Tag Archives: hakeem jeffries

Bill could delay flood insurance hikes for Sandy victims


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Flood zone residents can rest easy for now ‑ as impending increases in flood insurance have been put on the backburner.

Congressmembers Gregory Meeks and Hakeem Jeffries co-sponsored the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Care Act of 2013, legislation meant to address the flood insurance rate increase and “keep residents from being priced out of our community,” Meeks said.

In July 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which would require the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to raise flood rates to reflect “true flood risk” for a policyholder, according to FEMA.

As a result of the act, residents said that over time, their rates could get as high as $30,000 a year. Rallies protesting the price hikes were held nationwide in September, including one at the Broad Channel American Legion Hall, which brought in hundreds of residents.

“We’d like to think we played a small role,” said Dan Mundy, Jr., president of the Broad Channel Civic Association. “It’s a really important first step. We hope to maybe have some input on this.”

The insurance affordability act imposes a four-year delay for certain primary residences. It also mandates FEMA complete an affordability study, which will take two years.

The new bill also allows FEMA to reimburse policyholders who successfully appeal a map determination.
Meeks and Jeffries worked with over 80 other members of Congress to pass the act and “fix” the NFIP, he said.

He vows to work with colleagues “across the aisle” to ensure the bill is signed into law and successfully implemented.

“The painful devastation we experienced during Sandy brought us together to get this done, but it was the resilience and commitment to rebuilt from the people of Rockaway that served as inspiration to make it happen,” Meeks said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. High of 79. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. Low of 72. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Puppets in the Park: “Little Red’s Hood

Come see this production by the City Parks Foundation of “Little Red’s Hood” at Beach 17th Street at 7:00 p.m. Little Red is a smart, young city slicker who is too focused on her smart phone to notice her surroundings. Wulfric is a misunderstood wolf with a sweet tooth. When Red travels from the city to the country to deliver some cupcakes to her Grandma, she meets a colorful cast of characters while Wulfric the Wolf tries to head her off at the pass. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Bloomberg won’t apologize for remarks on stop-and-frisk 

A defiant Mayor Michael Bloomberg would not apologize Sunday for his controversial comments about the NYPD stop-and-frisk program and how officers stop “whites too much.” Read more: CBS New York

New York teen who escaped ‘nonsecure’ group home arrested on murder charge

A teen who bolted from a group home that housed criminal offenders has been arrested on suspicion of murder — less than two months after a judge sounded the alarm about scant security at such facilities. Read more: New York Daily News

Congressman calls for a federal monitor to oversee NYPD

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) during a Sunday afternoon press conference called to appoint a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD’s stop and frisk program. Read more: Fox New York

Gillibrand wants FEMA to review flood insurance rules

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to review rules that resulted in insurance coverage denials for some Superstorm Sandy victims. Read more: Fox New York

Miracle on the Hudson: Helicopter makes emergency landing in river

A charter helicopter carrying a family of four Swedes on a sightseeing tour of New York City lost power shortly after takeoff Sunday and made an emergency landing on the Hudson River, authorities said. The pilot, 23, and the helicopter’s occupants were uninjured. Read more: ABC New York

9 elite firefighters die battling huge Arizona wildfire

An elite crew of firefighters trained to battle the nation’s fiercest wildfires was overtaken by an out-of-control blaze in Arizona on Sunday afternoon, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields. Read more: AP

 

Rockaway Beach line restoration gets federal support


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Terence Cullen

Proposed revival of the Rockaway Beach LIRR Line has gotten some federal backing.

Congressmembers Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks are all-aboard for restoring the 50-year-defunct line in a new form, which would effectively link Rego Park to Ozone Park via mass transit.

Together with Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, they have sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, asking for federal money from Sandy for restoring the line.

“What this rail line would do, if completely restored, would intersect on five or six different points, giving people options,” said Goldfeder, who’s pushed rail restoration since coming into office a year-and-a-half ago.

“If you try and drive on Woodhaven Boulevard or Cross Bay Boulevard in the morning or afternoon, our streets are jammed.”

Meeks, who began representing the Rockaways in January, said this was needed now more than ever as the peninsula and its residents try to rebuild.

Jeffries, representing Ozone Park and Howard Beach, said south Queens commuters have one of the longest trips to Manhattan, and LIRR service would reduce the hour-plus commute to Midtown. It is, he noted, one of the longest commutes within NYC, “perhaps rivaled only by some in the southern part of Staten Island.”

