Yesterday I schlepped up to Albany on one of three charter-buses, filled with members of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, a delegation of civic and cultural leaders, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz , and other elected officials from the borough of my birth.
Our mission was to ensure our state legislators understand the significant contributions the Q-Boro makes to New York State's economy, and prioritize much needed legislation to help Queens' small business community.
We met with almost every member of the Queens delegation, including Assembly members Nily Rozic (D-Flushing), Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst), Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) and Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica), and Sens. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) and Leroy Comrie (D-Jamaica). Some of the issues we discussed included soaring commercial rents, the need for better public transportation and infrastructure, and a bill proposing that commissions paid to mom-and-pop lottery retailers be increased to 8%.
Next we attended Assembly and Senate sessions, while legislators officially proclaimed May 1st as "Queens Day." Then we headed to a reception at The Egg, which featured food, wine, beer & deserts all provided from Queens businesses.
Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul spoke, mentioning that she's visited Queens over sixty times since assuming office, and Borough President Katz made sure the audience know what Queens is all about,
"Take a look around!" “We are 130 languages; we are 120 countries. People come from all over the world just to raise their family in the borough of Queens. And to not bring that passion up to Albany, when we know you’ve got Brooklyn and the Bronx getting their days here, we wanted to represent.”