2017-01-25 / Features

Katz Gives Preview Of Borough Wide Address

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

On the threshold of delivering her fourth State of the Borough address, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz gave Community Board 1 (CB 1) a preview.

“It is hard to believe it’s been three and one half years,” she said, reflecting on her first term in office during a visit to CB 1 at the January 17 meeting at the Astoria World Manor. Katz will deliver the State of the Borough on January 27 at York College.

In her term in office, Katz has witnessed Queens grow by 16,700 residents, part of a 4.6% growth in the population of New York City since 2010, to reach a record high of 8,550,405 people as of July, 2015 – the most robust rate of growth in the city since the 1920s. Under Borough President Katz, Queens has also experienced a 7.8% increase in the number of jobs, higher than the citywide average, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) most recent data.

Reflecting on the borough’s growth, its diversity, and what that means to its neighborhoods, the theme for Katz is “Queens – The Borough of Growth – The Borough of Families.”

“This borough is tops. People want to come here, play here, live here and make their money here,” she said. “For generations they said (it was) Manhattan (that) brings in the dollars – but now we are. Folks are spending their money here.”

Katz said there are “a lot of things on the horizon,” mentioning the BQX – the Brooklyn- Queens Connector – as an example. “The (BQX) route is not known yet (and) it’s important to know the route, figure out where it’s going to end and what the stopping points are,” said Katz of the proposed 16-mile BQX corridor running from Astoria to Sunset Park in Brooklyn. “I want to hear what the Community Board has to say,” she told the board. The BQX has the potential to generate over $25 billion by connecting over 400,000 residents to jobs, according to the EDC. The public approval process is set to start this year.

“(But) As we grow we still have to remember we’re a borough of neighborhoods (and) families and communities are important,” she said. “To know that Community Board 1 is out there, doing what you do best – that this community is safe (and) that you are on top of things – is a big load off my mind,” said Katz. “You do a great job.”

“We’re all proud to be members of Community Board 1 and we’re all proud of you,” responded CB 1 Chair Joseph Risi.

In other business, the CB 1 executive board was re-elected as follows: Chair Joseph Risi, First Vice Chair Norma Nieves-Blas, Second Vice Chair Jean Marie D’Alleva, Third Vice Chair Richard Khuzami, Executive Secretary Edward Babor and Sergeant-at-Arms Thomas Ryan.

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