In 2000, as speaker of the New York City Council, my father Peter F. Vallone passed the Animal Shelters and Sterilization Act. This act required that a full-service animal shelter exist in each of the five boroughs. At the time, I would never have guessed that 15 years later, Queens and the Bronx would continue to lack these shelters, but that is the unfortunate reality we face.
When the FDNY began its efforts to recruit New York City firefighter candidates back in 2011, it sold them on the merits of “the best job in the world has the best benefits in the world.” Now, several years later, it appears that the city failed to tell these prospective first responders the truth.
What do you do to prevent cancer? February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and a great time to make or renew your commitment to put your health first. Take time to visit your health care professional and discuss your family and personal health history and which cancer screenings are right for you. Screening can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable, and in some cases stop cancer before it starts.
When I nominate an individual to the borough president to be appointed or reappointed to a community board, I am looking for an individual whose presence on the board will enhance the work of the board as a whole. Those individuals, whose professional background or community activism will “add value” to the board, are the people who I want to appoint and retain.
It doesn’t happen often in government that we get a golden opportunity to broadly improve the education of our children, but with the expiration of mayoral control of our school system and the pending negotiations to extend it, we have only one clear mission — let’s get it right for the sake of our children.
We were so young and energetic and believed we could solve the problems of the world. Such was one evening many years ago at Jeantet’s restaurant in Corona. We frequently congregated there to discuss serious issues of the day.
We often hear about the apathy of our youth in regards to government and politics. Indeed, those between 18 and 25 years old vote the least of any age group. As a former high school teacher and current college instructor with the City University of New York (CUNY), I have seen first-hand the lack of interest many students have for public policy and service. Clearly, we need to do more to inspire our next generation of leaders to take an active interest in their government and community.
On April 28th, 1973, Clifford Glover, a 10-year-old boy, was killed by Thomas Shea, an undercover police officer, in South Jamaica, Queens. His shooting sparked several days of riots in the neighborhood, riots that were inflamed when Shea was acquitted of murder. I was one of the young residents of that neighborhood, a 13-year-old boy witnessing what I perceived to be injustice in my community and the explosion of anger that resulted.
n recent years, we’ve seen tremendous growth and progress. At same time, we’ve struggled together to recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy over two years ago. Now, as we continue forward, we have a real opportunity to make lasting changes that will speed our recovery, benefit our local businesses and improve our neighborhoods in the years to come.
It has been said small businesses are the backbone of our communities here in Queens, and I am certainly one to reiterate that sentiment. The small businesses, many of which I frequent myself — convenient stores, delis, restaurants and more — are what keep so many of our borough’s commercial corridors going.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk about changing the admissions process for New York City’s specialized high schools in order to address the underrepresentation of black and Latino students. While I embrace the goal of increasing diversity within those schools, I am not convinced that changing the exam or the admission standards is the best way to diversify the student population.
BY COUNCILMAN ERIC ULRICH, CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL VETERANS COMMITTEE
On Veterans Day, we recognize the many contributions veterans have made and continue to make to the American way of life. It’s also important to take stock of the unique challenges facing veterans and identify meaningful solutions to help those here at home and the thousands of men and women already on their way back from service.