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Congratulations on your elevation as the
 second most powerful person in NYC government! Indeed, the 
discrimination you overcome for being openly gay and HIV-positive has 
fortified you for the fights ahead. Your history and the issues that you
 have worked have stood in solidarity with communities of color, the 
marginalized and the vulnerable. Like you said, “That is where you come 
from. That is what my life’s work has been about.”

We also applaud your statement that, 
“The problems and challenges we continue to face are of historic 
proportions. Overflowing homeless shelters, mom and pops unable to 
compete with deep-pocketed chain stores and a failing transit system are
 just three of our problems.”

You should put a stop to the over 
criminalization of New Yorkers, like stop making criminals of poor 
people who cannot afford the fare to travel to work on the trains. You 
should roll back the senseless e-bike ban because it helps immigrant 
workers get by. Transform this city into a beacon that’s in solidarity 
with poor and working-class New Yorkers, including increasing your audit
 and scrutiny of the many failing city agencies that routinely waste and
 abuse our tax dollars, while preserving it as a “sanctuary city.”

The mayor has promised us more senior 
centers, better schools, hospitals, city services and personnel and 
transparency in how benefits are awarded. Hold his feet to the fire.

You also said that, “I would support us 
putting up a significant amount of money,” referring to city funding for
 the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a stance that Mayor Bill de Blasio
 has resisted. “But there needs to be accountability involved so we know
 how that money is being spent, and that it’s being spent wisely and 
that the projects remain on time.” (NY Times 2/2/18).

Mr. Speaker, we urge you to address 
these and other issues speedily, not least here in Queens. The 
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is in breach of their public 
commitment and obligation to complete the wheelchair-accessible elevator
 in the Richmond Hill/Ozone Park community at the fulcrum Lefferts 
Boulevard and Liberty Avenue subway stop. This $29 million project, 
commenced since 2014, was scheduled to be finished since the end of 
2016, but unpalatable excuses abound each time we enquire about the 
constantly deferred completion date, making it a virtual “pie in the 

MTA will also benefit from increased 
revenues, and its procrastination raises serious concerns, including the
 forced closure of the adjacent main stairway, affects businesses, the 
local economy, and congests traffic. Seniors, pregnant mothers, kids, 
the physically challenged, students, workers, indeed, everyone in our 
tax paying community would benefit greatly from this elevator which 
makes mobility and travel easier.


Affected communities deserve to have 
this project completed. Moreover, the fencing, construction and 
accumulating garbage are an eye sore, and a danger to public safety. 
This delinquent entity must recognize that it is failing in its duty to 
make access easier for residents with disabilities, contrary to the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Indeed, the nonprofit Center for 
Independence of the Disabled New York just filed a lawsuit against the 
MTA for lack of elevator access citywide. Why must Richmond Hill/Ozone 
Park residents be forced to expend resources and bring a class action 
law suit against the MTA when it feeds off the public trough of our 

As a matter of customer obligation and due compliance with our laws, this project is long overdue, and must be completed now!


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