Lawmakers call for hearing on NYPD IG, stop-and-frisk bills
Six members of the City Council, none of them from Queens, asked Mayor Bloomberg last Thursday to hold a hearing on the Community Safety Act, made up of two NYPD oversight bills the mayor has vowed to veto.
The six lawmakers, all sponsors of the measures, said in a letter that the mayor should listen to New Yorkers before he makes a final decision on the bills, which passed the Council by veto-proof majorities. Bloomberg reportedly is trying to get some members to change their minds to avoid having his veto overridden.
The bills would create an inspector general to oversee the NYPD and make it easier for people who believe they were wrongly stopped, questioned and frisked to sue the department, though not for monetary damages. The mayor and police commissioner say they would reduce the city’s ability to combat crime.
The Council members who requested the hearing are Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), Fernando Cabrera (D-Bronx), Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan), Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) and Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan).
Five Neighborhood Achievers in Queens
Five people and organizations in Queens were winners of this year’s Neighborhood Achievement Awards, announced last week by Mayor Bloomberg. The awards honor “organizations, businesses and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in enhancing New York City neighborhoods by fostering economic opportunity.” The Queens winners were:
• The Action Center, a community organization in Far Rockaway, which won the Helping Hand Award for its aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which still continues;
• Songza, a small business in Long Island City, which won a Small Business of the Year Award for producing an innovative app to stream music, creating 15 full-time jobs;
• Laurel Brown, executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, who won a BID Leadership Award for her efforts to improve Jamaica Center’s appeal as a place to live, work and visit;
• Gayle Baron, president of the Long Island City Partnership, who also won a BID Leadership Award for her work improving LIC’s business climate by working to create and expand its BID and attracting new companies; and
• Stephanie Cruz, an account manager with the Workforce1 Industrial & Transportation Center in Jamaica, who won a Workforce Service Award for matching job seekers with employers in transport and manufacturing.
10,000 IDs issued to illegal aliens in NYC
Foreign consulates have now issued 10,000 identification cards to undocumented immigrants in the city, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), a mayoral candidate, said last week as she celebrated the milestone with the New York Immigration Coalition.
The IDs allow holders to enter public schools and other government buildings, obtain information to file income tax returns, open bank accounts, get library cards and ensure access to other public services, Quinn said. She credited NYIC workshops the Council has spent $400,000 funding over the last two years with making the card program a success. It was driven by the city rule that school visitors show ID, a problem for parents here illegally.
State to start tracking breast cancer cases
The state will begin mapping cases of breast cancer under a bill Gov. Cuomo just signed, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), who voted for the measure, announced last week.
The law will create a database that doctors and researchers can use to examine environmental and socioeconomic factors that affect the incidence of the disease, Stavisky said, aiding new treatments and prevention practices.
Approximately 15,000 women statewide battle breast cancer each year, according to Stavisky, with 2,600 dying from it.