Queens Gazette: Dromm, Latino Commission On AIDS Push For Awareness

Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst) stood with the Latino Commission on AIDS and many other advocates on October 15, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, on the steps of City Hall to promote awareness and HIV testing. Since the councilmember’s election, he has advocated with the commission to stop the stigma around testing for HIV. “I thank the Latino Commission on AIDS for inviting me to stand with them on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day,” said Dromm. “As an openly gay councilmember representing a district that is 40 percent Latino and also has a large LGBT community, I want to say that speaking out about HIV and AIDS is important. The more we talk, the more we will eliminate the stigma surrounding this disease. It’s important that everyone get tested.  HIV/AIDS is preventable and treatable.” More than 37,000 Latino New Yorkers are living with HIV.

Read more: http://www.qgazette.com/news/2013-10-23/Features/Dromm_Latino_Commission_On_AIDS_Push_For_Awareness.html

Queens Gazette: CB3, Dromm, DOT Install Benches Along Northern

Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst) allocated $7,000 to Community Board 3 (CB3) to remove dilapidated wooden benches along Northern Boulevard and install 13 metal benches.

“The new seating, through the CityBench program, replaced eyesores with benches the community of Jackson Heights can be proud of,” Dromm said. “Now anyone walking along Northern Boulevardcan take a comfortable break.”

read more: http://www.qgazette.com/news/2013-10-16/Features/CB3_Dromm_DOT_Install_Benches_Along_Northern.html

Ny1: Touring Daniel Dromm’s District

NY1 VIDEO: The Road to City Hall’s Errol Louis visited City Councilman Daniel Dromm’s 25th city council district in Queens.

LIC Journal: Dromm Fights to Legalize Medical Marijuana

From LIC Journal: By Liliana Guimaraes

How do marijuana possession arrests affect taxpayers? Why do arrests seem to target minorities, blacks and Latinos? Do laws making the substance illegal really discourage people from using it?

Those were questions addressed at a forum held on Thursday, February 9, by Councilman Daniel Dromm at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, 37-06 77th Street, to push for passage of a resolution supporting a bill that would legalize medicinal marijuana.

Dromm hopes to add New York to the list of 17 states where the use of medicinal marijuana is legalized. His resolution passed the Council Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services on Monday, February 13. It will be voted on by the rest of the City Council in late February.

Dromm identified himself as a recovered alcoholic, sober for 21 years, and said he thinks of addiction as a matter of one’s choice.

“Medical marijuana, and marijuana laws in general, is something that is very important to me, even though I am a person in recovery,” he said. “Marijuana arrests should be something that concerns us all.

“I wasn’t an alcoholic because liquor was available, but because I liked to drink too much,” Dromm added. “You are an addict or an alcoholic because you choose to [consume], not because of its availability.”

But some terminally ill patients have no choice but to rely on medical marijuana to live comfortably, speakers at the meeting said.

“I have a friend who was dying in the 80s, she literally had to stand on the street corner to get the marijuana for her disease,” said Abby Drucker, a Queens resident. “People who want to smoke it for medicinal reasons should be able to do it. Personally I think all drugs should be legalized.

The other issue discussed at the meeting was a reported hike in arrests in the city for small possessions of marijuana. Speakers said excessive arrests negatively affect people’s lives and cost taxpayers money.

Marijuana possession arrests, police patrols and stop-and-frisks cost taxpayers $150 million last year, according to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly reported recently that police make too many arrests for possession of small amounts. In addition, it is reported that police make false arrests by convincing perpetrators to remove the substance from their pocket, and then arrest them for having it in the public view.

In addition, blacks and Hispanics account for nearly 86 percent of arrests for marijuana possession, while Caucasians account for less than 11 percent, despite the fact that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks and Hispanics, according to the DPA.

Gabriel Sayegh, director of the DPA, said a bill that will decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and help eliminate illegal searches and false charges on behalf of the state is needed.

“The problem is that the police are mischarging people,” Seyegh said. “They are finding marijuana in a pocket, but they are charging people for having it in public, and what the legislation is considering is a bill that would say it would be the same [charge] in a pocket or in public view.”

Dromm’s resolution supports a bill that would standardize penalties for marijuana possession in New York.

NY Daily News: Greenmarket proposes closing Jackson Heights street

From NY Daily News: By Clare Trapasso

The only year-round farmers market in Queens is asking Jackson Heights residents to back a plan to shut down a quiet neighborhood street on Sundays to accommodate the popular market.

A Greenmarket official is to present a proposal on Thursday to Community Board 3’s Transportation Committee to close a portion of 78th St., between 34th Ave. and Northern Blvd.

The board is slated to vote on the plan on Jan. 19.

During the summer, the block is transformed into a car-free community play street next to Travers Park.

“If the street is closed off on Sundays, it creates more space, which allows for a safer market and a much more enjoyable market,” said Michael Hurwitz, director of GrowNYC’s Greenmarket program.

“It just provides more space for kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations,” he said.

The market has no plans at this time to expand, Hurwitz said.

“I’m supportive of their efforts to close down 78th St. on Sundays,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “It makes more sense that the Greenmarket be on that street.”

Len Maniace, vice president of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, said the closure would make the market safer.

“When you’ve got pedestrians crossing the street and people shopping right near traffic, it’s a potential problem,” he said. “When people are shopping, they’re not necessarily thinking about traffic.”

Dudley Stewart, president of Jackson Heights Green Alliance, said the shutdown could also benefit local children.

“If it’s closed the kids could definitely play on it,” he said.

The neighborhood has one of the smallest amounts of park land in the five boroughs.

Community leaders have been pushing the city to turn 78th St. into a permanent pedestrian plaza to connect Travers Park to an open field at the Garden School, an adjacent private school.

The city is in talks to purchase the roughly 29,000-square-foot field from the cash-strapped nursery-through-12th-grade school. The property would be used as park land on evenings and weekends when school is over.

But the discussions have been dragging on for more than a year.

“I’m confident the parties are working out the details,” Dromm said. “Hopefully we’ll have good news in the near future.”

NY1: Jackson Heights Straphangers Sickened By Droppings-Covered Subway Station

From NY1: By Angela Chen

City Councilman Daniel Dromm and Jackson Heights residents have raised a stink for a long time about the pigeon waste that falls down from the beams of the Roosevelt Avenue/Jackson Heights subway station, but Dromm says he has a tough time getting the MTA to regularly clean it.