Because neighborhoods such as Woodhaven have expanded closer to the tracks since train service ended in June 1962, many are concerned about a rail line right next to their home. But officials say they’ve explored new ways of silent transportation, such as a monorail, to reduce noise.

Trains could stop at the Howard Beach-JFK A train station in Coleman Square if the line is revived.

Commuters going to Rockaway would transfer to the A train, which is expected to be up and running later this summer.

A rail line, however, is not the only plan on the table for the three-mile strip.

The Queensway, a nature walk, has been the counterpart proposal to the plan and would be similar to the Highline in Manhattan. Andrea Crawford, a founding member of “Friends of Queensway,” said she didn’t believe the LIRR would be a practical way of transit – suggesting instead implementing rapid bus transit or improving A train service.

Members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association are for better north-south transportation in Queens and reducing traffic on Woodhaven Boulevard, said communications director Alex Blenkinsopp. Because the rail line would run so close to homes, however, they are against this type of development.

WRBA hosted a town hall meeting on the LIRR line and the Queensway last September, but ultimately decided to urge the city to clean up the abandoned, overgrown strip of land.

“They’re not even trying to convince Woodhaven at this point,” Blenkinsopp said. “They seem to have decided that they need to railroad us, rather than attempting to address our concerns.”

 

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Grace Meng sworn in as first Asian-American from NY in Congress


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

The Courier tagged along on a bus trip to Washington, D. C. as the 113th Congress was sworn in.

It’s five in the morning, and over 100 people gathered outside in Flushing, anxiously waiting to board buses making the trek down to our nation’s capital to watch the 113th Congress — and the first Asian-American from New York — be sworn in.

Former Assemblymember Grace Meng made history last November when she was elected to represent the 6th Congressional District.

Community leaders and constituents journeyed to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 3 to witness her, along with Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks and Steve Israel, officially become members of the 113th Congress.

“We are very proud today,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “It’s very historic. I hope that she [Meng] will be a role model and a trailblazer for the new generation.”

After the drive to D.C., supporters were able to watch the newly minted Congressmembers cast their first vote for House Speaker, and then be officially sworn in to the new session.

Hakeem Jeffries, Meng’s former colleague in the Assembly, was also sworn in to represent the 8th Congressional District — which includes Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Lindenwood. Jeffries faced a comparatively lighter general election than Meng, after the Brooklyn-based legislator beat Councilmember Charles Barron in a June primary election.

Incumbent members of Congress Joseph Crowley of the 14th District, Gregory Meeks of the 5th District, and Steve Israel of the 3rd held onto their positions in the House and were also sworn into the new session.

After the swearing in ceremony, Meng joined her constituents and spoke about upcoming plans in her new position. Gun control legislation, immigration reform and passing the Sandy aid bill are at the forefront.

“There are a lot of issues that we need to work on, and I look forward to working with you,” Meng said. “And you all are the eyes and ears of our community.”

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 19F. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Friday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 28F with a windchill as low as 19. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: First Look Film Series

This annual showcase at the Museum of the Moving Image presents groundbreaking international cinema. Many of this year’s films take the form of journeys—geographical, emotional and artistic—with 26 works from a dozen countries. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sandy-battered Rockaway businesses struggle to pay rent to absentee landlord

A pair of Rockaway stores that survived floods, tens of thousand dollars in losses and the exodus of customers due to Sandy now face a new challenge — battling an absentee landlord who wants them to pay up or move out. Read more: New York Daily News

House sets Friday vote for Sandy aid after criticism

The House is headed for a vote on aid for Superstorm Sandy victims after House Speaker John Boehner mollified Republicans from New York and New Jersey upset with his decision to cancel action on the bill. Read more: ABC New York

Meng, Jeffries among 84 new Congress members sworn in

New York City has two new members of Congress. Hakeem Jeffries, representing the Eighth District in Brooklyn and Queens, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, Coney Island and Howard Beach, and Grace Meng, of the Sixth District in Queens, which stretches from Ridgewood to Bayside, were among the 84 new members of Congress sworn in Thursday. Read more: NY1

Special election to determine replacement for Sanders’ Council Seat

Voters will be asked to head to the polls and choose a candidate in a special election to replace outgoing City Councilman James Sanders Jr. Read more: NY1

Attempted murder at Long Island mall

Police on Long Island say a man tried to kill another man in a mall parking lot. Read more: Fox New York

House chooses Boehner as speaker again despite dissent

Despite a rocky few weeks during the “fiscal cliff” fight, John Boehner won re-election as speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday and will again lead Republicans as they take on the White House over federal spending. Read more: Reuters 

 

 

Jeffries campaign brings in more than $1.2 million


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


Hakeem Jeffries has built a significant campaign war chest in his quest for Congress — mainly from individual donations.

