was held on Saturday, April 27, (in-person). This vibrant festival featured musical and dance performances from various cultures by local artists and provide fun activities for all ages throughout the day. The day included arts and crafts, a game truck, carnival games, face painting and more.

COMMUNITY BOARD 2 MEETING, HEARING:

Community Board 2 has scheduled a Regular Monthly Meeting and Public Hearing of the Full Board on Thursday, May 2, at 6:30 P.M. at Sunnyside Community Services (43-31 39TH Street, Ground Floor, Sunnyside, NY 11104).

Teleconference Zoom:

us02web.zoom.us/j/83945468868?pwd=ZWp6M3NjTlhRMkRENitiWVlranV2QT09 Audio Conference Number: 646 558 8656 Meeting ID: 839 4546 8868 Passcode 024844

REVISED AGENDA, PUBLIC MEETING:

  • Department Of Transportation – Presentation For Street Improvement Project For The Opening Of The South Outer Roadway To Pedestrians On The Queensboro Bridge.
  • City Planning Presentation – Discussion of City of Yes for Housing Opportunity

PUBLIC HEARING:

  • Discussion on a Request for Quality of Life/No Parking Sign from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am on Center Boulevard between 50th Avenue and 48th Avenue

The next Community Board 2 meeting will be held on Thursday, June 6.

E-WASTE RECYCLE IN DOUGLASTON: Councilmember Vickie Paladino made the following announcements: “My office is partnering with Samaritans of NYC to host the Connecting in Crisis webinar on Thursday, May 2nd at 12 pm. This webinar offers an overview of an effective crisis response framework and its practical application. It will equip participants with the knowledge and tools to confidently provide support to individuals who are at-risk, in crisis and/or thinking about suicide.

“Story Time with Councilwoman Paladino was so successful, we’re bringing it back just in time for Mother’s Day! Join us on Friday, May 10th at 7 pm for Story Time with Councilwoman Paladino and Friends at our District Office located at 20-15 Francis Lewis Blvd, Whitestone, NY 11357.

“E-Waste Recycling is available on Saturday, May 18th from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine, in the St. Anastasia Church parking lot in Douglaston. Gather up all your old electronics and come by to dispose of them. It’s illegal to dispose of electronics with your regular trash so don’t miss this opportunity!

“On Wednesday, May 29th at 7 pm, my office is hosting a Zoom Info-Session with Deborah Truhowsky on preventing and identifying nursing home neglect and abuse. We’ll be covering topics such as tips when selecting a nursing home and answering questions like can you stay in the room when resident is given care, are certain injuries inevitable for nursing home residents, and who can make health care decisions if a Health Care Proxy was not signed.

“Please see additional details and flyers below and feel free to contact my office via phone at (718) 619-8611 to ask questions and to RSVP.”

(718) 533-8773

Email qn02@cb.nyc.gov

www.nyc.gov/queenscb2

MOTHER’S DAY ESSAY & POETRY CONTEST: Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) is announcing the return of his annual Mother’s Day Essay and Poetry Contest, open to students in grades 2-5 who live or go to school in Assembly District 26.

Submissions can be any length and should have a Mother’s Day theme, such as a favorite experience, or an essay about why their mother is so special to them. The deadline to enter the contest is Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

“As we welcome spring and prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day, I am happy to invite Northeast Queens students to showcase their writing skills and creativity by submitting an entry to my annual Essay and Poetry Contest,” said Assemblyman Edward Braunstein. “The contest is a great opportunity for students to honor their mother while competing to win a district-wide prize. I look forward to reading all the entries.”

District-wide prizes will be awarded in each grade and New York State Assembly Certificates of Merit will be awarded to all participating students. If a student is interested in participating, they are asked to please print their full name, grade and school information on their entry and submit the essay or poem to Assemblyman Braunstein’s office at 213-33 39th Avenue, Suite 238, Bayside, NY 11361. Essays and poems can also be submitted by email to braunsteine@nyassembly.gov, or fax to 718-357-5947.

If entrants have any questions, they can contact Assemblyman Braunstein’s office at 718-357-3588.

