Grodenchik Mourns Former BP Claire Shulman
City Councilmember 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) released the following statement on Monday about the passing of former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman on Sunday.
“It is with profound sorrow that I share the news of the passing of my mentor, hero, and dear friend, former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman. She was 94, a wonderful mother to Drs. Larry Shulman and Ellen Baker and the late Kim Shulman, and several grandchildren, and wife to the late Dr. Melvin Shulman. Claire Shulman was the greatest New York City government official, elected or appointed, of her generation, serving as Queens Borough President from 1986 to 2001.
At a time when government and governance were at a low ebb in her beloved Queens, Claire stepped into the breach in 1986 and quickly righted the ship of state, giving the people of Queens the best government they had ever had. Her legacy of service is beyond measure but includes tens of thousands of new school seats, a new Queens Hospital Center, Queens Theatre, Queens Zoo, USTA National Tennis Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens Museum, Jamaica Center of Arts and Learning, new terminals at JFK Airport, saving the homes of 20,000 families during the co-op and condo crisis of the late 1980s, the New York Times printing plant, Arverne by the Sea, a new civil and criminal court building, a restored Unisphere, SAGE (the first LGBT senior center in Queens), Louis Armstrong House, Thalia Spanish Theatre, FDA regional laboratory at York College, Queens West, countless local parks, playgrounds, and libraries either rebuilt or built anew, Townsend Harris High School, and a new 107th Precinct, among many other projects.
Her governance led to a modern and incredibly vibrant Queens where all people are and feel welcome. This is her most important legacy. May her memory be a blessing always.”
Meng Reminds Families of P-EBT Payments for School Children
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) reminded Queens families on Monday to be aware of a new federal government benefit that provides all New York City public school parents with $420 per child.
Entitled the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), the one-time payment can be used to purchase groceries. The funds will arrive this month for many New York families with some already receiving the money.
“No child or family should ever go hungry,” said Meng. “As the coronavirus crisis continues to cause financial hardships throughout our borough, this additional benefit will help many with putting food on the table. I urge parents with school aged children to take advantage of these funds, and to look out for them in the mail if they have not yet received them.”
The payments are made available nationally under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a coronavirus relief bill that Meng helped to pass in March. It is money that would have been spent on school meals for students if schools had not closed due to COVID-19. New York was approved to provide the payments after Meng and local colleagues urged President Trump to OK the state’s application for the program.
Receiving the funds is automatic; there is no need to apply and the money does not need to be paid back. It will be provided to families regardless of immigration status.
The benefit also applies to private, parochial and charter school students who received free school lunches.
Schumer Moves to Protect USPS
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who has been leading efforts to undo destructive changes to the U.S. postal service that continue without reprieve, pushed new actions on Sunday against Postmaster DeJoy and the policies being implemented to undermine the U.S. postal service.
Schumer also demanded DeJoy be in U.S. Senate hearings this week as he drives legislation to force the postmaster to “back off.”
Schumer’s plan would reverse changes now slowing down the mail and would also ensure our mail-in ballots are treated as First Class priority. The Senate needs to act in an immediate way if the attack on the USPS might stop, he said in a release Sunday.
“What has been—and continues—to go on with the postal service, the undermining and destructive policies that are so clearly intent on upending a system that has worked for generations has simply got to stop,” said Schumer. “Bottom-line, we will not stand for the in-your-face slowing down of the mail and the undermining of Americans who depend on medications, VA benefits, paychecks, even food, and we will not allow this to take place all in an effort to hobble the November election—no way.”
Schumer warned that if DeJoy continues to go unchecked, New York’s largest USPS processing facility in New York City, the Morgan facility, that employs more than 2,000 workers would be jeopardized, along with its critical east coast functions that support everyday door-to-door service but also ensure critical medications, VA benefits, Social Security paychecks, food and more make it to their destinations.
The destructive changes, Schumer notes, include the elimination of extra mail transportation trips, the reduction of overtime, the start of a pilot program for mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of post offices, and the reduction of equipment at mail processing plants. Schumer said these decisions absolutely have an impact on New York and America, a case he made to the postmaster in person.
In a detailed, ten-page letter sent Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Chairwoman Maloney, Ranking Member Peters, Chairperson Zoe Lofgren of the Committee on House Administration and Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration gave the Postmaster General one-week deadline – until August 21 – to produce a host of key documents and information relating to these matters.