Western Queens lawmaker brings much-needed funding for anti-violence programs

Courtesy of Gianaris' office

Hours before National Night Out Against Crime, state Senator Michael Gianaris joined residents and community leaders at Queensbridge Houses Family Day where he announced $58,000 in funding for anti-violence programs at the nation’s largest public housing complex in Long Island City.

The funding will be administered by the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, a community-based organization which builds and strengthens underserved communities in western Queens.

“We must keep our communities safe from the scourge of gun violence,” Gianaris said. “While I successfully fought for new laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, we can never do enough to prevent tragedies from occurring. I am pleased to secure $58,000 in this year’s state budget to take guns off our streets.”

Last week, New York state enacted Gianaris’ legislation creating a 30-day background check waiting period. Christopher Hanway, the executive director of the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, said the vital funding would allow for anti-violence work at the NYCHA developments in western Queens.

“Community safety is the cornerstone on which lively, thriving and healthy neighborhoods are built and we thank Senator Gianaris for allowing us the opportunity to partner with community residents in this important work.”

Gianaris successfully advocated for increased funding for community priorities in this year’s state budget including $30,000 for the Gantry Parents Association, $13,000 for Sunnyside Community Services, $13,000 for Hunters Point Middle School and $20,000 for Immigrant Families Together.

“Senator Gianaris’ announcement of securing $58,000 in funding to get guns off the street and stopping violence in our community is great,” Queensbridge Tenant Association President April Simpson said. “This is also true to what National Night Out Against Crime symbolizes, community partnerships that uplifts, engages and unites us to stand together against crime, and crimes committed in our communities.”

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