SAVE BAYH-DOLE ACT FOR INNOVATION: Saul Anuzis, President of 60 Plus, the American Association of Senior Citizens – warns that the Biden administration is “actively working to dismantle” a “groundbreaking law and American progress as a whole”.

Anuzis writes: “Like many of my fellow seniors, I grew up in an era where TVs were boxy and pixelated. They broadcast in black and white. Checking the news meant tuning into one of three network’s nightly shows. So some days, I have to take a moment, stop, and marvel at how far modern technology has come. Today, smart TVs broadcast in the crispest color imaginable. News and entertainment of every possible stripe and political orientation is just a Google search away. This technological progress didn’t happen by accident. Much of it is the direct result of a 1980 law that launched a high-tech revolution across dozens of industries. Unfortunately, the Biden administration is about to gut that law – with disastrous consequences for innovators, and ultimately, American consumers.

“In 1980, both parties came together to pass the Bayh-Dole Act, which enabled universities, nonprofits, and small businesses that had received government research grants to keep the patent and licensing rights on any discoveries they made. Research institutions could then license those patents to private companies for development, with a portion of the royalties going back to the universities to invest in further research.

“Prior to the law, the government retained the patents on any ideas or inventions stemming from those research grants. And it rarely licensed the patents to companies that wanted to turn those ideas into better real-world products.

“This reform rested on two brilliantly simple insights. First, that the government isn’t the most efficient executor of, well, anything – especially not the time-consuming process of licensing patents. And second, research institutions are more likely to understand their own inventions, and thus more able to find companies willing to commercialize them.

“By decentralizing the development of federally funded discoveries, Bayh-Dole incentivized and promoted innovation. Between 1996 and 2000, the technology transfer enabled by the law created $1 trillion in economic output, supported 6.5 million jobs, and spurred the development of more than 17,000 new businesses. In addition to TV and smartphone technology and Google’s first search algorithm, the tech transfer facilitated by the Bayh-Dole Act has helped bring more than 200 medications and vaccines to American consumers.

“President Biden doesn’t seem to care much about why these innovations exist today. And if his Department of Commerce finalizes its new proposal, the miraculous innovations of the future may never exist. The framework radically reinterprets a clause in the Bayh-Dole Act. It suggests bureaucrats can ‘march in’ and forcibly relicense patents on a federally funded invention any time that they decree the product is too expensive.

“By twisting the interpretation of the march-in clause, the Biden administration is undermining the reliability and predictability of the Bayh-Dole system. If licensees know that bureaucrats can relicense a patent any time they dislike the price of a product, they’ll hesitate to license university research in the first place. Universities may shy away from taking government funding. And the sort of innovation that improves seniors’ lives will slow. Put simply, the proposed plan would be disastrous for seniors and even worse for the economy. We won’t go back to boxy TVs that sign off with the national anthem and fade to static in the early morning hours. But decades from now, people will look back and pinpoint this time — and this proposal – as the moment American innovation dramatically slowed.”

This piece originally ran in the Detroit News.

A MAJOR WIN VS ILLEGAL SMOKE SHOPS: For the past several months, NYS Senator Leroy Comrie has been working alongside his colleagues to provide solutions to the scourge of the proliferation of illegal smoke shops throughout his district in Queens and across New York City. Senator Comrie joined with Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar to introduce the SMOKEOUT Act, (S7998-A/A8428-A).

The electeds note that illegal smoke shops currently sell unregulated cannabis and cannabis products to anyone. These products have no sense of quality control and are often of poor quality. They can be laced with other drugs or dangerous substances like fentanyl, and can be sold to underage youth. This cannabis can also be imported from other states or countries, or be grown in unsafe conditions with exposure to heavy metal contamination. Where licensed cannabis retailers have strict zoning requirements establishing safe distances from schools, houses of worship, and other youth facilities, illegal smoke shops have no respect for such boundaries.

