District 24

Rory I. Lancman

Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica

The 17th Annual Seniors Appreciation Month begins
Queens Daily Eagle, September 9, 2019

“Senior Appreciation Month is a very special time for us, as we honor the legacy of our senior citizens and their contributions to our society,” Miller said in a statement. “We’re pleased that participation in this festival continues to grow in our borough. We have a lot of fun things planned, from a Mets game at Citi Field to our informational Senior Luncheon, where we provide access to legal services for matters regarding wills, estates, and other issues.”

Read more here

Kew Gardens Hills rezoning moves forward with completed hearing before City Council
Queens Courier, September 4, 2019

“We want to keep Kew Gardens Hills families in Kew Gardens Hills,” Lancman said. “This rezoning allows homes to grow to meet their owners’ needs. I am proud to shepherd this rezoning through the Council, and am grateful for the support of the Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association, Community Board 8, and the Borough President.”

Read more here

Business split on marijuana test ban
Queens Chronicle, August 29, 2019

“At a time when New York City has fundamentally changed how it policies marijuana, it made no sense for an individual to be denied employment because of previous marijuana use,” Lancman said. “This legislation knocks down a barrier to opportunity for New Yorkers, and I am proud to co-sponsor it.”

Read more here

Queens Fights for Bigger Single-Family Homes, Bucks Trend
The City, August 14, 2019

“The Kew Gardens Hills rezoning allows for greater growth and density to accommodate the large families typical of the neighborhood, which will keep people from moving out of New York City,” Lancman told THE CITY.

Read more here

People of color account for 85 percent of fare evasion arrests in NYC
Queens Daily Eagle, August 9, 2019

“The city continues to arrest black and brown people for fare evasion at rates that are grossly disproportionate when compared to rates of white people,” said Councilmember Rory Lancman, who last year sued the NYPD to obtain the fare evasion data under city law. Lancman sponsored the 2017 bill mandating the reports.

Read more here

Breaking car culture ‘isn’t going to happen,’ say reps of areas with high car ownership
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 6, 2019

“I can see why those who represent districts with an abundance of mass transit options are eager to break our so-called car culture,” said Councilmember Rory Lancman, who represents a district in eastern Queens where more than 60 percent of households own cars. “But for those of us living in neighborhoods that lack meaningful transit choices, and for the vast majority of us who realistically can’t bike to work, cars are an essential means of getting to where we need to go.”

Read more here

Cuomo inks bill decriminalizing small marijuana possession
Brooklyn Paper, July 30, 2019

“Marijuana enforcement has unjustly targeted brown and black New Yorkers, and decriminalizing marijuana use is a meaningful step forward that will keep thousands of people out of our criminal justice system,” Lancman said. “I thank Gov. Cuomo and the legislature for making this important progress, and working to right the wrongs of the past.”

Read more here

A Night in Jail over $2.75
The Appeal, July 29, 2019

“For almost anybody who jumps a turnstile or doesn’t pay a fare, it’s a poverty issue, not a criminal justice issue,” Lancman said. “We should be fully implementing and expanding the Fair Fares program that the council established last year.”

Read more here

‘Revenge porn’ criminalized in state of New York
Queens Daily Eagle, July 23, 2019

In New York City, publishing ‘revenge porn’ has been a criminal offense for nearly two years. Councilmember Rory Lancman introduced the bill to criminalize revenge porn, which unanimously passed the City Council in November 2017.

“With passage of this landmark legislation, New York City finally calls revenge porn exactly what it is: a crime,” Lancman said at the time.

Read more here

NYPD Bill Would Require Precinct Data on Major Solved Crimes
The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2019

“It’s really just a matter of making the current reporting requirements actually usable and productive,” Mr. Lancman, a Democrat, said in an interview Monday. Under the legislation, the police department would have to release the clearance rates for its seven major crime categories—homicide, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and motor-vehicle grand larceny—for each of its 77 patrol precincts. The data would be released no later than 30 days after each quarter.

Read more here

Queens councilman blasts Glendale shelter protest outside synagogue as ‘anti-Semitic’ and demands apology

Queens Courier, April 16, 2019

“Protesting outside a person’s synagogue on the Sabbath because they might not develop their private property the way you want is a grotesque act of anti-Semitism and fully deserves our unqualified condemnation. The so-called ‘Glendale Middle Village Coalition’ members should be ashamed of themselves, and should apologize for their repugnant conduct,” Lancman wrote in a press statement.

Read more here

Local 3-Charter war rages on, two years in
Queens Chronicle, April 11, 2019

“The men and women of IBEW Local 3 have fought for the past two years for a fair contract that protects their health care and retirement,” City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) said in a prepared statement marking the second anniversary of the strike.

