Grodenchik Presents & Celebrates 100-Year-Old With Proclamation
City Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik (D-Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) last Friday presented Luisa Ceci Jacobson with a New York State proclamation to commemorate her 100th birthday Friday.
“She’s a very accomplished individual who has been a pillar for her family and her community,” said Grodenchik. “It’s no ordinary feat for someone to turn 100 years old!”
Jacobson turned 100 on Sunday and was feted with a cavalcade of cars by her house displaying signs, honking car horns, waving, and yelling “Happy Birthday, according to her daughter.
She was born in Vallacorsa, Italy, and was the first woman from her town to attend college. She started at the University of Rome, but had to stop because of World War II. After, she attended the University of Southern California, then New York’s Hunter College.
She speaks English, Spanish, and Italian fluently. She taught language in New York City and Long Island schools. She has 4 children, 6 grandchildren and many “grand-pets.”
“I was born three months before women had the right to vote,” Jacobson once said. “I broke my own glass ceiling by being the first woman from my hometown to attend university. Women have made progress in this world, that’s for sure. It’s not a man’s world anymore; it’s becoming a woman’s world.”
Meng Urges Urges Congress to Ensure Students Have Internet Access
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) announced yesterday that she led 103 members of Congress in a letter to House and Senate Leadership calling for her Emergency Educational Connections Act (H.R. 6563) to be included in the next coronavirus stimulus package.
The Emergency Educational Connections Act would provide $2 billion to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-Rate program to ensure all students have internet access during COVID-19. Under the bill, schools and libraries, including Tribal schools and libraries, who receive E-Rate funds would be able to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-connected devices to help students without broadband participate in remote learning during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health crisis that has forced millions of Americans to shelter at home, including over 55 million students who have transitioned to remote learning environments,” said Meng. “Even before the pandemic, there were nearly 12 million students without internet at home—part of the so-called ‘homework gap’—and with 7 in 10 teachers assigning online homework, these students in the homework gap faced an uphill struggle to complete online classroom assignments.
“Many were forced to seek out public spaces for free Wi-Fi connections, or forgo completing their assignments. In today’s COVID-19 pandemic world of shelter-in-place and extended school closures, this gap is more like a chasm. In New York City, which has the largest school system in the country at 1.1 million students, more than one in five households with school-aged children lack broadband access. Without secure and reliable internet access in the safety of one’s home, learning will stop – and this will lead to unimaginable long-term socio-economic consequences.
“That is why we must redouble our efforts to provide funding to close the digital divide. The $2 billion in the Emergency Educational Connections Act is a down payment for our kids’ success, and I will continue to fight for its inclusion in the next coronavirus relief package.”
Sanders To Host Conversation on Health, Justice & Environment Post COVID
State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park) in partnership with other Southeast Queens lawmakers including Senator Leroy Comrie along with NYS Assembly Members Alicia Hyndman and Clyde Vanel as well as City Council Member Adrienne Adams today will sponsor a Facebook live community conversation to strategize on ways to reduce environment, health and justice disparities in Southeast Queens.
We are proud to welcome the latest addition to our health event – Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, MSN, FNP, the President of the 40,000 member New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), New York’s largest nurses’ union,” said Sanders in his e-newsletter.
This event is conducted in partnership with St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Beta Omnicron Chapter
Among the panelists at the event twill be Jacqui Patterson Senior Director, Environmental & Climate Justice Program at the NAACP and Judith Arroyo, the president of the United Federation of Public Nurses and Epidemiologists Local 436.
The event is slated for 3 p.m., today, May 12 on Facebook Live. To RSVP click HERE.
Constantinides Calls for Queens Public Golf Courses to Open
City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, parts of Long Island City, Woodside) yesterday called on the city to open Queens’ public golf courses to provide more pedestrian space for residents to keep a safe distance from one another while getting fresh air.
“Golf courses throughout Queens are sitting dormant right now, which only deprives people of vast open space,” said Constantinides, who is also a candidate for borough president. “Instead of targeting black and brown communities through this crisis, the City should be focused on creative ways to unlock open space for people to safely get fresh air. It’s on us to find those solutions so our 2.3 million residents remain healthy, and the curve flattens, as the weather gets nicer.”
Constantinides notes elected officials, from the governor down, have urged New Yorkers to exercise caution while getting fresh air throughout the pandemic. Yet a lack of enough open space has led to overcrowding at public facilities such as Astoria Park, which has led to ramped up Parks Enforcement Patrol and NYPD deployment, he said.
Queens is tied with the Bronx for the most public golf courses in New York City controlled by the Department of Parks & Recreation.
Constantinides argued the four courses — Clearview Park Golf Course, Douglaston Golf Course, Forest Park Golf Course, and Kissena Golf Course — should be opened as pedestrian greenspace. All four of these public facilities have sat locked up since the apex of COVID-19’s grip on New York City.
Opening them up would provide Queens residents with swaths of extra parkland to keep at least six feet from others while getting fresh air, he said.
Gillibrand Calls For Amazon Discipline Policies
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday joined Senate Democrats in calling for information on Amazon’s discipline and termination policies, as reports emerged about the firing of employees who have publicly raised concerns about the company’s safety conditions in warehouses during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the senators called for information on internal policies that resulted in the termination of at least four employees that have advocated on behalf of health and safety conditions for workers in Amazon warehouses. More than 100 Amazon warehouses have reported positive coronavirus cases.
“While large companies like Amazon are allowed to remain open during this pandemic, it’s essential that they take every precaution to protect the health and safety of their workers,” said Gillibrand. “It is deeply troubling that workers who have expressed concern over safety have been fired, especially amidst a global health and economic crisis. Amazon must immediately answer these questions and provide clarity on the internal policies that have resulted in these terminations.”
Moya Joins Soccer Star Villa For Virtual Soccer Session
City Council Member Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing Meadows, LaGuardia Airport), in partnership with the Hispanic Federation, on Thursday will join with Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer and FIFA World Cup Champion David Villa and his DV7 Soccer Academy to provide unaccompanied minors around the city with a virtual recreational and fitness soccer program that provides an outlet to very unique population during strenuous times.
As part of this free online program, Villa will have a virtual session with its participants in this initiative, which launched on April 20. It is open to unaccompanied minors from ages 5 to 17. Each participant received a jersey and soccer ball, and access to the practices through Google Classroom in English and Spanish.
The virtual event is slated for 3 p.m., Thursday, May 14. To join click here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aARXlq_GQAutpfWbLebaqg.