“Their presence not only is a threat to public safety and blight to communities, but also robs the state of the chance to collect a highly anticipated revenue through the legal cannabis market. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) of 2021 was specifically designed to make amends for past over policing of communities of color through the issuing of its first round of licenses to justice-involved individuals formerly incarcerated for low-level offenses related to cannabis. Tax revenue of such sales was additionally intended to repair communities through contributing to state funds for public education, community grants for causes such as healthcare and housing, and for addiction services. The over proliferation of illegal smoke shops, however, has seriously stymied these goals from being realized,” the elected stated.

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) was initially set up to regulate the rollout of MRTA in New York State, however, it has faced difficulty tackling the crisis of the thousands of illegal smoke shops without the help of local partners.

The SMOKEOUT Act empowers local authorities to take swift action against businesses engaging in unlawful cannabis sales. They can shut these operations down, confiscate any related products, and take greater measures to secure these facilities from being reopened. This measure is just one of several steps necessary to ensure the safe and successful rollout of the legal cannabis retail market that works towards the general welfare, rather than against it.

The bill allows OCM and the Cannabis Control Board to bring actions to seal or “padlock” locations involved in selling illicit cannabis immediately if the location poses an imminent threat to public health and safety. Localities are allowed to establish their own local laws to carry out closure orders against illicit stores not on the OCM registry, seize illicit cannabis, and impose their own civil penalties.

This law will expand civil enforcement to those enforcement entities designed through a local law to conduct inspections of illicit cannabis shops. In New York City, the Office of the Sheriff will be the entity primarily tasked with conducting inspections of shops and possibly closing those shops that pose a threat to public health and safety. Authorities are only able to search the unlicensed shop’s premises for the seizure of illicit cannabis and cannabis products. However, authorities can utilize probable cause to seek a warrant to search other locations for unregulated cannabis and cannabis products.

The penalty for breaking the padlock specifically would be a Class A misdemeanor charge of Obstruction of Governmental Administration. The authorities might be able to bring additional charges against those who break back in, depending on the facts of the case. The fines for failure to allow an inspection would be increased from $4,000 to $8,000 for the first offense and from $8,000 to $15,000 for a second and subsequent offenses.

While the Assembly did not have the SMOKEOUT Act in its One-House, Senator Comrie was able to forge alliances with several members to push for its support in the final budget. Senator Comrie partnered with BPHA Caucus Chair Michaelle Solages to host an emergency meeting of the Caucus, to encourage Members to steadfastly push for passage of the major facets of the bill.

The Adopted Budget bill on Public Protections and General Government voted in last night successfully included provisions authorizing padlocking of illicit storefronts by OCM and localities, elevating penalties against landlords who fail to take action against violating tenants, and empowering local governments, including New York City, to act under state enforcement provisions.

“I am filled with gratitude that the SMOKEOUT Act, a major priority of mine, made it into the final adopted state budget,” said Senator Comrie. “Illegal smoke shops have been a top complaint from my constituency for years now and I know their abundant presence has similarly degraded the public health and safety in communities all over the state of New York. With this new set of provisions, municipalities will be able to better partner with OCM for a safer, more successful rollout of the legal cannabis retail market that works towards our goals as a state, not against them. I am humbled by the outpouring of support from my colleagues in both houses of the legislature as well as Governor Kathy Hochul, which I know was instrumental for the SMOKEOUT Act’s adoption to the final budget.”

DEPT OF FINANCE COMING TO UNG’S OFFICE: Councilmember Sandra Ung announced that she will host representatives from the Department of Finance in her district office on the fourth Tuesday of every month beginning April 30. They will be able to help submit or provide updates on the status of applications for the rent freeze and property tax exemption programs for senior citizens and disabled New Yorkers, as well as address other questions and inquiries related to the Department of Finance.

“For many New Yorkers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable housing that fits their budget. But for senior citizens and members of the disabled community, who often live on fixed incomes, even the slightest increase in their rent or property taxes can pose an insurmountable challenge,” said Councilmember Sandra Ung. “I urge constituents who think they may be eligible for one of the city’s programs to protect them from rent or property tax increases to take advantage of this opportunity to see if they qualify and get assistance with the application process.”

