Scholarships Application Documents

I On Politics – Queens Gazette


REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH DATA PRIVACY: On July 8, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, and Rep. Sara Jacobs, sent letters to five data broker companies and five personal health application companies requesting information and documents regarding the collection and sale of personal reproductive health data. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Members expressed concerns about the potential misuse of this data to invade the privacy of individuals seeking reproductive health care.

“The collection of sensitive data could pose serious threats to those seeking reproductive care as well as to providers of such care, not only by facilitating intrusive government surveillance, but also by putting people at risk of harassment, intimidation, and even violence,” the Members wrote. “Geographic data collected by mobile phones may be used to locate people seeking care at clinics, and search and chat history referring to clinics or medication create digital bread crumbs revealing interest in an abortion.”

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court reversed nearly fifty years of legal precedent with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the right to an abortion guaranteed in Roe v. Wade. As of July 3, six states have banned abortion, three have bans currently being litigated, ten plan to institute bans or severe restrictions soon, and the legal status of abortion is threatened in eleven additional states. Due to this decision, millions of people will lose access or struggle to access abortion services and other forms of reproductive health care.

In an era of unprecedented digital surveillance, the distribution of personal health data further threatens the health, safety, and privacy of people and health care providers across the country. Reproductive health applications, which are known to share information with data brokers and other third parties, have been plagued by data privacy concerns. A recent study found that 87% of the 23 most popular women’s health apps—including reproductive health apps—shared user data with third parties, yet just over 50% requested consent from their users.

Similarly, data brokers have been found to sell sensitive user location data. Recent reporting indicates that data brokers have sold mobile phone location data from individuals who have visited health care clinics that provide abortions, leading to concerns about the misuse of private data to target individuals seeking this care.

As Congress considers legislative reforms to ensure the privacy of personal reproductive and sexual health information, the Members requested information and documents regarding data privacy, collection, distribution, use, and sale, by July 21.

FREE TUITION TO CYBERSECURITY BOOTCAMP: Fullstack Academy, a trailblazer in bootcamp education across the nation, and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced on July 5 their second annual Cyber NYC Fellowship scholarship program for low-income and unemployed New Yorkers. The scholarships are offered through NYCEDC’s Cyber NYC initiative focused on developing the cyber workforce of the future and will cover full tuition to Fullstack’s Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp, the official cybersecurity bootcamp of New York City. This year, the organizations will award over $400,000 in scholarships.

“If New York is to be a leader in cybersecurity and continue to protect itself from security breaches, we must invest in initiatives like this to train a diverse workforce with the skills, tools and resources that the industry needs,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Programs like the Fullstack Cybersecurity Bootcamp are working to provide greater opportunity to qualified, diverse candidates from different socioeconomic backgrounds. This is critically important as good-paying cyber security positions in New York City continue to grow rapidly.”

“New York City has nearly 25,000 open positions in cybersecurity, and the industry is expected to grow 30 percent over the next decade,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “We are thrilled to partner with Fullstack Academy through our Cyber NYC Initiative to create more equitable opportunities for young people to meet the industry’s growing demand and secure good-paying jobs.”

The average entry-level salary for a cybersecurity analyst in the New York City metro area is $85,300, according to Emsi Burning Glass. Fullstack cyber alumni have regularly secured jobs with companies like The Center for Internet Security, CACI International, and Accenture.

“Our partnership with NYCEDC allows us to provide those from diverse and underrepresented communities the opportunity to learn valuable skills and transition into a successful career path,” said Jerrad Tausz, CEO of New York-based Fullstack Academy. “The live-online curriculum makes the bootcamps widely accessible to those looking for a flexible way to get hands-on training.”

Students will learn how to monitor and secure systems, networks, and applications, as well as how to deploy offensive and defensive tactics to mitigate cyber breaches.

Scholarships are available for the full- and part-time August cyber bootcamps, applications to which are now open. Students must first be accepted into the bootcamp to apply for the scholarship.

To qualify for the scholarship, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or equivalent, earn less than $50,000 annually, and reside in one of New York City’s five boroughs. In addition to free tuition, students will receive a laptop for the course if needed, as well as vouchers for the curriculum’s certifications and fees.

Details on the Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Bootcamp, scholarships, and key dates are available on the Fullstack Academy website.

MEEKS LEADS CODEL TO GREECE AND TURKEY: On July 5 Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, departed on a congressional delegation to Greece and Turkey.

The delegation includes Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), David Cicilline (D-RI), G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Stacey Plaskett (D-VI).

