By Stephen E. Lipken
Judy McQuistion, Co-Chair, NYCD 16 Indivisible, Immigrant Rights Committee, presented a Powerpoint presentation regarding Green Light NY: Driving Together, at the May 28th Village of Pelham Board meeting. Their mission is to ensure equal access to driver’s licenses for all residents of New York State regardless of immigration status.
McQuistion delineated the benefits of granting licenses: expanding economy; improved public safety; unifying the community; keep families together and confidence to speak to police officers in the event of accidents or crimes.
“According to Fiscal Policy Institute, State and County governments would receive an estimated $57 million in combined annual revenue. In the first year of granting licenses they estimate a one-time $26 million in revenue through taxes and fees with lower insurance premiums for all members. It is estimated that everyone’s insurance would be reduced approximately $17 per person each year.”
The law would expressly prohibit discrimination against a holder, incorporating privacy protections to limit unfettered searches by federal government. McQuistion stressed that all applicants must take written and road tests, emphasizing that it would reduce hit-and-run accidents, for fear of possible deportation.
Deputy Mayor Adam Kagan intimated that any Resolutions would not be passed until the Board heard from constituents.
Next, Project Developer Mara Kravitz from MatriArch Realty, requested a deadline extension for 101 Wolfs Lane, requiring more time to erect their zero net energy building with modular construction to meet NYSEDA approval and final Architectural Review Board signoff. The Board granted Site Plan Approval extension for October 18, 2019.
Trustee Ariel Spira-Cohen spoke on the Traffic Safety and Complete Streets Policy. “The main issues people talk about are erratic drivers disobeying traffic laws, increase in traffic volume with inability to station traffic cops on every corner.
“We are a walking community. Children walk to school. Commuters walk to train. The Village has 5-8 pedestrian and 1-2 bike rider injuries per year. It comes down to the ‘Three E’s: Education, Enforcement and Engineering.
“Passing a Complete Streets resolution is listed as an action item under the Climate Smart Communities framework. Passing the resolution is easy—implementation can be a a challenge,” Spira-Cohen concluded.