Read more here 

Plenty of fun stuff at Queens green spaces
Queens Chronicle, April 4, 2019

May is when the Family Fun Day events series sponsored by City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and the Parks Department kicks off. The lawmaker says folks are going to have a blast. “You’re in the park with our neighbors, with the Parks Department … and it’s just a fun day to be in our parks, which we pay for with our tax dollars,” Lancman said. And while he couldn’t guarantee that they will be at each of the events, he did say that “creepy, crawly creatures” like snakes and lizards handled by Parks officials have made appearances at past Family Fun Days. “The kids love them,” he said.

Read more here

New Yorkers mourning over New Zealand massacre hold interfaith vigil at Queens mosque
NY Daily News, March 17, 2019

The faith leaders were joined by Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, who said the massacre had “particular meaning here in New York City, for all of us who come from every corner of the world.” “Hatred, intolerance and bigotry know no limits, no bounds,” Lancman said. “It affects all of us.”

Read more here 

Bittersweet street co-naming at Jamaica Muslim Center as hundreds pray for victims of New Zealand mosque massacre
Queens Courier, March 16, 2019

“The Muslim community here in Queens and the United States is here to stay,” said Lancman. “Their accomplishments and achievements are going to be permanently recognized by this street that everybody who drives down this street (JMC Way) is going to see the respect and affection that all of New York has for the Jamaica Muslim Center, its leaders, congregants and the entire Muslim community.”

Read more here

Community rallies against hate in FH
Queens Chronicle, February 7, 2019

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) pointed to the disturbing trend that in January there were twice as many hate crimes in New York City as there had been in January 2018. “We are confronting a very, very serious problem in this city, in this country,” Lancman said. “An explosion in hate crimes against Jews, African-Americans and Muslims.”

Read more here 

Two cuffed for alleged roles in Forest Hills beatdown that left teen hospitalized: NYPD
Times Ledger, December 7, 2018

“Both Sen. Stavisky and Council member Koslowitz said, anti-Semitism is on the rise and we have to take it very, very seriously,” Lancman said. He advocated for the community to keep pressure on law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office to do a thorough investigation.

“I will tell that it is very, very difficult to get the Police Department to actually investigate and declare that something is a hate crime … Not just for the Jewish community, I represent a large Muslim population as well,” Lancman added.

Read more here

Councilman calls for task force to tackle retail woes
Crain’s NY, November 29, 2018

A new bill proposed by City Councilman Rory Lancman of Queens would assemble a seven-member “retail resurgence” task force consisting of delegates from the storefront sector, landlords and organized labor, plus Gregg Bishop, the city’s Small Business Services commissioner. Together, they would analyze what some describe as a crisis in retail by determining the extent of storefront vacancies, the limits of available data and which public policies are helping, harming and failing to support struggling brick-and-mortar shops. “The holiday shopping season makes the gaping voids in our real estate storefronts all the more noticeable and depressing,” Lancman said. “This is the season when our retail stores should be humming.”

Read more here

Free housing legal services coming to four Queens neighborhoods
Times Ledger, November 21, 2018

“Access to Counsel is making New York City a fairer place, and giving tenants a chance to fight eviction and harassment from landlords,” City Councilman Rory Lancman, the chairman of the council’s Committee on the Justice System, said. “I am pleased to see this landmark program expand into Ridgewood and Glendale so more Queens residents can receive free legal representation in Housing Court.”

Read more here

How to protect places of worship?
Queens Chronicle, November 1, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) told the Chronicle shuls in his district already invest their own money in private security, whether it means hiring armed off-duty officers, other guards who may or may not be armed, or an unarmed volunteer group of congregants. “Our government has an obligation to provide funding so people can be secure,” Lancman said. He said it’s important to understand that for many members of the Jewish community the idea of providing security and protection, including armed personnel, for institutions is not new.

Lancman had asked the city for permission to provide funding for institutions to be able to hire off-duty police officers during the high holidays but the city refused the request to use city funding for that purpose.

Read more here

Opioid overdoses kill more in Ridgewood than in most other Queens neighborhoods: city
Queens Courier, October 24, 2018

“It is imperative that the city does everything in its power to ensure those struggling with opioid addiction receive treatment and care instead of punishment and incarceration,” Councilman Rory Lancman, who represents Fresh Meadows, said. “Connecting people in need with assistance is only possible through education and outreach.”“It is imperative that the city does everything in its power to ensure those struggling with opioid addiction receive treatment and care instead of punishment and incarceration,” Councilman Rory Lancman, who represents Fresh Meadows, said. “Connecting people in need with assistance is only possible through education and outreach.”