The consultations are free, but it is advised that you make an appointment in advance by contacting Councilmember Ung’s office by phone at (718) 888-8747 or email at district20@council.nyc.gov. The district office is located at 136-21 Latimer Place, Suite 1D, Flushing, NY, 11354.

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) assists eligible senior citizens and disabled tenants by freezing their rent at current levels and exempting them from future rent increases.

The Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) tax breaks are available to eligible homeowners under a certain income threshold. For some homeowners, that could mean reducing the assessed value of their property by up to 50 percent, in turn lowering the amount of property taxes they owe.

CRUZ ON BUDGET: Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz released the following statement: “Last weekend, I helped pass an impactful $236.8 billion budget for our state. This investment will work to boost community safety and healthcare access, and also support our local programs with essential funding! Key measures include tougher rules to shut down and curtail the proliferation of illegal cannabis shops, as well as Sammy’s Law, which allows NYC to set new speed limits to make our streets safer.

“Notably, the budget effectively removes all costs for insulin, increases funding for abortion access, and provides over $100M to combat food insecurity. I also helped secure significant aid for transgender and immigrant support services. However, despite these advancements, we will have to push for in order to fully fully support our growing immigrant community.

“Additionally, while the budget includes measures to protect New Yorkers from evictions, many tenants remain vulnerable. The current protections fall short of the more robust “Good Cause” eviction standards I fought for, and with the increase in Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs), many of our neighbors may still face rent hikes they cannot afford, leading to evictions. But know that we are committed to addressing these issues and will continue to advocate vigorously for tenant rights over the coming months.”

YOUTH WISE ADVISE: In honor of April’s Financial Literacy Month, NYS Senator Leroy Comrie, Annaline Dinkelmann, Founder of Teach Me Wall Street, Melanie Mortimer, President of SIMFA Foundation and Queens student Tyler Kye, founder of the organization Youth Wise Advise held a virtual press conference advocating for Senator Comrie’s Financial Literacy bill to shed light on the urgent need for a requirement to teachifinancial literacy in New York’s high schools. The event emphasized the critical importance of equipping today’s youth with essential financial skills.

The speakers emphasized the significance of the proposed legislation S4860A and its potential impact on empowering young individuals to make informed financial decisions. The press conference aimed to galvanize support from lawmakers and the public alike to prioritize financial education in school curriculum and community programs.

For more information, visit: youthwiseadvise.com.

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VETERANS: Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is hosting a donation box from the Southwest Queens Rotary Club at each of his offices to collect new clothing for veterans in need. Requested items are new washcloths (neutral colors), new men’s t-shirts (5 pack), new men’s socks (crew), new men’s underwear (5 pack), and new bath towels (neutral colors). Clothing sizes should be medium, large, extra-large or 2XL. The drive is being held through May 14, 2024. For more information, email swqrotary@gmail.com.

Items can be dropped off during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Senator Addabbo’s District Office, located at 84-16 Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven or at his office in Middle Village, located at 66-85 73rd Place. If you have any questions or would like more information, call Senator Addabbo’s Office at 718-738-1111.

COMMUNITY BOARD 6 MEETING: Community Board 6 is holding its next meeting on Wednesday, May 8, 7 PM, at Queens Borough Hall – Room 213, 120-55 Queens Boulevard – Kew Gardens, NY 11424.

PUBLIC MEETING:

  • New York State Senator Jessica Ramos, Senate District 13
  • Presentation by Department Of City Planning: City Of Yes For Housing Opportunity
  • Consumer Affairs, Economic Development & Small Business Committee Report – vote (see page 2 for more information)
  • New liquor license applications
  • Renewal liquor license applications
  • Street co-naming – Dr. Daniel Malakov – vote; 64th Road And Yellowstone Boulevard – Forest Hills
  • Transportation, Public Transit, Street Safety Committee Report Forest Hills LIRR Improvement Project Resolution – vote
  • Reports from legislative representatives and city agencies.

The Next CB 6 Meeting will be on Tuesday June 18, 2024.

Individuals requesting sign language interpreters should contact Community Board #6 five business days prior to this public meeting / hearing.