Members will engage with government officials and civil society groups to examine the current political and security landscape in the Eastern Mediterranean region, as it relates to NATO cooperation, energy issues, human rights, and addressing food security in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

HELP TO ACCESS LOW-COST WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she has signed legislation restoring the ability of thousands of New York businesses to access low-cost workers’ compensation coverage through the New York State Insurance Fund, New York’s largest workers’ compensation insurer and a centerpiece of the State’s low-cost insurance market.

“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of New York businesses struggling to stay afloat lost access to affordable workers’ compensation coverage when they needed it most,” Governor Hochul said. “But today, thanks to bill sponsors Senator Ramos and Assembly Member Fernandez, we’re announcing action to ensure that businesses can continue to protect their workers with affordable coverage while addressing any back premium. This bill will restore much-needed access, saving businesses across the state millions of dollars in premium and helping their bottom line.”

New York law requires businesses to secure workers’ compensation coverage, which most obtain through NYSIF or a private insurer. But unlike private insurers, NYSIF insures any employer that applies for coverage regardless of risk at the lowest possible cost to maintain a solvent fund. NYSIF may only cancel a policy for non-payment of premium and until now was precluded from re-issuing a policy to a business that owed it premium.

The new law will enable NYSIF to issue a policy to a business with an outstanding balance, allowing the company to pay the owed premium under an installment plan. In doing so, the legislation will give more than 3,000 New York businesses renewed access to the largest segment of the low-cost insurance market, generating an aggregate of $8 million in potential premium savings, or an average of approximately $2,000 per policyholder.

Under the new law, policyholders can work with NYSIF to establish a payment plan ,for both the outstanding balance and premium on the new policy. All companies must also meet NYSIF’s general underwriting standards. For more information visit

OPPOSE SALE OF F-16 FIGHTERS TO TURKEY: Hellenic Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R- FL), along with Caucus Member Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), issued the following statements opposing the Biden Administration’s apparent plans to sell sensitive F-16 modernization kits to Turkey:

“I am deeply disappointed with the apparent plan to move forward with modernizing Turkey’s F-16s.” said Congresswoman Maloney “We must not forget that Turkey uses their current air fleet to violate the sovereignty of a reliable NATO member and ally, Greece, and that such a modernized force could be used to support their illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus. Furthermore, Turkey still possesses Russian S-400 anti-air systems, which led to their ejection from the F-35 program and the imposition of CAATSA sanctions We must continue to hold Erdogan accountable for violations of U.S. law, human rights, and the security of our ally Greece – not reward him.”

“Turkey has consistently demonstrated a complete disregard for following international law,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “Erdogan repeatedly acts contrary to American interests, with his dangerous behavior contributing to the instability of the region. For all these reasons, we absolutely must not sell Turkey F-16s or F-16 modernization kits.”

“I’m deeply concerned about Assistant Secretary Wallander’s comments in support of modernizing Turkish F- 16s and strongly oppose the sale of advanced weapons and equipment to upgrade Turkey’s F-16 fleet. Turkey has failed to address the issues that led to its ejection from the F-35 program and the imposition of CAATSA sanctions,” said Congressman Pappas. “Turkey’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric and behavior towards Greece, a reliable democratic NATO ally, also cannot be ignored. Turkish F-16s have flown over Greek islands and violated its airspace hundreds of times in recent weeks, and Turkey has launched a baseless campaign disputing Greece’s sovereignty over its eastern Aegean islands. We cannot allow the Erdogan government to escape accountability for violating U.S. law and the standards of the NATO alliance.”

On November 1, 2021, Maloney, Pappas, and Bilirakis led 38 of their House colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to oppose the sale of F-16 fighters and modernization kits to the Republic of Turkey.

In their letter the members stated, “We share your goal of a Turkey that is rooted to the West, but we will not achieve that goal if the Erdogan government escapes accountability for violating U.S. law and the standards of the NATO alliance.”

The prevention of the sale of F-16s to Turkey is supported by the Hellenic American Leadership Council, the Armenian National Committee of America, the American Friends of Kurdistan, the Hindu American Foundation, the Middle East Forum, the American Jewish Committee, PSEKA (International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus –, the American Hellenic Institute, the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, the Armenian Assembly of America, and the Armenian Council of America.

