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U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) met with Queens community leaders and elected officials on Friday to urge congressional leaders to pass bipartisan legislation this year to restore the Voting Rights Act.
This past June, the U.S. Supreme Court made a controversial amendment to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by striking down Section 5, which determines which states and localities must get federal approval before they change their voting rights laws.
Pauline Park of the Queens Pride House, left, sits with forum panelists Ivy Suriyopas of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Lynly Egyes of the Urban Justice Center, Tauno Biltsted of Safe Horizon and So Yeon Kang of New York Asian Women’s Center.
Last year, approximately 21 million people were trafficked worldwide.
While the number is staggering, the process of human trafficking is full of misconceptions.
The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Education has decided to investigate claims that the city’s policies concerning admissions at its eight “specialized” high schools violate the civil rights of prospective Black and Hispanic students.
The eight high schools — Bronx High School of Science; Brooklyn Latin School; Brooklyn Technical High School; Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts; High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College; High School of American Studies at Lehman College; Queens High School for the Sciences at York College and Stuyvesant High School — all require prospective students pass a 2.5 hour-long Specialized High School Admissions Test, called the SHSAT.
Minority residents from Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Elmhurst came out en masse to last Wednesday’s Districting Commission meeting held at LaGuardia Community College to collect public comments about proposed City Council lines. They said their neighborhoods should be united to stop the fracturing of minority populations.
The lines are being redrawn as mandated by the results of the 2010 U.S. Census. Though created by the city, all lines must be redrawn under certain federal guidelines with an effort to keep neighborhoods together, and to create contiguous districts of residents and neighborhoods with “common concerns and interests.”
While last week’s primary voting went smoothly at many polling places in Queens, confusion reigned at others, with some voters being turned away, poll workers not knowing their responsibilities under the law and, in at least some cases, not even knowing what primaries were being held, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The group is compiling a list of irregularities it observed at a number of polling places, and will be filing a formal complaint with the city Board of Elections with the goal of having them rectified before the next time voters go to the polls, its lead attorney said Thursday.
While Tuesday's voting went smoothly at many polling places in Queens, confusion reigned at others, with some voters being turned away, poll workers not knowing their responsibilities under the law and, in at least some cases, not even knowing what primaries were being held, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Two Queens legislators have introduced bills that would assist immigrants from southern Asia on Election Day.
Companion bills by state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) would require the Queens Board of Elections to offer written language assistance in Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi. If passed in Albany, the rules would apply to ballots, polling place signs, voter mailings and information on the board’s website.
Two Queens legislators are looking to protect illegal immigrants trapped in domestic violence situations in the event federal protections for them expire in June.
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) plan to introduce companion bills that would safeguard the confidentiality of the victims who seek the protection of police and the courts.
Queens’ political landscape could dramatically change under a federal judge’s proposal issued this week for new Congressional district lines, which would obliterate U.S. Rep. Bob Turner’s district, representing much of South Queens, as well as parts of the Rockaways and Brooklyn, and likely pit U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) against Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) in a Democratic primary.
While a group of state legislators was tasked with drawing the new Congressional lines, which happens once a decade, they failed to agree on one proposal, prompting a panel of federal judges to become involved in the redistricting process. Judge Roanne Mann, a magistrate, was named the group’s “special master” last week, and she issued her proposal for the Congressional lines on Monday, a week before she was expected to do so.
Queens schools are awash in activities promoting culture and tolerance for the Respect for All Week that kicked off Monday, and nine of those borough institutions were recognized by the city for efforts to combat bullying and harassment.
“Our schools are rich in diversity, and we are celebrating this richness during Respect for All Week,” Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said. “Students and staff will be showcasing programs they are participating in about the importance of respecting people and embracing the differences in all of us.”
The group of state legislators that drew the proposed district lines for the Assembly and Senate should be exiled to New Jersey after creating areas resembling Rorschach ink blots that split apart communities and dilute minority voters’ power — or, at the very least, be sent back to the drawing board — irate residents and legislators said at a hearing in Queens this week.
Hundreds of people packed a room at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday for a hearing held by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, often referred to as LATFOR.
Queens legislators and residents lambasted the state group tasked with redrawing district lines that will cement New York’s political landscape for the next decade, accusing its members of splitting apart communities and pitting democratic lawmakers each against each other.
One member of a good government organization —Bill Mahoney from the New York Public Interest Research Group — even called the proposed redistricting maps for the state Senate “clearly the most gerrymandered lines in recent New York history.”
From Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) potentially losing almost all of Glendale to Woodside and East Elmhurst possibly being carved from Assemblyman Michael DenDekker’s (D-Jackson Heights) district, Queens residents could soon be looking at a dramatically different political landscape once the state Legislature wraps up a redistricting process that some residents and politicians worry will be flawed without the input of an independent group.
Redistricting — which entails a group of four legislators and two appointed non-legislators redrawing the political lines to determine which neighborhoods will fall under which Assembly, state Senate and Congressional districts — occurs once every 10 years in New York, after the federal
Census numbers are published. The group tasked with redrawing the lines, called the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, often referred to as LATFOR, is expected to release its proposed maps sometime next week. After they are released, public hearings will be held and the Legislature will vote on the final lines — though no one seems to have any clue as to when that will happen.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a complaint in Brooklyn federal court against a Queens family for human trafficking and labor violations.
Oak-Jin Oh, 60, a Korean citizen, labored as a domestic worker for Soo Bok Choi, and members of his family, including Young Il Choi, Young Jin Choi, Young Mi Choi and Ki Soon Lee. In court papers, Oh charges them with bringing her to the United States illegally and under false pretenses, not paying her and forcing her to live in deplorable conditions for 12 years.
Despite President George Bush’s narrow victory in the rest of the country, in Queens there was no contest. Seventy-one percent of voters in the borough voted for Senator John Kerry.
Like all New Yorkers, Muslims are living in a climate of fear. Federal and local officials warn that the war in Iraq has increased the chances of a terrorist retaliation here at home.
An investigation is ongoing into allegations of police brutality by a Chinese Long Island family, who allege that an argument over a parking summons in Flushing turned violent.
Queens residents came out in droves to question, criticize and dispense advice about the proposed redistricting of the 13th and 16th State Senate Districts at a legislative task force hearing on Wednesday.
Caribbean nationals finally know the identities of the Guyanese immigrants currently being detained as “terror suspects” by officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Hassan Azizeldin, Syed Imitiaz Hassan, Mohammad Zahid Mahmood, Muhammad Jahangir, Wasim Mohammed Khan and Mohamed Maddy are still in the custody of the INS and are reportedly being held for running afoul of the U.S. immigration laws.
A Flushing resident, who has lived in the United States for 15 years, was named as one of the first recipients of the Emigrant Savings Bank Awards for outstanding immigrants.