Read more here

New legislation plans to tackle city’s broken contracting system
NY Post, August 7, 2018

Two lawmakers plan to introduce legislation Wednesday demanding reforms to the city’s broken contracting system, following a Post report that some social service vendors have to wait a year or more to get paid. The bill sponsored by Council members Rory Lancman (D-Queens) and Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) would require city agencies to produce reports explaining tardy payments and inform contractors about the reasons their bills haven’t been settled.

“I hope to light a fire under the behinds of city agencies so they start paying vendors on time,” Lancman said. “If we’re going to rely on the nonprofit community to provide as many social functions as we do, we need to make sure they’re paid on time.” He added: “When we find out they haven’t gotten paid in many months and they need to go out and make a loan to make payroll, that’s what really got my attention.”

Read more here

Just two weeks remain for the Flagship Diner
Queens Chronicle, July 12, 2018

The neighborhood’s elected officials — Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) — all mourned the loss of the Flagship Diner on Tuesday.

“Flagship always meant to me a good, clean, friendly place to have a meal and a good conversation,” Comrie said in a phone interview. “If you had the late night munchies, it was always the place to go.”

In written statements, Lancman and Rosenthal both praised the diner — the former said he couldn’t count the number of times he ate there while the latter called it a “neighborhood institution” that “defined Briarwood.”

Read more here

Some want extended Utopia bike lane
Queens Chronicle, July 12, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) — who represents Utopia between the Horace Harding Expressway and Hillside Avenue — said he’d be interested in seeing a proposal from the DOT.

“I would not consider a bike lane that took away a lane of parking or of traffic,” he said in an interview.

But either of those things may not necessarily have to happen, he explained. As an example, Lancman pointed to the painted bike lane on 73rd Avenue installed by the DOT last year, which lacks a protective barrier and did not remove any space for parking or driving.

“I think there are a lot of design possibilities,” Lancman said. “It depends on the width of the street. I’m very open to DOT giving me a suggestion.”

Read more here

Union Provides Details On Spectrum Strike
Queens Tribune, June 28, 2018

“Charter Communications has spent the past 15 months doing everything in its power to break Local 3 and boost its own bottom line,” Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) said. “Charter’s complete disregard for its own workers and unwillingness to negotiate in good faith are beyond shameful and will not be tolerated in New York City.”

Read more here

‘Pretty Obvious’ Charter/Spectrum Has Not Bargained In Good Faith, Labor Chair Says
Labor Press, June 25, 2018

Noting the punishing effects the 450-plus day strike has had on his constituents in Electchester, Queens, Council Member Rory Lancman [D-District 24] said on Monday, “You really appreciate the impact and the devastation that has been wrought by one company’s determination to break this union.” “First time I met with Charter, heard them testify, it was clear to me that that’s what this was about — Charter was here to break this union; to teach this union a lesson, and to establish itself as the company that broke the back of Labor in New York City.”

Read more here

John Bowne principal moved from his post
Queens Chronicle, May 17, 2018

In a statement to the Chronicle, Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) said “it’s outrageous that the city allowed this principal to remain on staff and in a position of authority at” the school while he racked up the hundreds of thousands in public dollars for settlements. “The city needs to ensure that every sexual harassment allegation is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly,” he added.

Read more here

Student-designed playground breaks ground in Flushing
Times Ledger, April 24, 2018

Lancman thanked the students for their participation.

“Today is a special day for our community as construction gets underway for the new playground at 250Q,” he said at the groundbreaking. “This playground will be built with input and insight from those who know playgrounds best — the students at 250. I am proud to provide funding to help make this new playground a reality, and look forward to seeing the playground when it is completed.”

Read more here

Ground breaks on new student-designed playground in Flushing
Queens Courier, April 18, 2018

The funding of the $1.2 million project is being provided through the Queens borough president’s office, NYC Councilman Rory Lancman, Department of Environmental Protection and Supporters of the Trust for Public Land.

Read more here 

Work Begins On Student-Designed Playground In Flushing
Patch, April 17, 2018

The new playground may have been created by The Trust for Public Land – a nonprofit that helps create parks and protects land – but it was designed, at least in part, by the school’s very own students.

“This playground will be built with input and insight from those who know playgrounds best – the students at 250Q,” said City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), who helped fund the playground.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: The curbs … are too damn low! My bill would fix that
Queens Chronicle, April 5, 2018

We have a responsibility to ensure that government action is helping those whom we serve. My curb heights legislation is an important step in the right direction.

