Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act
Domestic violence is a heart breaking reality for far too many in New York State. Last month the Assembly and the Senate passed the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act making way for the Governor to sign this bill into law. Both houses and the Governor are committed to ensuring that survivors have the tools and resources to put their lives back together.
New York State's current sentencing structure does not allow judges discretion to fully consider the impact of domestic violence when determining sentence lengths. The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act would allow judges to sentence survivors of domestic violence to an alternative sentence of imprisonment, including community-based alternative to incarceration programs. The bill would also provide domestic violence survivors currently in prison the ability to apply for resentencing, granting relief to incarcerated individuals who pose no threat to public safety.
Willets Point Task Force
Willets Point, known for decades as an undeveloped 61 acre mudflat populated with auto-repair shops, will soon become a viable district for the surrounding community. In February 2018 Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to build 1,100 units of affordable housing in the area. Moreover, the Mayor appointed Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilman Francisco Moya to be Co-Chairs of the Willets Point Task Force of which I am a member. The task force will focus on the remaining 17 acres, known as the Special Willets Point District. The goals of the task force are to: increase engagement and collaboration between the City and the community partners and to discuss priorities and align on a vision to inform future development of the District.
Task force members consist of Community Boards 3, 4, &7, economic development groups, community-based organizations and local civic associations. They met four times last year to identify redevelopment ideas. Please visit www.nycedc.com/willets-point-task-force-2018 for further details
Local School and Library Funding
$75,000 to I.S.61 Leonardo da Vinci: The school plans to use this grant, which was awarded in 2018, to expand its use of technology in the classrooms and to meet the needs of their students including English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
$75,000 to P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School: The school intends to use this legislative grant, which was awarded in 2018, for teacher training, Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) Enrichment programs for 4th and 8th graders and for purchasing classroom laptops.
$75,000 Legislative 2018 Grant to Langston Hughes Library Black Heritage Collection: This library is home to the Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens. It serves general readers, historians, scholars and researchers, students and educators a comprehensive reference and circulating collection, totaling approximately 450,000 volumes of material written about and related to Black culture. The funds will be used to:
- Support the Librarys Annual Black History Month celebration
- Fund programming for customers of all ages
- Purchase new books and materials for the Library, including refreshing the Black History collection
- Purchase new audio and visual equipment for the Librarys auditorium
- Support general operation of the library (hire part-time workers, furniture, supplies, etc.)
In June 2018, after discussions with the community and stakeholders, the NYS Assembly and Senate passed, and the Governor signed legislation authorizing the potential use of a designated corridor that runs between the northern edge of the Grand Central Parkway and Flushing Bay for construction of an AirTrain.
The Port Authoritys preferred alternative would have two on-airport stations and would connect to public transportation at Willets Point. The Willets Point transfer is oriented primarily toward providing a seamless connection to and from the LIRR, thus ensuring that passengers originating in or destined for Manhattan the large majority of LGA customers have a 30-minute ride between the airport and Midtown.
The upcoming Environmental Impact Study process will commence with FAA-led public hearings and a comment period to inform the scope of the study; subsequently, a Draft EIS will be released by FAA and there will be a second round of public hearings and a comment period for the community and stakeholders to provide input to FAA on the study analysis and findings; and, the process will conclude with FAAs issuance of the Final EIS and Record of Decision.
The Port Authority has also initiated several efforts in response to concerns of the community. Sensors will be installed to test for vibrations generated by the construction and the Authority will develop a process in which local homeowners would be compensated for any damages to their property that are shown to be related to the construction of the AirTrain.
Council for Airport Opportunity (COA)
CAO is currently working with airport employers to fill positions at LaGuardia Airport. Positions include Passenger Service Agents, Ramp, Security, Food Service, Management, Customer Service, Warehouse among many other jobs. To apply visit the LGA Career Center at 33-16 108th Street, 3rd Floor, Corona, NY 11368, www.caonynj.com or call 718-523-7100. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9am-5pm.
In 2019, wages rise to: $15 an hour for workers employed by large businesses in New York City; $13.50 an hour for workers employed by small businesses in New York City; $12 an hour for workers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties; and $11.10 for workers across the rest of the state.