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Roslin Spigner, center, helped kick off an NAACP initiative to sign up residents of Southeast Queens for New York State of Health, the state clearinghouse for insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act. Also on hand were state Sen. Malcolm Smith, second from left, Congressman Gregory Meeks, NAACP Jamaica Branch President Leroy Gadsden, behind Spigner, Assemblyman Bill Scarborough and Carolyn Phillips of the NAACP.
Obamacare is the term used by both the president’s supporters and critics when discussing his signature legislative initiative, the federal Affordable Care Act.
And with the March 31 deadline for those without health insurance to apply without paying a penalty, the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP is pulling out all stops in its effort to get residents of Southeast Queens to sign up.
A new bill introduced by Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) on March 4 would allow those caring for elderly relatives who do not live with them to receive a tax credit of up to $1,200 for qualified elder-care expenses.
Many of those caregivers — who, according to Israel, spend on average $5,530 out-of-pocket each year on expenses for their aging relatives — cannot claim their parents as dependents because they live elsewhere.
NYPD Chief Philip Banks III last week was named as the 13th recipient of the William Tucker Garvin Award, an honor given out every year by the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The award is presented during Black History Month to an individual of African-American heritage in recognition of outstanding public service.
The lawyer who asked that a case involving his client, Vince Tabone, be delayed, saying it would be unfair to Republican candidates seeking office, has thrown his own hat in the ring to oppose Rep. Steve Israel.
Grant Lally, a Republican from Lloyd Harbor, LI, announced last week that he would oppose Congressman Israel for the 3rd Congressional District seat. The district covers parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties and a section of Queens, including Douglaston, Little Neck, Whitestone and Floral Park.
Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City, called education “the civil rights issue of today” at a Black History Month event in East Elmhurst’s First Baptist Church last Wednesday night. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) hosted the event and honored three African American community activists from his district.
McCray was born in 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education, ruling segregated schools unconstitutional. She spoke of her parents’ “bold move” in sending her to schools where she was the only black student.
Richmond Hill is one of the older communities in Queens, and got its own high school in 1899, when there were only a few in the borough.
The school was unusual in that it had an astronomy observatory and telescope, built at a cost of $6,000. The first principal was not an administrator but respected mathematician and astronomer Issac Newton Failor (1851-1925). The RHHS yearbook and newsletters were dubbed “The Dome.”
Protestors wearing masks, singing songs and waving signs stood outside of Rep. Joe Crowley’s (D-Bronx, Queens) office in Jackson Heights, asking him to come out against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a free trade agreement that also would give foreign corporations the ability to sue the United States for unlimited sums in international tribunals.
“Congressman Crowley is one of only two New York Democrats in the House who haven’t spoken out against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Adam Weissman of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment. “Fast track renders Congress powerless to amend TPP to ensure that this trade deal won’t empower foreign corporations to attack the laws that protect us in international tribunals, resulting in more fracking, factory farms and contaminated food.”
Jackson Heights resident and founder of the nonprofit organization An Angel in Queens Jorge Mu–oz was invited to President Obama’s State of the Union address by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens).
Mu–oz has been a community leader in the fight against hunger. His group has served more than 225,000 home-cooked meals to homeless and unemployed New Yorkers since 2004.
The Northeast Queens Republican Club swore in its newest president, Kevin Ryan, at a ceremony held at the Clearview Golf Course in Bayside on Sunday.
Former Congressman Bob Turner and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R- Ozone Park) swore in the new Board of Governors and the new executive officers. Outgoing president John Watch was also honored for his two years of service to the NEQRC, which has existed since 1894.
Washington heavyweights were among the more than 400 people on hand on Monday as the Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund held its 24th annual awards breakfast in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King.
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) both were on hand, as was Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau).
Thirty-two people, including federal, state and city elected officials, clergy and airport workers, were arrested today after a crowd of close to 1,000 people blocked a bridge to LaGuardia Airport in protest of wages and benefits given to employees of companies that contract out services at the city’s airports.
The rally was organized by Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union
The setting for Melinda Katz’s inauguration as the 19th Queens borough president was Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall, an intimate setting that recalled her late parents David, who founded the Queens Symphony Orchestra, and Jeanne, who founded the Queens Council on the Arts.
Throw in a couple thousand of her closest friends and supporters, including a who’s who of elected officials such as Mayor de Blasio and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and you had Queens celebrating the triumph of a native daughter with two decades of public service.
Vica Mars, left, and Pamela Perkins were among the 100 Queens residents who went to Washington, DC in January for the second inauguration of President Obama. The trip was sponsored by the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP and the office of Congressman Gregory Meeks, who hosted a reception for the travelers.
If it has wheels, it made headlines.
Issues involving bicycles, illegal motor scooters, out-of-control SUVs, striking school bus drivers and pungent trash trains all made their way onto the Chronicle’s pages in 2013.
Elections and new laws adopted in 2013 promised sweeping changes across the city’s horizon in 2014, with a new mayor, a new City Council, and an uncertain future for policies on education, law enforcement and city finances.
It could be said that 2013 was a good year to be a political junkie in New York City with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio being elected mayor, and Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner enjoying short-lived political comeback tours.
It also proved to be a bad year to be a school advocate, a Republican seeking elective office or former state Sen. Shirley Huntley.
A rabbi and an imam have joined forces to create mutual religious understanding between Muslims and Jews by teaching that a respectful relationship between the people of their two faiths is not just a good idea, it’s also good theology.
“We believe that the greatest challenge is not a political peace process or an economic peace process, but the greatest challenge is a theological peace process,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, an 18th-generation rabbi and founder of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, LI and the New York Synagogue in Manhattan. He also co-founded the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding with music-business magnate Russell Simmons.
Queens Congressman Gergory Meeks, right, embraces Nelson Mandela in an undated photo while Meeks attended an international conference in Africa. Meeks is in the official U.S. delegation to the former South African president’s funeral.
Queens congressional representatives Grace Meng, left, Steve Israel and Gregory Meeks all spoke in support Friday of a measure by Congressman Joe Crowley, second from right, aimed at reducing noise near airports nationwide.
Amidst a call for revitalization, the United States Postal Service said it anticipates restoration work to start next week for the exterior Flushing Main Street Post Office at 41-65 Main St.
Visible deteriorating building conditions recently prompted Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) to urge the USPS to restore the building’s exterior.
Political heavyweights from throughout Queens were on hand at LaGuardia Airport last Friday as Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) announced legislation that would require airlines to stock their fleets with quieter planes.
The Quiet Skies Act (HR 3650) will, if passed, give the Federal Aviation Administration until the end of 2015 to come up with regulations that would require all domestic airlines to phase in quiter aircraft, or those meeting the federal Stage 4 noise requirements.
Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, second from left, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, River Fund of New York Executive Director Swami Durga Das, and Jason Hilliard from the office of Congressman Gregory Meeks assist the needy in Richmond Hill on Saturday.
The end of the election season did not mean that Queens politicians would be sleeping on Saturday, when Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and former Congressman Anthony Weiner were in Richmond Hill handing out Thanksgiving groceries at the River Fund food pantry.
Austin Shafran, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 19 City Council seat in September’s Democratic primary, has been named New York legislative director of the Working Families Party.
Shafran, 32, of Bayside, lost to Paul Vallone by only 193 votes in a five-person race. It was the first time he ran for office, although his career has centered around working for Democratic Party officials.