Read more here 

City to repave stretch of Union Turnpike
Queens Chronicle, April 5, 2018

He and Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) had both previously called on the DOT to do the resurfacing, saying it was badly needed.

“The poor conditions and potholes on this stretch of roadway are a hazard for motorists, inhibiting their ability to drive within our community safely,” the councilman said in a prepared statement.

Read more here

Charter employees mark anniversary of strike with City Hall condemnation
Times Ledger, April 3, 2018

“What is clear is that Charter cares more about its own bottom line than the well-being of its workers,” Lancman said.“I will continue to fight to ensure Local 3 receives a fair contract and that Charter is held accountable for any violation of the Franchise Agreement.”

Read more here

Residents: Eton St. needs flooding fixes
Queens Chronicle, March 29, 2018

Hannibal’s plight with his home led Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) to introduce a bill that would require the city to raise the curb on a street after repaving it.

Although the legislation did not pass in the Council’s last legislative session, Lancman re-introduced the bill in February and is pushing to get it passed this year.

“Phyllis’s story highlights why the Council must pass my legislation to hold the City accountable for DOT’s mistakes,” Lancman said in a prepared statement. “It is not fair that homeowners like Phyllis are left to deal with the consequences resulting from altered curb heights. We must ensure that DOT maintains proper curb heights every time it does street work.”

Union/Utopia Accident Reports Increase
The Torch, March 16, 2018

The New York City Department of Transportation is looking at potential pedestrian safety enhancements along Union Turnpike, a local city councilman said this week, in the wake of several accidents in recent years outside the University’s gates.

“At my request, the Department of Transportation has been conducting a study of potential safety enhancements along Union Turnpike,” Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) told The Torch on Tuesday, “and we are currently awaiting the results.”

Read more here

Par Central Motor Inn no longer a shelter
Queens Chronicle, March 9, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and the city had reached an agreement for ending its use as a shelter months ago, but the city didn’t give a specific deadline as to when. Lancman is happy City Hall followed through.

“I am pleased that the Par Central Motel will no longer be used as a shelter, and look forward to working with the administration to close other hotel shelters in the District,” he said in a prepared statement.

Read more here 

Kew Gardens Hills: A Little Town in Central Queens
New York Times, March 7, 2018

…Rory I. Lancman, 49, another Queens College graduate, lived in the area from the age of 5 until his late twenties. Now he is the member for the 24th City Council district, which includes Kew Gardens Hills. Last month, at the urging of the Orthodox Jewish community, the community board agreed to sponsor a proposal to rezone two sections of the neighborhood to allow “bigger homes with more bedrooms for more babies,” he said. The measure will affect about 377 homes.

Mr. Lancman is also keen on improving the 1.4-square-mile Flushing Meadows–Corona Park just west of Kew Gardens Hills. The Albert Mauro Playground within the park is being rebuilt, and a project is underway to reduce chronic flooding and make sense of a confusing internal roadway.

Read more here 

City Council Begins Examination of De Blasio Budget Plan
Gotham Gazette, March 6, 2018

Council Member Rory Lancman, a vocal critic of the de Blasio administration, raised the issue of funding for the ailing MTA and scandal-ridden NYCHA. “They are two areas where the mayor has to some degree or another, I won’t say abdicated, that’s too judgmental, but has offered the view that they are either not his problem or the origin of the problems lie elsewhere,” Lancman said.

Hartzog tried to float arguments that de Blasio has put forward — that the state should fund the MTA and new MTA revenue streams should include “lockboxes” to keep the money in the city, and that the administration had made unprecedented investments in NYCHA in the absence of federal and state funds. Lancman, though, cut Hartzog off and insisted she focus on the budget before them.

Read more here

Plans to renovate Fresh Meadows cemetery are closer to reality
NY1, March 1, 2018

An overgrown and littered property in Queens could soon be getting a makeover.

The City Planning Commission greenlighted the Parks Department’s application to acquire Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows this week. The City landmark has about 76 graves and dates back to 1730. Now Borough President Melinda Katz and the local community board have to review the proposal before the commision and the City Council officially vote to buy the land. We asked Councilman Rory Lancman what he hopes to see at the 182nd Street burial ground.

“There will be some marker informs people of the history and that the people who live in this neighborhood will not wake up everyday to this terrible eyesore,” said Lancman.

Read more here 

City moves one step closer to buying neglected cemetery with rich history in Fresh Meadows
Queens Courier, February 27, 2018

“The cemetery has been a source of much frustration for community members, understandably outraged by its poor conditions, and this project will enable the city to properly care for and maintain the property,” Lancman said. “I look forward to working with the Community Board, Borough President Katz, and my colleagues in the City Council as the Brinckerhoff Cemetery project makes its way through the ULURP.”