SAFE TRAVEL WHILE BREASTFEEDING OR WITH FORMULA: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently joined 13 colleagues in calling on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to address inconsistent implementation of the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption travel policy for breastmilk and formula at airport security checkpoints, and ensure lactating individuals and their infants can travel safely without fear of harassment. Under TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption, travelers are permitted to bring formula and breastmilk in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces in carry-on baggage on board an aircraft, as well as ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to prevent formula and breastmilk from spoiling. However, the policy has been inconsistently interpreted and enforced, resulting in numerous reports of TSA officials harassing lactating individuals and discarding breastmilk and expensive breastfeeding equipment.

In a letter, the senators asked for clarification on the 3-1-1 exemption policy and requested an outline of TSA’s efforts to increase awareness about the agency’s established screening processes and procedures, investigate reports of mishandled screening processes, and provide training and resources to help ensure that agents will consistently enforce these policies.

“In several reported cases, breastfeeding individuals have been harassed, humiliated, forced to undress, and required to dispose of breast milk, cooling accessories, and expensive breast pumps in order to board their flight. We need to understand why TSA’s own policies are not being implemented properly to protect breastfeeding individuals,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Delayed pumping can lead to dangerous and painful swelling, plugged milk ducts, and infection. I’m calling on TSA to clarify their policies and ensure the rules are clear so breastfeeding individuals can travel safely without fear for their infant, for their own safety, and of harassment.”

HOLDEN ‘BRINGS HOME BUDGET BACON’: Council Member Holden has once again brought back the funding his district’s taxpayers deserve, providing improvements and continuing programs for schools, parks, seniors, veterans, health, public safety, cultural and recreational events, pet care, public safety and more.

Holden commented, “Along with introducing common-sense legislation and the strong emphasis I’ve always placed on constituent services, making sure my constituents get their fair share of the city’s funding is one my top priorities. I’m proud to say that funding will continue where it’s needed most, and we can continue to maintain a high quality of life in our neighborhoods. From parks to pets, and from schools to snow removal, our district is well funded. I thank Speaker Adams and the budget committee for their work. Queens is no longer short-changed.”

Education and youth programs are key to providing for the city’s future, so Holden has designated funding for renovating our schools, CASA programs, literacy initiatives and expanding the Summer Rising program.

Because our parks are the jewels of the district, Holden advocated for and received more than $22 million in capital funds to reconstruct Frank Principe Park, “Uncle” Vito Maranzano Park/Glendale Playground, Juniper Park and more. A slew of cultural events in our parks, such as concerts, movie nights and festivals, are also in store for this fiscal year.

Health screenings offered in the district, such as stroke risk assessments, thyroid cancer screenings and mammograms, will once again be funded. As Holden believes strongly in taking care of our seniors, funding of senior centers and meal programs will continue. As requested by our seniors, the Selfhelp rides to medical appointments will also be maintained.

Always committed to a better quality of life, Holden will maintain funding for organizations such as ACE, Greater Ridgewood Restoration, Wildcat and the NYC Department of Sanitation for the removal of graffiti, litter and snow.

Holden has also secured funding for new Council public safety initiatives, including vital support services and financial help for victims of crime.

Council Member Tiffany Cabán released the following statement about education cuts: “I donʼt know about you, but Iʼm tired of being lied to about these school budget cuts. City Hall wonʼt even admit they are happening, preferring to describe them as ‘rightsizing’ the budget. Compare that rhetoric to the experience of one elementary school principal who told Gothamist that sheʼs had to slash nearly half a million dollars from her schoolʼs budget, which will ‘probably mean cutting four teaching positions and collapsing classes.’ In hard numbers, that means a first grade class is in danger of growing from 23 to 32 students!

“There is no need to ‘excess’ beloved teachers and eliminate treasured arts programs. As Comptroller Brad Lander told Errol Louis on NY1, it is precisely to help us avoid inflicting this kind of harm on our kids that the federal government supplied us with ample education money. Itʼs a point echoed by the majority of our Congressional delegation who, led by Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a former public school principal, released a statement urging the Mayor to restore these cuts and protect our vital public education resources. I was one of only six members of the City Council to vote against this year’s budget, in significant part due to the disastrous cuts to our schools.

“We need to come together as a community and talk about the adopted budget and what it mean for the upcoming school year, as well as ways that we can organize together for stronger and safer schools. Thatʼs why weʼre following up on our successful community conversation about playground safety with a second one, this time on education. Save the date: Thursday, July 28 at 6PM, location TBA. We’ll share more details and an RSVP link soon!”

