Tag Archives: Council Speaker Christine Quinn

City Council passes bill to fix Muni Meter payment system


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The City Council has passed legislation that fixes flaws in the Muni Meter system and saves drivers money in unnecessary parking payments.

If Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs the law, Muni Meters would shut off when paid parking rules are not in effect and when a machine is out of paper needed to print receipts. The meters would turn back on an hour before drivers are required to pay for parking again.

“Whether you’re doing your laundry or parking your car, you should always get what you pay for,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn announcing the bill last month.  “This legislation ensures drivers will no longer pay for parking at a meter, only to find out that this requirement ended 20 minutes earlier.  Our legislation will reduce frustration and increase fairness in how we pay for parking.”

The changes will first apply to meters that have the technology to turn off when parking is free or the meter is out of paper, about half of those in the city, mostly in the outer boroughs. Other meters must be reprogrammed within two years from when the bill is enacted.

 

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Queens holds 21st Pride Parade


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Colorful flags and smiling faces were filled with pride as they took to the streets in Jackson Heights to celebrate the borough’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community.

On June 2, elected officials, supporters and members of the LGBTQ community from throughout the city gathered for the 21st Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival hosted by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee.

“In light of the recent hate crimes, we are sending a clear message that we are never going back in the closet and we have a lot to celebrate,” said Councilmember Daniel Dromm, who helped found the parade in 1993.

Dromm was joined by fellow openly gay colleagues Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Van Bramer was the first elected official in the borough to get married after New York legalized same-sex marriage.

“It was really supported by the community,” said Dromm. “Parents brought their kids, and on all sides of the parade route people were clapping and cheering.”

The parade, which kicked off at 85th Street and 37th Avenue, is the second-largest LGBTQ pride celebration in New York.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE PRIDE PARADE

The grand marshals for this year’s parade included openly gay pro boxer Orlando Cruz and PRYDE, the LGBTQ Justice Project of Make the Road NY.

The festival, which drew protesters decades ago, now brings thousands of onlookers who shout positive reactions and showed their full support.

“People are waving, there is a happy atmosphere going down 37th Avenue,” said Anne Quashen, president of the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Queens Chapter. “You don’t feel any animosity or any hatred, you feel a community coming together.”

Participants marching in the parade ranged from cheerleaders with Cheer New York to four-legged supporters who marched and waved their tails alongside the bright rainbow flags.

“This is my first time at the parade and it’s such a unique experience,” said Nestor Rojas, 24, of Jackson Heights. “It’s really great to see so many people get together and just accept one another.”

 

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Comptroller John Liu officially launches mayoral bid


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of the New York City Comptroller

Comptroller and former Queens councilmember John Liu has formally kicked off his campaign for the mayor of New York City.

“This can’t be the city of the rich and poor, of them and us. New York City needs to be one city. One city where everyone gets a fair wage and a fair shot,” Liu said at the announcement on the steps of City Hall Sunday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Liu went on a five-borough tour to meet voters.

“With your help, I’ll be a mayor who fights not only for every borough—but for every block in every neighborhood,” he also said during his announcement.

Liu is entering an already crowded Democratic primary that includes Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who launched her campaign last weekend, and Bill Thompson, who served as comptroller before Liu.

The first Asian-American to be elected to a citywide office in New York, Liu has served as comptroller since 2010 and represented Council District 20 from 2002 to 2009.

After immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan as a young child, Liu attended P.S. 20 in Queens, later graduating from the Bronx High School of Science. He currently lives in Flushing with his wife and son.

Liu mentioned his immigrant roots in his speech today.

“My parents truly believed in that promise–that an immigrant family named Liu could work their way up to become like a family named Kennedy. That’s why they named me John—and if you don’t believe me—feel free to ask my brothers Robert and Edward,” he said.

Though a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 15 percent of city voters are enthusiastic and 72 percent are comfortable with an Asian candidate, it also found that in a Democratic mayoral primary against Quinn, Thompson and de Blasio, Liu would come in last.

Even before officially entering the race, Liu’s candidacy has faced issues over the arrest of two of his campaign aides last year in connection to illegal contributions towards his mayoral bid.

Liu has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

 

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Maspeth street renamed for former NYPD detective


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0137w

A Maspeth street was renamed for a former police officer who passed away last year from the after effects of working at Ground Zero.

Kevin Czartoryski, who died in 2010 at 46, was honored on Sunday, April 29 with the renaming of the street he lived on when he passed.  He suffered from pulmonary fibrosis.

Fifty ninth road off 60th Street in Maspeth will now be known as Detective Kevin Czartoryski Place.

Hundreds of friends, family, co-workers and elected officials attended the ceremony and spoke lovingly of the former police officer.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Senator Chuck Schumer, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan and Grace Meng, State Senator Joe Addabbo and Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer attended the renaming.

 

Councilmembers don hoodies for Trayvon Martin


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of William Alatriste

Members of the city council donned hoodies and stood on the steps of City Hall recently in a show of support to the family Trayvon Martin in the wake of the teen’s death.

Around the country, residents — from lawmakers to citizens — have worn hooded sweatshirts to bring awareness to the shooting of the unarmed Florida teen who was wearing a hoodie when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, who was released by authorities, told police he acted in self-defense.

“Trayvon Martin’s killing last month is a horrific tragedy that has yet to be adequately investigated. Trayvon’s family deserves justice, and the country needs to know the full truth of what happened on the night of February 26 as well as in any investigation that followed in the weeks since,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “We fully support the Department of Justice’s decision to investigate this case.”

The city council passed a resolution condemning the “senseless shooting” of Martin and the subsequent investigation.

The resolution said the council “expresses deep sympathy for the Martin family, and calls for a full and impartial investigation holding those responsible to account as well as an examination of “Stand Your Ground” laws nationwide and the role they play in the spread of illegal guns on New York City’s streets.”

“We feel the deepest sorrow for Trayvon’s family’s loss and want them to know they have our sympathy, prayers and full support,” Quinn said. “We also express our solidarity with all those who have voiced their shock, dismay and outrage about Trayvon’s murder.”