Gov. Andrew Cuomo sits with former Sen. Hillary Clinton at an event last week.//Photo by Philip Kamrass, Office of Gov. Cuomo

State Tackles Period Stigma By Mandating  School Access to Pads and Tampons

A new law that took effect at the beginning of the school year mandates that all public schools must stock pads and tampons and provide them free of charge to students in grades six through 12 starting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law in July as  part of his Women’s Opportunity Agenda. The law addresses a problem that many girls face, but few talk about because of stigmas related to menstrual health.

“Many women in New York lack access to menstrual products, and for young women, this inequality can cause distraction and worry that may negatively affect their learning experience,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng from Queens.  “By making these essential feminine health products available in schools, we are helping young women become confident, successful adults.”

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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Catalina Cruz and advocates for more women in office rallied in Diversity Plaza Sunday. Photo courtesy of Amplify Her.

Jackson Heights Event ‘Amplifies’ Voices of Women Running For Office

With just a few left before Thursday’s primary election, women candidates from Queens joined more than 100 supporters at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights Sunday to demonstrate their support for progressive women running for office.

The event was hosted by Amplify Her, an organization created to address women’s underrepresentation in the New York City’s elected offices.

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Mayoral Charter Revision Commission Chair Cesar Perales. // Photo courtesy of nyc.gov

Charter Revision Commission Chair Talks CB Term Limits

In addition to deciding who will serve on the state Supreme Court bench, in the state legislature and at the governor’s mansion, Queens residents face three other choices when they head to the polls in November.

The Mayoral Charter Revision Commission voted last week to include three ballot questions that would limit campaign contributions in city elections, establish an agency tasked with civic engagement and impose term limits on community board members.

Two days after the decision, Commission Chair Cesar Perales, the former New York secretary of state, spoke with the Eagle about the process for deciding on the ballot questions and the community response to the proposals.

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The West Pond at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, one of the natural areas that Stringer believes will be threatened by the pipeline.// AP photo

Stringer Questions Notion That Pipeline Will Help Gas-Thirsty City Meet Environmental Goals

A $1 billion natural gas pipeline that would cut across 23 miles of lower New York Bay has pitted those with environmental concerns against the Williams Company, which says the new pipeline would provide much needed natural gas capacity to Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Wednesday voiced his opposition to the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline.

“The 23-mile pipeline would extend from New Jersey, along the Staten Island coast, past Coney Island and into the Rockaways,” Stringer said in a statement. “Allowing the construction of the pipeline risks damage to many of New York’s most precious habitats and natural assets, including New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay, and the Rockaway’s many beaches.”

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Queens Borough Hall//NYC.gov

Community Board Term Limits On the Ballot This November

After months of public hearings and feedback, the Mayoral Charter Revision Commission voted to put three questions on the November ballot that have big implications for city government, especially at the local community board level.

One ballot question asks voters whether they support the establishment of term limits on community board members — an issue that has encountered pushback from community boards themselves.

The commission said community board term-limits can help ensure that the boards reflect the changing demographics of the districts they serve.

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It’s Lancman vs. Quinn at Civic Association’s Rikers Debate

The debate over what to do with Rikers Island has roiled Queens and one community in particular stands to experience the biggest impact from the city’s plan to close the massive jail complex.

Kew Gardens, home to the now-vacant Queens House of Detention, would absorb more than 1,500 Rikers inmates, according to the city’s proposal — a notion that has encountered split reactions from residents.

Thus, with community members divided and uncertain about the plan, the Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association will host a debate featuring two prominent voices on either side of the issue at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills on Sept. 5.

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State Sen. Michael Gianaris // Photo courtesy of Michael Gianaris

Gianaris, Barnwell Partner to End MCI Rent Increases

A new bill could be a major improvement — and a relief — for tenants whose landlords are considering renovations.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assembly Member Brian Barnwell (D-Woodside), a pair of Queens lawmakers, have partnered up to end current rules related to major capital improvements, or MCIs, which enable landlords to raise rent based on a percentage of the total cost of renovations.

“Too many tenants are priced out of their homes because of MCIs whose only improvement seems to be the landlord’s bottom line,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “All New Yorkers deserve high quality, affordable homes and our proposal brings us closer to that goal by ensuring repairs are made without burdening tenants with unreasonable costs.”

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