Meng Announces House Passage of $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee – which funds all federal agencies and programs – issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate’s bipartisan $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic (CARES) Act.
“The war against the coronavirus is unlike anything the world has ever seen, and my community is at the epicenter of this unprecedented pandemic. Our workers, small businesses, neighbors, children and elderly are hurting – without an end in sight. Our workers and small businesses are making the impossible decision to risk their economic health, in exchange for the safety and health of their own families and their neighbors,” said Meng.
“Most of all, the frontline health care workers across my district are waging this battle to save our lives. But we are asking them to go into battle without all the necessary tools and equipment. Today’s passage of the CARES Act is critical because Queens cannot wait,” she added.
Meng said the original coronavirus bill was shamefully lacking in providing enough relief for families, hospitals, and small businesses.
The CARES Act will give short-term relief to families and workers who are hurting right now through direct cash assistance. This bill will give immediate relief to our health care system and the workers on the frontlines. This bill pauses federal student loan payments. Most of all, this bill is not the end; it is only the beginning. Now that this bill is passed, we must immediately look toward the next relief package to give more direct cash payments to families; help children who are forced to do remote learning without internet or computers at home; and support for every worker,” she said.
Constantinides Statement on DA Melinda Katz Testing Positive for COVID-19
City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, part of Long Island City, Woodside) issued the following statement on reports that Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz tested positive for COVID-19 and is resting at home.
Katz, 54, learned on March 21 or 22 that she had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and got tested. Her results came back on Saturday that she tested positive. Her spokesperson, Kim Livingston told reporters the former Queens borough president experienced symptoms for a few days but those have subsided.
“My prayers are with District Attorney Katz, her sons, and the thousands of fellow Queens residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. We are at the epicenter of this crisis, but we will get through them if we work together and support one another. I wish her a speedy recovery and hope all Queens families stay safe,” said Constantinides.
Gianaris Gets Bernie’s Support For His Push To Cancel Rent
U.S. Senator and candidate for President Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) over the weekend came out in support of State Sen. Michael Gianaris’ (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven.) push to #CancelRent.
Last week, Gianaris introduced his legislation (S.8125) to suspend and forgive rent payments for residential and small business tenants out of work due to the coronavirus crisis. The proposal would also forgive mortgage payments for homeowners in need.
In a tweet, Senator Bernie Sanders said, “Along with pausing mortgage payments, evictions, and utility shutoffs, we must place a moratorium on rent payments, especially in states hardest-hit by the coronavirus like New York. We must build on the important work Senator Gianaris and others are doing to make this happen.”
“We are fighting to #CancelRent in New York and leaders across the nation are realizing help needs to go first to those who need it most,” said Gianaris.
Van Bramer Gives Corona Update
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside), in an e-newsletter to constituents, reminded everyone the most important action we can take right now is to stay at home as much as possible.
“Queens, and in particular, western Queens seems to be at the center of the pandemic. So please, as much as possible, I ask that you, your family, friends and loved ones stay at home.
The governor’s office and public health professionals say that the peak of COVID-19 infections may be within 2-3 weeks. No one knows for certain, but we know that it will be a difficult time for many. The best way to prevent death and infection is very simple – stay at home,” he said..
Van Bramer also supplied the following information:
Donation of Supplies
Companies who have stock on hand and are offering to DONATE or SELL medical supplies and equipment (e.g. gowns, masks, ventilators, face shields) should use http://www.nyc.gov/covidsuppliers. Those offers will be vetted and respondents will be contacted if there is interest.
Local manufacturers and industry sector companies looking to begin producing supplies should use https://edc.nyc/covid-19-emergency-supply-sourcing-manufacturing
Food and other non-medical donations should go through DonateNYC
Mental Health Resources
This can be a stressful time for many New Yorkers. Resources are available for New Yorkers by contacting 1-888-NYC-WELL or Texting “WELL” to 65173. For more information visit: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us
City Hall is recruiting TLC-licensed drivers through DeliveryTLC to help with work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but we expect it to increase as we expand our programs.