6 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
NYC’s #1 Source for Political & Election News
Hochul announces Ida relief aid for undocumented immigrants
BY JULIA MORO
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a $27 million
relief fund for excluded workers aft er Hurricane
Ida took the lives of 13 people and left
many properties in Queens destroyed.
This relief comes in an eff ort to reach many immigrant
families who were ineligible for funds through
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
unless there was a documented child in the family.
“I realized these people are looking to us to help
them rebuild their lives and we were going to have
to say, ‘Sorry, you don’t qualify’? No,” Hochul said.
“We’re at war with Mother Nature and we don’t leave
anyone on the battlefi eld. We fi nd out a way to help
them regain some sort of semblance of their past life
and tell them we care about them, we believe in them
and we love them.”
Applications opened Sept. 27, with up to $72,000
available for New Yorkers.
“That is powerful. That’s how we start letting
people know they matter in the state of New York,”
To get funds out the door as quickly as possible, the
Governor Kathy Hochul
Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
state is partnering with local nonprofi ts to assist. In
Queens, there will be two sites to help people apply
for relief: MinKwon Center for Community Action
at 133-29 41st Ave. Suite 202 in Flushing and Make
the Road at 92-10 Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights.
This program drew funds from both the city and
state: $20 million from the state’s emergency appropriations
and $7 million from the city of New York.
Hochul gathered with many local representatives
at the Queens museum today to announce the new
program. The Queens representatives thanked
Hochul for leading with compassion, unlike past
Congresswoman Grace Meng said she had been to
funerals and watched her constituents struggle to
recover what had been lost during the storm.
“The destruction that Ida had caused here in
Queens has been devastating,” Meng said. “The federal
government, the previous administration, was
not compassionate and didn’t provide the necessary
help. Our government has to be there for everyone,
regardless of their immigration status.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also
thanked the governor for her help as his borough
keeps getting hit the hardest crisis aft er crisis.
“These are folks who are just coming out of the
pandemic, trying to get their lives back in order, and
then to be sucker-punched during this storm really
impacted communities,” Richards said.
Read more on QNS.com.
Holden: Call in National Guard to off set Rikers chaos
BY JULIA MORO
Queens elected offi cials have been
adamant about the reform needed at
Rikers Island aft er 12 inmates have
died just this year — among them
is Councilman Robert Holden, who
is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to
activate the National Guard in order
to alleviate the dangerous conditions
brought on by a “lack of leadership and
This past week, another inmate, Isaabdul
Karim, died just aft er the governor
announced nearly 200 detainees at Rikers
on minor parole violations would
be released. The order stipulated that
technical violators could go home if
they had been incarcerated for 30 days
— Karim, who would have otherwise
qualifi ed, was at Rikers for 29 days.
On Sunday, Sept. 19, Karim died aft er
a medical emergency, which has been
credited to a lack of medical or mental
health services for weeks. Hochul
had just signed the Less is More Act,
which would result in the issuance of a
written notice of violation and a court
date as opposed to someone being
Even before Karim’s death, Holden
encouraged the governor to call upon
the National Guard to provide more
security at Rikers.
“The mayor has already checked
out, abandoned our hardworking
Department of Correction Offi cers
and broken his promises,” Holden
said.“They’re still being forced to
work triple shift s, making their jobs
even more dangerous. A lack of leadership
and poor policies have made the
Rikers Island facility dangerous, not
Holden said that inmates and
offi cers are in danger of being hurt or
killed with the current conditions at
Last week, elected officials, including
Assembly member Jessica
González-Rojas and state Senator Jessica
Ramos, visited Rikers Island,
where they say they witnessed an
inmate’s attempted suicide.
Twelve detainees have died at Rikers
this year, several from suicide. The
jail’s reputation for violence and chaos
has been exacerbated by the COVID-19
pandemic, which infected more than
2,200 employees. With staff out sick
in record numbers, the conditions at
Rikers began to get even more dire.
But while some elected offi cials in
Queens are calling for people in Rikers
to be released, Holden criticized
the state’s decision to release nearly
1,500 people to curb the spread of
“Releasing more dangerous criminals
onto our streets is not the answer
and will make more New Yorkers the
victims of crime,” Holden said.
Holden said he is disappointed that
he has yet to get a response from the
governor about his suggestion to bring
in the National Guard.
Councilman Robert Holden QNS fi le photo
PoliticsNY.com PoliticsNYnews PoliticsNYnews PoliticsNYnews