In other news, Caban announced:

She held a Know Your Rights meeting. She said, “Join us for a virtual training weʼre hosting alongside CM Julie Won and the NYCLU on what to do when youʼre stopped by the police.”
No rate hikes. At a time of punishing inflation and skyrocketing rents, New Yorkers simply cannot afford further ConEd rate hikes. If weʼre going to prevent hikes, everyone needs to make your voice heard.
Street fixed! Weʼre so happy and proud to report that, working together with DOT, we managed to get every one of the 13 potholes in the intersection of 30th Ave. and 31st St. fixed! Thanks to the constituents who sounded the alarm on this dangerous situation.
COVID isnʼt over. Community transmission is very high right now, owing to an unprecedentedly contagious and vaccine-resistant variant and minimal public health protections, which the Mayor continues to gut. Mask up indoors to protect our vulnerable loved ones.
Monkeypox is just getting started. Iʼll have much more to say about monkeypox in the coming weeks, but for now you should know that, while there arenʼt nearly enough vaccine doses to go around just yet, you should check if youʼre eligible to receive one, and if so, sign up today
COMMITTEE’S AUTHORITY TO SUBPOENA TRUMP’S FINANCIALS UPHELD: On July 8, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld key parts of the Committee’s subpoena for financial information from President Trump and his businesses:

“Former President Donald Trump displayed an unprecedented disregard for federal ethics and financial transparency. Today’s decision affirmed Congress’s broad constitutional authority to conduct investigations, even when those investigations involve wrongdoing by the President. The court ruled that the Oversight Committee has valid legislative purposes to investigate former President Trump’s flagrant conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and constitutional violations.

“While it is disappointing that the court narrowed the subpoena in some respects, I am pleased the court upheld key parts of the Committee’s subpoena, affirmed our authority to obtain documents from Mazars, and rejected former President Trump’s spurious arguments that Congress cannot investigate his financial misconduct. We are considering next steps in this litigation, and my Committee is determined to fulfill our responsibilities under the Constitution to provide robust oversight and prevent corruption and self-dealing at the highest level of our government.”

At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the Oversight Committee launched several investigations of former President Trump’s conflicts of interest, inadequate financial disclosures, and violations of the Emoluments Clauses in order to determine the adequacy of existing laws and perform related agency oversight.

On February 27, 2019, President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before the Oversight Committee. He alleged that President Trump’s financial statements falsely represented the President’s assets and liabilities and that President Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes” or, at other times, “deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”

As corroboration, Mr. Cohen produced portions of financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013—some of which were prepared by Mazars—which raised questions about President Trump’s representations on these forms and other financial disclosure documents, particularly relating to the President’s debts. Mr. Cohen also produced checks from President Trump and his business trust, some of which were signed after Mr. Trump became President, and Mr. Cohen testified that these payments were reimbursements of illegal hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.

On March 20, 2019, Chairman Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Mazars seeking key financial documents relating to these and other allegations, and on April 15, 2019, the Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to Mazars seeking four targeted categories of documents.

On May 20, 2019, after President Trump and his businesses filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent Mazars from complying with the Committee’s lawful subpoena, the D.C. District Court issued a ruling vindicating the authority of the Oversight Committee to investigate issues concerning the President and his companies. This ruling was upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the full D.C. Circuit rejected Trump’s petition for en banc review.

On July 9, 2020, Chairwoman Maloney issued a statement after the Supreme Court issued its decision in Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP. The Supreme Court’s opinion reaffirmed the bedrock principle in our democracy that no one—not even the President—is above the law and announced a new standard for evaluating congressional subpoenas for the President’s personal information. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the lower courts to apply the new standard.

On August 11, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney issued a statement after a district court ruling confirmed that the Oversight Committee had “facially valid legislative purposes” in seeking documents in this investigation and upheld in part the Committee’s subpoena for financial information from President Trump and his businesses.

On July 8, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Committee is authorized to obtain certain financial records and communications from former President Trump and his business entities covered by the Committee’s subpoena. The Court held that former “President Trump’s financial information would advance the Committee’s consideration of ethics reform legislation across all three of its investigative tracks,” including presidential ethics and conflicts of interest, presidential financial disclosures, and presidential adherence to Constitutional safeguards against foreign interference and undue influence.

30 YEARS TO LIFE IN DEATH OF DET. SIMONSEN: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jagger Freeman, 28, has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison following a trial conviction of murder, robbery, assault and other crimes for directing the February 2019 cell phone store robbery that resulted in the death of New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen. A second officer was also wounded when police responded to the scene and multiple rounds were fired.

