2021 was set to bring in wonderful change and optimism, but for residents of Kew Gardens, New Years was fraught with more of the same violence that has disturbed the peace of the neighborhood over the last number of months. Like residents and local politicians, Avi Cyperstein, City Council Candidate (D-29), is extremely disturbed by the negative national news story the triple-shooting brought to the area. In the most ironic of realities, the vilest acts of crimes, including sex trafficking, prostitution and drug dealing, continue directly across the street from the Queens Criminal Courthouse and detention center as well as Queens Borough Hall. “We must find a useful and safe way to utilize this location in a way that benefits all in our community,” said Cyperstein.
As the violence persisted, the anger and rage have been heard by local elected leaders and demands have been made for City Hall to react stronger. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio calling for the hotel’s closure and instructing his team to take these steps in his Monday press conference. The legal powers exist to take the steps necessary to bring closure to this disreputable hotel. I agree with the mayor that ‘It’s been a blight on the community and should not be that going forward’.
Cyperstein has been a strong advocate to focus on bringing down crime and has been at the forefront of support for the NYPD. “The triple-shooting, one of the first acts of gun violence of the new year, is a sign that we must remain laser focused on enhancing quality of life in District 29,” noted Cyperstein. “The noncompliance of hotel ownership is beyond alarming. I propose using the spacious hotel for the betterment and benefit of the community. “Now that the Mayor has called for the closure of the Umbrella hotel, I would like to suggest that the city have a discussion and negotiation with the ownership to explore opportunities to make this location available for senior or affordable housing,” explained Cyperstein. “It is time we help our community and change an eyesore into a beacon of hope and comfort for Queens Boulevard.”
Cyperstein stands for stopping the defunding of senior services and bringing money back into senior programming, a bloc that has been tremendously hurt by the effects of COVID-19. “Today’s seniors worked tirelessly to build our wonderful city. It’s time to ensure that they get appropriate funding. “With my vast knowledge and understanding of healthcare regulations and policies, I will demand that senior programming be restored,” explained Cyperstein
Cyperstein took notice of the ongoing nuisance the hotel has brought to the community and reached out to its management this past September to no avail. “I desired to unify our community and the hotel management to bring about a peaceful resolution that addresses public safety and the deteriorating health issues in the establishment’s immediate area,” said Cyperstein. The collective September efforts resulted in 15 summonses, fines, and court appearance tickets following a multi-agency MARCH response out of the mayor’s office.
“I have lost sleep knowing that my district was victim to the first homicide in New York City,” added Cyperstein. “Bullets flying about in Kew Gardens will never be tolerated. It is time for action at the front lines and to provide more care for our senior society.”0