Vallone Announces Implementation of Pedestrian Safety Improvements in Bay Terrace Area

    City Council Member Paul Vallone

    City Council Member Vallone (D-Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone) announced the implementation of pedestrian safety improvements in the Bay Terrace area yesterday.

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) will officially begin implementing a series of pedestrian safety improvements in the Bay Terrace and Bay Club area that were announced in 2017. The, which is slated to begin early this spring, will include:
    •     Constructing two concrete curb extensions on 211th Street at 23rd Avenue
    •     Building two concrete pedestrian islands on 23rd Avenue
    •     Adding two Enhanced Crossings on 23rd Avenue with high visibility crosswalks
    •     Installing parking lane lines between 26th Avenue and Bell Boulevard

    “This area, which is home to a large senior population, has been in serious need of pedestrian safety improvements and has been one of our main requests for years,” said Vallone.

    “These improvements will greatly increase the safety of all pedestrians in this area and we will continue to work with the community and the DOT to determine if any further safety enhancements are necessary,” added Vallone.

    Addabbo Denounces Census Citizenship Question

    Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

    State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) denounced the Trump’s Administration to include a controversial citizenship status question in the 2020 census.

    Late Monday, the Commerce Department announced that the upcoming census will include a citizenship question for the first time since 1950. The census, which is intended to count the entire population, is crucial for determining how federal funds are distributed and congressional districts drawn.

    “I believe it is a mistake for the 2020 US Census to include a question asking about someone’s citizenship status since it may deter immigrants from participating. The census is supposed to provide an accurate count of everyone living in the United States and local communities, in order to calculate proper funding distribution, assist in determining district lines for government representation and allocation of resources, such as police officers,” said Addabbo.

    “If these numbers are inaccurate, many states and local communities may not receive much-needed funding or services that all the residents need and deserve,” added Addabbo.

    Avella Comes Out Against City Plan to Change Parking Rules

    Sen. Tony Avella

    State Senator Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Floral Park) and two community leaders in Queens joined together yesterday to denounce the City plan to change parking and zoning regulations in order to encourage commercial development.

    The plan, created by the Department of City Planning (DCP) and announced at a recent City Council budget hearing, would roll back a 1961 regulation that mandated developers set aside parking spaces when constructing new office buildings in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.

    “This is clearly an attack on the quality of life of residents living in the other boroughs in order to continue the overdevelopment that is slowly making our city unrecognizable. I see this proposal as a shining example of this Mayoral administration’s flawed top-down management style that seeks to govern without ever taking into account the communities of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island,” said Avella.

    “Shame on the Department of City Planning for trying to repeal one of the few existing laws that protect communities—like my district—from overdevelopment and the degradation of quality of life that comes with it,” added Avella.

    Gillibrand Announces $60 Million In Funding Protecting Religious Institutions, Nonprofits

    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

    U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) alongside U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-Brooklyn)announced yesterday $60 million in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).

    The Nonprofit Security Grant Program provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack.

    The grants help to protect synagogues, churches, mosques and community centers.

    According to Schumer’s office, in 2017, anti-semitic incidents increased by 57% over the previous year. The investment for the program is part of the omnibus spending bill that passed last week and more than doubles the $25 million in federal funding provided to the program last year.

    Last March, Gillibrand led a bipartisan letter signed by 18 Senators to the Department of Homeland Security, urging then-Secretary John Kelly to fully fund and to increase the amount of funding for the NSGP for Fiscal Year 2018.

    “New Yorkers should be able to live and worship without fear of being targeted by hate crimes. It is unacceptable that these heinous acts are occurring, and we cannot stand idly by as threats, hatred, and attacks against our community and religious institutions continue to rise,” said Gillibrand.

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