District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant orchestrated a string of robberies, the last of which involved an imitation weapon and led to the tragic loss of Detective Brian Simonsen and the wounding of Sergeant Matthew Gorman. The jury found the defendant guilty of murder and he will now serve a lengthy time in prison as punishment for his criminal actions. We continue to express our condolences to Detective Simonsen’s family and fellow service members.”

Freeman, of Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, was found guilty of murder in the second degree, multiple counts of robbery in the first and second degree, assault in the second degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree on June 13. A jury rendered its verdict after five days of deliberations. Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, who presided at trial, sentenced the defendant to 30 years to life in prison to be followed by 5 years post release supervision.

The sentencing includes the conviction for robbery in the second degree and grand larceny in the third degree related to Freeman’s participation in a separate cell phone store robbery on February 8, 2019.

Freeman’s co-defendant, Christopher Ransom, 30, formerly of St. John’s Place in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty in October 2021, to aggravated manslaughter in the second degree and robbery in the first degree before Justice Holder. Ransom is currently serving 33 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.

According to Court records, on February 12, 2019, Ransom and Freeman arrived at the T-Mobile store on 120th Street in Richmond Hill shortly after 6 p.m. Defendant Ransom entered the cell phone business brandishing a black pistol. Ransom ordered two employees inside the establishment to surrender both cash and merchandise from the back room of the store. Ransom was still inside the business when police officers responded to the scene. Ransom pointed his gun – which appeared real – at the police officers, who discharged their weapons in response.

Detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD was fatally shot once in the chest. He was 42 years old. Sergeant Matthew Gorman was seriously injured with a bullet wound to his left leg.

19 YRS FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER WITH NAIL-STUDDED BEAM: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that James Fitzgerald, 55, has been sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder for the May 16, 2020, “vicious beating” of his estranged girlfriend. The victim was attacked by the defendant on the sidewalk in front of a fish market in Jamaica. The defendant kicked and punched the victim multiple times in the head before picking up a wooden beam embedded with nails to continue the assault.

District Attorney Katz said, “This defendant brutally attacked his former girlfriend nearly to death. It is a miracle that the victim survived, though she still faces years of physical and mental recovery due to severe sustained injuries. Following the defendant’s guilty plea last month, he has now been sentenced to prison for his heinous actions. I can only hope that the victim finds some solace in knowing that the defendant has been held accountable.”

Fitzgerald, of Walton Avenue in the Bronx, pleaded guilty on June 2 to attempted murder in the second degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino, who imposed a sentence of 19 years in prison to be followed by five years post release supervision. A full order of protection is also issued on behalf of the victim.

According to Court records, just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020, the defendant approached his 35-year-old estranged girlfriend and physically abused her in front of a fish market on 150th Street in Jamaica. The victim was knocked to the ground and relentlessly attacked by the defendant with his fists and feet. The defendant ignored nearby eyewitnesses yelling for him to stop. He briefly walked away from the victim, only to return a moment later with a wooden plank studded with metal nails. Defendant Fitzgerald then repeatedly struck the victim in the face with the blunt object.

DA Katz said police arrived on the scene just as the defendant was walking away from the nearly dead woman. When officers ordered Fitzgerald to halt, he ran but was apprehended following a short foot pursuit.

Continuing, DA Katz said police recovered the bloody wooden plank with several nails protruding from it from the scene of the attack as well as the victim’s broken teeth that were scattered on the sidewalk.

The victim, who was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, suffered permanent loss of vision in her right eye. She has undergone several reconstruction surgeries as her face has been permanently disfigured due to a crushed orbital bone and several additional severe facial fractures.

HEARING FOLLOWING JULY 4TH SHOOTING: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent letters to the CEOs of gun manufacturers Daniel Defense, LLC, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., and Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., requesting their appearance at a Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 20, on the urgent issue of gun violence. The hearing follows the Committee’s June 8, hearing where witnesses shared their personal experiences with gun violence, including the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

“I am deeply troubled that gun manufacturers continue to profit from the sale of weapons of war, including AR-15-style assault rifles that were used by a white supremacist to murder ten people in Buffalo, New York, and in the massacre of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas,” wrote Chairwoman Maloney. “Just this Monday, as Americans celebrated our nation’s Independence Day, a shooter used an AR-15-style rifle to kill at least seven people and wound dozens of others during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. Products sold by your company have been used for decades to carry out homicides and even mass murders, yet your company has continued to market assault weapons to civilians.”

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