The “Know Your Rights Week: Closing Cases, Opening Doors,” is a week-long series of public legal workshops between August 6-10 held throughout Queens, including Jamaica. In the workshops, participants can access free, confidential advice from lawyers on ways to alleviate unnecessary barriers to employment and economic opportunity, including applications to seal their non-violent criminal conviction records, cleaning up rap sheets and obtaining Certificates of Relief and Good Conduct.
“If you’ve proven that you’ve turned your life around and are making good, the burden of a past non-violent mistake should not ruin or impede your future opportunities for the rest of your life,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “Second chances and social justice reform are an integral part of New York values. This is about eliminating barriers to employment and economic opportunity, reducing recidivism rates and breaking the cycle.”
Any criminal conviction can significantly hinder a person’s ability to secure employment, housing, financial aid, professional licenses and numerous other rights and benefits. But under New York’s conviction sealing law, which applies to specific non-violent crimes, there’s the belief that non-violent offenders who have turned their lives around for the better should no longer have to bear the stigma of a conviction or face unnecessary barriers to opportunity and employment.
“Our hope and aim with ‘Know Your Rights Weeks’ is to bolster public awareness and connect eligible New Yorkers with free legal assistance and, ultimately, relief,” Katz added. “The tireless efforts on the part of our community partners – and especially the Legal Aid Society – to equip and empower New Yorkers of their rights have a direct impact on building a better future for the growing families of Queens.”
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: LIFE Camp, Inc., @ 111-12 Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica
RSVP: Call Germain Thompson at 646.300.0538
Want to learn more about fashion? Why not attend some fashion lessons at the Queens Center of the Arts?
Whether you’re looking for “drop-in” or monthly classes, or a specific sewing project, you can learn a lot from the Design & Sewing Lessons. Some things you’ll learn is how to turn an idea into a professionally finished piece.
Those 14 years and older will have classes on subjects such as sewing for fun, how to start a business or how to complete a portfolio to apply to an art school.
Pre-registration is required and classes range from $40 to $150. Once registered, you will receive an email with the supplies list.
For more info, visit QueensCenterArts.com.
Queens Center of the Arts is located at 198-20 Linden Blvd. in St. Alban’s.
Community Board member and activist Richard S. David has declared his candidacy for Democratic District Leader in the 31st Assembly District Part B.
“I’m pleased and honored to announce my candidacy for District Leader. This is a great opportunity to grow the Democratic Party in the community by connecting residents and activists with a process they have felt locked out of for decades,” said Richard. “I am energized and excited. I have learned a lot since the last election and I am not going to give up fighting for my neighbors.”
The position, which is currently vacant, was previously held by Council Member Ruben Wills, and covers neighborhoods such as South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill. The current co-District Leader is Assembly Member Michele Titus.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Richard David as co-chair of the Democratic Party in the district,” said Assembly Member Michele Titus. “I look forward to working collaboratively for the betterment of our community and our party.”
In 2017, Richard ran for the City Council in District 28 and came in second with almost 3,000 votes. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Hunter College and earned a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University.
Within the community, Richard has been active in many organizations including serving as a Community Board Member for over 10 years. He is also a co-founder of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, the largest organization providing services to Guyanese, Trinidadians and all working class New Yorkers.
Richard was previously a Vice President at the NYC Economic Development Corporation where he oversaw the construction of cultural facilities, senior centers and other vital community spaces. He was also an Executive Director at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs overseeing a City-wide program to lower the cost of public transportation by increasing the use of a Federal tax deduction.
He is currently a Chief of Staff at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services.
A launch event is planned for June 23, 2018 with several elected officials, organizations, community leaders and residents expected to be in attendance.
At a recent Queens Borough Board meeting, representatives from Patrol Borough Queens South announced that there weren’t plans for Forest Park to have a Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO).
NCOs serve as liaisons between the police and the community, in addition to fighting crime, problem solving, following up on previous incidents and attending community meetings.
“It was upsetting to us because Forest Park is such an important part of the 102nd Precinct,” said MK Moore, president of Friends of Forest Park. “In the last year, we have worked very closely with the 102nd Precinct to get some heavy enforcement in the park, and we’ve seen the benefit of that with the park becoming more family-friendly.”
After the announcement, Moore wrote to Assistant Chief David Barrere, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South, to consider adding an NCO to Forest Park.
Though the NCO program is usually based in neighborhoods, Resorts World Casino and Aqueduct Race Track in the 106th Precinct were given a pair of NCOs last year. Moore argued that if the casino can get the officers, Forest Park should too.
“The casino got NCOs, and they have more money than God over there,” he said. “We need our own NCO at Forest Park.”
Participants and residents at Queens Center for Progress, one of the largest nonprofit agencies in Queens, are the artists behind a new art exhibit at Resorts World Casino New York City.
The exhibit will feature more than thirty paintings and drawings created by people with developmental disabilities from June 1 through July 31.
“People who create art love to show their work to their friends. Having an opportunity to showcase your talent for the community brings the experience to another level,” said Ed Weiss, QCP’s Director of Adult Services. “The individuals supported by QCP will take great pride in providing their community enjoyment through their art.”
With a special grant from the local Elk’s Club (lodge 878 Brooklyn-Queensborough), all of the pieces in the exhibit have been framed and are ready to welcome Resorts Worlds guests.
The art exhibit has the potential to be viewed by more than 10,000 visitors a day, as the Red Wall Art Gallery is located in a prime viewing area in the complex. The artwork will be on display for the public at the Times Square and Fifth Avenue levels.
Resorts World created the gallery in 2012 to showcase work by aspiring and local artists.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy’s theater program is hosting a musical comedy school fundraiser on Thursday, June 7th.
The show, entitled “12 Months A Year,” will begin at 7 p.m. at the school. The address for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy is 111-10 115th Street in South Ozone Park. The suggested ticket price is $10 per adult.
Southeast Queens residents can feel a little safer after a local politician’s latest $1.1 million investment.
Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman announced that 30 state-of-the-art Argus surveillance cameras have been installed throughout District 29, which includes parts of Jamaica, St. Albans, Laurelton and Rosedale.
“These cameras will help enhance public safety by giving the NYPD the ability to monitor hot spots and will act as a deterrent to crime,” Hyndman says.
Argus cameras are typically put atop lam posts and feature a large white fox with the NYPD shield. They monitor public areas and help deter crime.
The locations of the cameras were determined based on community input, crime data and other factors.