A belated Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and an early Happy New Year to The Wave’s readers! It’s an honor to have my Point of View be the last one printed this year.
Since taking office this past January, I‘ve worked hard to live up to the promises I made to you all when you elected me to represent District 32 in City Hall. Today, I’d like to update you on some of those promises I made, and let you know that in 2023, I will continue to fight for you each and every day, and continue to work to make those promises a reality.
To start, I would like to talk about the COVID-19 mandates. While it’s been a very difficult battle when it comes to rolling back those mandates, we’ve seen some progress. Most notably, we were able to get sixteen active, unvaccinated members of the FDNY back on the job so they can support their families once again. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but alongside the men and women of Bravest for Choice, – some of them being Rockaway’s own – we took the battle straight to the top, directly challenging the NYC Health Commissioner, and I will keep battling alongside them night and day until every last tyrannical COVID-19 mandate is repealed.
I’ve also been able to enact a slew of legislation meant to enhance the safety of the people of this city. Among the enacted bills that I’ve co-sponsored are new laws to prohibit the sale of certain unsafe space heaters (which have been known to cause horrific fires) and the creation of a “One-Stop Shop NYC Business Portal,” that allows small businesses across the five boroughs to quickly and easily access information about permits, licenses, and other applications, pay for violations, and also check on the status of any applications they may have. We’re also waiting on the mayor’s signature for bills that would create catalytic converter etching programs and laws that would call for stricter penalties on parts dealers who sell stolen catalytic converters. Both of those bills have passed through the Council, and we hope to see the mayor’s approval of them soon.
I also introduced legislation to clean up New York City’s waterways by creating an Office of Marine Debris Disposal and Vessel Surrendering. This new office would provide a safe, legal place for boat owners to dispose of their vessels and would also work to remove the many derelict vessels that currently litter our waterways. That will be coming up for a vote early in 2023.
Closer to home, my office has been working hard to clean up Beach 116th Street and improve the quality of life there for both shoppers and storeowners alike. To that end, I’ve been in constant communication with Deputy Inspector Fabara at the 100th Precinct to make sure that we have officers on patrol there as often as possible. I’ve also been in touch with the business owners of the street, and I connected them with the Queens Chamber of Commerce to form a merchant’s association that can really yield some great benefits in the near future. On top of all of this, I have also given funding to the Wildcat Service Corporation, which will be making regular visits to the area to pick up trash and keep the place clean.
These are just a few of the many things that have happened since I took office – I wish I had a whole page to tell you all about each and every one of them, instead of just this column! But, before I go, I would just like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year once again, and I cannot wait to see all that 2023 will bring.