Home Calendar Media Officers Members Resources

For Immediate Release: Contact:
Thursday, February 5, 2004 Corey Bearak
(718) 343-6779


Statement to the Queens Borough Board, Thursday, February 5, 2004
 Presented by Gail Eisenberg, Executive Director
 Prepared Corey Bearak, Esq., Chair, Executive Committee

            Thank you for this opportunity for the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council [NEQJCC] to comment on the City Budget for Fiscal Year 2005 which begins July 1, 2004.  The Council represents 30 synagogues and other community, educational, fraternal, and religious institutions and organizations in some of the communities which form the City's backbone: Bayside, Bay Terrace, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hillcrest,  Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village.  The Council has worked since its inception to maintain Northeast Queens as an attractive place to live and raise a family.  We have found that when people look at northeast Queens as a place to raise their families, they compare our neighborhoods to communities in the City's eastern and northern suburbs and across the Hudson River.  People shop for quality schools, secure communities, predominantly low density housing, proximity to transportation, reasonable shopping options, health care and local recreation. 
            We keep hearing the mantra: New York needs to keep its middle class.  Absent intelligent policies embodied in the City budget, that middle class family the city covets often leaves and may be harder and harder to replace.
            Let's focus on programs serving our community.  Our partner, the Samuel Field YM&YWHA serves senior, youth and special needs populations.  NEQJCC appreciate past support for the "Y," particularly from our elected officials; it's important the budget adequately resource the Y's programs.  This includes Beacon schools in Bayside, Fresh Meadows and Floral Park.

            The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty also serves needy populations here and merits your continued support. At our Legislation Forum 2004 at the Y on March 21 at 9:30 a.m. that we hope all will attend, Met Council's "Project Handyman" van will be available for inspection; the fully equipped mobile hardware store provides small repairs for seniors and others who need assistance; NEQJCC supports funding to make the vans roll again. 

            It is also important to maintain support for the essential senior services funded by the Borough President through DFTA [Department for the Aging] and currently delivered here by our borough community council.

 A special initiative in parts of Bellerose, Floral Park and New Hyde Park, the NORC-WOW -- Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Without Walls, offers a new and unique model to extend a program that delivers senior services to apartment complex residents to homeowner communities.  It makes sense to see how government can help make this model program work and offer a basis for similar NORC-WOW's throughout Queens (and the City).

 Through last year, the NEQJCC relied solely on UJA-Federation to service the community.  As we begin a new partnership with the Metropolitan Council year we ask your support for our outreach, neighborhood development and educational/ cultural programs.

            It is also important to ensure community program fully engage communities and maximize participation opportunities.  In this light, NEQJCC requests consideration for coordinating the Jewish Music Under the Stars summer concerts, or partnering in their presentation, which takes place in a park surrounding by Northeast Queens neighborhoods.  NEQJCC also welcomes an opportunity to expand the series to additional northeast parks and will also pursue funding at other government levels.

            A word on property taxes; they rose significantly and City's tax policies wrongly perpetuate a subsidy of illegal occupancies which crowd some schools in our southern neighborhoods (and other parts of the borough).  The City similarly fails to collect the correct taxes from the illegal commercial uses of our homes.  This costs taxpayers more than one billion dollars. These revenues fund a property tax reduction and co-op condo tax equity.

            In addition, explore regional models for funding agencies.  Some communities may require more of a service than others.  A citywide approach rarely works.  As long as the basic package gets divided reasonably and fairly, we believe equity should be achieved.  Instead of a pie, think of a package of several smaller slices, cut up differently but when placed on each person's plate, the amount of dessert is about the same.

            Thank you.


Home | Calendar | Media | Officers | Members | Resources

| Calendar |

Home | Calendar | Media | Officers | Members | Resources


Home | Calendar | Media | Officers | Members | Resources


Home | Calendar | Media | Officers | Members | Resources

| Resources