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Want more housing? Density’s the answer: Albany must lift the FAR cap
NY Daily News, February 20, 2018

This 12 FAR limit was established in 1961, and it has not changed since. This makes no sense. New York City today is desperate for more affordable housing. We must have the authority to develop denser residential buildings in all five boroughs when we as a city, through our normal land use approval mechanisms, believe it’s in the city’s best interest. A higher FAR will give us more options to decide how we want our neighborhoods to look and develop, but will still allow us to incorporate community input in the same way we do now.

Read more here 

Queens Museum Report Says Former Director ‘Misled the Board’
New York Times, February 14, 2018

In response to the report’s findings, Councilman Lancman said in a telephone interview: “The leader of this museum is supposed to represent the values of Queens but also represent to the world our values. This is just a breathtaking breach of that responsibility.”

Read more here 

Deputy mayor asked to testify over NYCHA scandals
NY Post, February 11, 2018

“It’s important for Alicia Glen to testify because it does seem like NYCHA is lost in the shuffle when it comes to the mayor’s housing policy,” said Queens Councilman Rory Lancman. “You have the chairwoman of NYCHA acknowledging that NYCHA has been lost in the shuffle, and we’d like to hear from the deputy mayor in charge of affordable housing why that is.”

Read more here

Seniors learn self-defense in free class
Times Ledger, February 6, 2018

Senior citizens in Kew Garden Hills got free self-defense lessons.

Chazaq, a Jewish nonprofit organization, hosted the inaugural Self-Defense Class for Seniors last week at Queens Library in Kew Garden Hills. More than 55 seniors attended the class, led by instructor Avi Avramcheyiv of the New York Self-Defense Academy. The class was funded by Councilman Rory Lancman (D- Hillcrest), who allocated $16,000 in the fall 2018 budget through the Support Our Seniors Initiative to facilitate events for local seniors.

Read more here 

Striking Local 3 still sticking to its guns
Queens Chronicle, January 25, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) said that he was informed by the de Blasio administration that the audit “would be out by the end of the month.

“We’ll go from there.”

The lawmaker, who has rallied with Local 3 strikers, represents Electchester, the complex where many in the union live.

Having been recently appointed to the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and Land Use Committee, Lancman said that he intends to use the roles to fight Charter.

Read more here 

City Council members demand de Blasio address failing NYCHA heating
NY Post, January 10, 2018

Lancman said there are “three life-threatening circumstances” NYCHA needs to prioritize over other needs: heating, lead paint removal and mold abatement.

“It’s a litany of horrors, and the city needs to do a better job of attacking the most horrible horrors,” he said.

Read more here 
LANCMAN OP-ED: Local journalism, with taxpayer help
NY Daily News, November 13, 2017

It’s time for New York City to get back into the business of funding local journalism.

The demise of the DNAinfo and Gothamist websites — some would call their closure an execution in retaliation for their reporters’ decision to unionize — is merely the latest blow to serious community journalism, and compels a public response.

Read more here 

Mayor settles beef with Queens City Council member over seats on Flushing Meadows Park oversight group
Queens Courier, August 18, 2017

The city has settled a lawsuit between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Queens Councilman Rory Lancman over membership of an organization dedicated to improving Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Lancman, who represents an area including the southern section of the park, announced on Aug. 18 that the settlement will result in the the restructuring of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance, a group whose mission is to “preserve, maintain, and improve Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the benefit and use of the surrounding communities and all New Yorkers,” as noted on its website.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: Back Down, Mr. Mayor
Crain’s NY, July 31, 2017

The subway is the lifeblood of New York City, and the truth is New York City government hasn’t done nearly enough to support it. The state’s $8.3 billion commitment to the MTA’s current capital plan dwarves the city’s $2.5 billion, as it has the last two capital plans going back to 2005. City government can do a lot better than spending a fraction of what the state does to maintain a system that our city depends on.

Mr. Mayor, this is a crisis that requires all hands on deck. If Joe Lhota’s plan is a good one, take the governor’s offer to split the cost and get our subway crisis under control. It’s. Our. Subway.

Read more here 

City councilman blasts Charter Communications’ use of out-of-state contractors as Spectrum workers strike
NY Daily News, June 21, 2017

“Charter Communications’ decision to use out-of-state contractors not only goes against its franchise agreement with the City, but also the values we hold as New Yorkers,” Lancman said.

“We believe that work in New York City should be performed by New York City workers, like Local 3, who have the training and expertise to get the job done right,” he said.

Read more here