The following establishments have notified CB6 of their intent to apply for a new or renewal liquor license:

  1. Art Of Grill 97-13 Queens Blvd, RP

*This establishment was approved by CB6 in March 2024 but they amended their application to include sidewalk café (which will have to be approved by DOT)

  1. Sushi Ya 97-11 Queens Blvd., RP

*This establishment was approved by CB6 in January 2024 but their initial application was a transfer application from the previous business. This is a completely new application.

RENEWAL LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATIONS

  1. Avellino Restaurant 97-01 – 97-03 64th Avenue, RP
  2. Painting With A Twist 97-14 Metropolitan Avenue, FH
  3. Continental Luncheonette 104-03 Metropolitan Avenue, FH
  4. Black Sea Fish And Grill 95-36 Queens Blvd., RP

Members of the public that wish to view the meeting via webex can register here: tinyurl.com/cb6may24.

The meeting recording will be posted on the Cb 6 Youtube page, www.tinyurl.com/cb6youtube, 5 days after the meeting.

WHERE DO YOU WANT A DSNY BETTER BIN: Council Member Julie Won made the following announcement: “DSNY Better Bins are now in District 26. I was happy to provide $30,760 in funding for 49 bins. These trash cans, which are rat resistant and hold more volume, can be found along Queens Blvd. For FY ‘25, I am providing $88,000 to purchase 84 additional Better Bins for the district.

“We are prioritizing the following locations:, Queens Blvd (Better Bin placement is almost complete), Skillman Ave, Greenpoint Ave, Vernon Blvd, Jackson Ave, Roosevelt Ave.

“We received community feedback to place these bins on Center Blvd, but DSNY said that it does not meet the requirements for trash bin placement. If you have a request for where you want to see a trash bin in our district, email us at district26@council.nyc.gov with specific locations.

“Since last week, we helped our neighbors after a fire at a Woodside apartment building, broke voter records for Participatory Budgeting, and are preparing for our next town hall to improve Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard.”

EVENTS:

Hester Street Second Town Hall: Join us for an open house event to review data about your neighborhood and offer your perspective on how to improve Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard. Food, childcare, and interpretation services for Spanish, Bangla, Nepali, Tibetan, and Arabic will be provided. Register at bit.ly/d26townhall. Learn more about the community planning process here.

Helping Our Neighbors During a Woodside Fire: On April 22, there was a fire at an apartment building on 63rd Street in Woodside. FDNY put out the fire by 7 a.m. and DOB issued a full vacate order of the premises. The Red Cross registered 15 families with emergency housing services. My office is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for residents who need new jackets for men, women, and children, backpacks, socks, toiletries, and other essentials.

Queens Boulevard Survey: District 26! Take this 5-minute survey to make your voice heard on what safety, mobility, and transit improvements you want to see on Queens Blvd from Skillman Ave to Roosevelt Ave. Take the survey at bit.ly/queensblvdd26.

SBS Grants for Small Businesses: The NYC Department of Small Business Services has launched the Business Preparedness and Resiliency Program (BPREP) Risk Assessment and Grant Program for eligible small businesses or commercial properties. This program offers a free on-site, one-on-one risk assessment and a $5,000 grant to buy recommended resiliency equipment, such as flood barriers, generators, and fireproof storage containers. Learn more at nyc.gov/businessprep.

Super Stars Leadership Academy (SSLA): This program serves 9th to 12th-grade girls with sports as its foundation. SSLA is a high-impact, year-long leadership development program that prepares high school girls for college and the workforce through a structured, girlcentered approach. Learn more about the program here.

26 Motors Settlement: DCWP has entered into a settlement agreement with 26 Motors, a group of six used car dealerships, for alleged violations of the New York City Consumer Protection Law and other laws. The deadline to submit a claim is January 15, 2025. To file a claim, visit the DCWP website. Learn more about the agreement and violations here. Know Your Rights Event: Catholic Migration Services will host a bilingual “Know Your Rights” virtual event on May 2 at 7 p.m. See the flyer to learn more.

Councilmember Won’s office is located at 37-04 Queens Boulevard, Suite 205.

—With contributions by Annette Hanze Alberts

This column was originated by John A. Toscano.

 

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