Assemblymember and congressional hopeful Jeffries has raised $1,235,862, a campaign spokesperson confirmed. The camp filed its quarterly report, which details funds raised up to June 30, with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) on Sunday, July 15.

The finance breakdown on the FEC website shows $1,125,562 came from individual contributions. The remaining $110,300 came from non-party or other committees.

The three-term assemblymember is facing off against Republican Alan Bellone for the freshly-drawn 8th Congressional District. Jeffries defeated Councilmember Charles Barron in a landslide primary on June 26 after getting key endorsements on the federal, state and local level.

Between April 1 and June 6 alone, Brooklyn native Jeffries raised just more than $250,000, his campaign announced in early June. At that time Jeffries for Congress had raised $769,544 from 2,447 donors.

Jeffries bests Barron in 8th District primary


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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Three-term Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries will run as the Democratic candidate for the newly-drawn Congressional District 8 seat this November, after he easily defeated Councilmember Charles Barron.

According to the New York Times, Jeffries won with more than 25,000 votes after raising more cash than Barron and receiving major endorsements. The Democratic nominee will now run against Republican candidate Alan Bellone in the November 6 general election.

The Brooklyn native will now compete for a district that includes portions of Howard Beach and Ozone Park, whose current politicians threw their support behind Jeffries a few weeks before the primary.

On Wednesday, June 20 Senator Charles Schumer endorsed Jeffries, citing that the assemblymember currently represents several neighborhoods Schumer once did.

Congressmember Ed Towns, who represented several areas in the new district and will retire at the end of this term, had endorsed Barron; the two faced off in a 2010 Democratic Primary.

Had Jeffries not gotten the Democratic nod, he would have nonetheless run in November on the Working Families Party ticket, the Daily News reported.

But on the morning of the primary, Jeffries told reporters it would not even come to that.

“Oh we’re going to win the Democratic primary,” he said after casting his ballot at P.S. 9 in Brooklyn.

While Howard Beach and Ozone Park residents were originally worried about both Democratic candidates coming from Brooklyn, some said they didn’t mind the district had been reshaped.

Michael Miller, a computer technician, said this year’s redistricting did not bother him, as he did not like his current representation.

“Normally I wouldn’t be happy with the rezoning, but I was unhappy with my congressman,” Miller, 51, said, “so I’m fine with it.”

Jeffries secured the Queens Democratic endorsement on June 15.

Frank Gulluscio, Demcratic District Leader, said that upon speaking with Jeffries, and being assured Queens would be as much represented as Brooklyn, constituents believed that he would best represent them.

Jeffries said he had been reaching out to Howard Beach and Ozone Park residents to get a feel for their needs and what mattered to them most.

“This election is about a fresh start — moving forward and leaping into the future,” he said. “The fact that the 30-year incumbent has endorsed my opponent, these things happen in politics. [But] We’ve got tremendous support all across the congressional district.”

- Additional reporting by Liam LaGuerre and Philip Hertling

Primary Guide: 8th Congressional District


| editorial@queenscourier.com


Parts or all of: Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Fort Greene, Beford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Flatlands, Marine Park, Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Sea Gate

Name: Charles Barron

Party: Democrat

Current Position: City Councilmember

Personal Info: Married for 29 years with two children

Accomplishments:

-         $80 million for two new schools

-         Number one in affordable housing

-         $15 million for three new park renovations

-         Won fight to keep two senior centers and three schools open in the district

Platform:

-         Defend Medicare & Social Security

-         Universal health care/single payer

-         Restore cuts and increase funding for education

-         Restore cuts and increase funding for housing subsidies

 

Name:  Hakeem Jeffries

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Assemblymember in 57th Assembly District in Brooklyn. He is also a practicing attorney.

Personal Info: Married with two sons

Issues: Job creation, affordable housing and criminal justice reform are major issues of the district.

Platform: In Congress, my plan is to work with President Barack Obama to download all of the resources available directly into the district to spur job creation, preserve and create affordable housing and continue my work with the reform of our criminal justice system and protection of the civil liberties of law-abiding New Yorkers. I have will also fight for more senior housing and stand up to protect Social Security and Medicare.

 

Check out the primary guide for all the races:

5th Congressional District

6th Congressional District

7th Congressional District

U.S. Senate