Meeks Pushes Fintech Companies to Work With Minority Firms
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, sent a letter yesterday to leading financial technology (fintech) companies encouraging them to partner with minority depository institutions (MDIs) and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to disburse small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Given your comparative advantage in building scalable technology and the strengths of MDIs and CDFIs at reaching underserved communities and working with existing financial regulators, I believe partnerships between fintechs and MDI/CDFIs could be beneficial for both parties, and help expand the reach of financial services and government stimulus programs to those communities most affected by the crisis, and in greatest need of financial support,” wrote Meeks.
Congressman Meeks was joined in the letter by U.S. Reps. Al Green (D-TX) Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Bill Foster (D-IL).
Grodenchik Delivers Food to Seniors and Vulnerable Queens Residents
Council Member Barry Grodenchik (D-Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) this week joined the Commonpoint Queens Sam Field Center in Little Neck to deliver meals to homebound seniors and immunocompromised individuals.
The council member took time to deliver meals to six households in Little Neck. Like most centers, the Commonpoint center has shut its doors but not its business of serving the community. The center has delivered more than 20,000 meals to more than 22 neighborhoods.
“It was my honor to volunteer for Commonpoint Queens delivering food to residents of Eastern Queens,” said Grodenchik. “I thank Commonpoint for the tens of thousands of meals that it has delivered to seniors across Queens County and for all that the agency continues to do. I have been a leading advocate for emergency food throughout my tenure in the council, and I pledge to continue to work toward securing the funds that help feed every New Yorker who needs food assistance.”
Grodenchik tested positive for the coronavirus after having been sick since March 13. He was in isolation with his family for the duration of his illness but has thankfully made a full recovery.
Meng Supports & Votes Yes on New ‘Rona Relief Package
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park), a member of the House Appropriations Committee – which funds all federal programs and agencies – issued the following statement of support after the House passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266).
“My district of Queens is in pain; we are at the nexus of this coronavirus pandemic. From our frontline health care workers to our people in our nursing homes; from our small business owners to essential workers – every day, I have heard from people across my district, as they are facing unimaginable horror and heartache. Today, I voted for this interim relief bill because my district – our nation – needs immediate aid. This bill provides more critical funds to hospitals, increases our testing capacity, and requires a national testing strategy – all of which are necessary if we are to eventually restart our economy,” said Meng.
Meng noted the bill also provides more money for small businesses to get back on their feet but is still not enough.
“It is just a first step in a long process to help our nation. And now, we must immediately get to work on the second major relief package after the CARES Act. We need more, immediate, and sustained assistance for families. We must make sure that no one is left behind in this recovery effort – no matter their background or citizenship status. Our students need internet access. Our essential workers need hazard pay. Our residents need rent and mortgage assistance. Our state and city need federal assistance. And our health care system will continue to need more funding. My priority has been – and always will be – to fight for the interests and wellbeing of my constituents in Queens,” she said.
Sanders Wishes Muslim Constituents a Blessed Ramadan
State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) yesterday wished the members of the Muslim community a blessed Ramadan.
“This month of prayer, fasting and sacrifice marks the revelation of the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad, according to Islamic belief. May you and your family be rewarded with mercy, forgiveness and joy as you embark on this period of spiritual reflection, self-improvement and increased devotion to faith,” said Sanders.
Kim Pushes for Anti-Hate Crime Programs in Schools
Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) and State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) yesterday urged Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza to begin implementing anti-hate crime and anti-bullying lessons in the city’s school system.
The urging comes as In the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in hate crimes and acts of violence or abuse against Asian Americans. In a letter addressed to both the mayor and chancellor, the two elected officials requested that the Department of Education immediately develop a city-wide educational response to the rise in racial animosity and Anti-Asian bias.
“We are seeing an increasingly worrying trend of people of Asian descent being scapegoated, abused, or attacked for the current Coronavirus pandemic. This is unacceptable. I have rallied my colleagues to join me on several occasions in expressing the fundamental truth that this virus is blind to borders, race and ethnicity, and that all New Yorkers should be able to live without fear of prejudice or discrimination, especially during these difficult times,” said Kim.
“New York must do all that it can to stem this tide of hate and educate younger generations on the value of our shared humanity, which is exactly why Senator Parker and I are urging the Mayor and Chancellor Carranza to create anti-hate and anti-bullying lessons for all of our students.”
Constantinides Slams U.S. Senate Decision to Politicize COVID-19 Relief
City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights) yesterday condemned U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) decision to effectively tell New York City to drop dead — denying the Big Apple much-needed federal relief through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Majority Leader McConnell’s remarks that he will stop ‘Blue State Bailouts’ is an example of neglect, inhumanity, and a betrayal of his duties as a public servant,” said Constantinides. “‘E Pluribus Unum’ is a credo of this nation for a reason. Americans stand up for each other when we need it, and it’s time for Senator McConnell to stand up for ALL Americans in this time of need.
“New York City is an economic driver for the entire nation — not to mention the epicenter of this crisis. We are home to more than half-a-million public housing residents, who rely on federal support and are suffering right now. At this critical moment in our country, history will look back unfavorably on those who played politics with the lives of their fellow citizens. Shame on McConnell and the rest of the Senate Republicans,” he added.