Tag Archives: borough president

Borough President Katz assesses Queens’ Ebola readiness


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Borough President Melinda Katz's office

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz met with Health Department officials on Monday to consider Queens’ ability to deal with an Ebola outbreak.

Katz also emphasized the need to work closely with the department given the large population of the borough, which hosts two busy airports.

“There is a very deep interest in [Queens] about this,” Katz said.

Dr. Jessica Kattan, a city health official, fielded questions from Katz and community board members.

But Kattan didn’t have the answer to many of the questions and advised people to call 311 if someone has Ebola.

“Does Purell work on this thing?” Katz said.

Kattan said she didn’t know the answer but promised to get back to Katz with an answer.

A community board member asked if planes coming from West Africa to Queens were being sanitized and the air ventilation system flushed out.

Kattan didn’t know, but she said, “the chances of New Yorkers getting Ebola is very slim.”

Katz also made a suggestion about the airports.

She said they should be reporting to Kattan’s department so that communication and information between the airports and the city is greater.

“We’re relying on you guys for vital information,” Katz said. “It’s important.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Community board votes on proposed Astoria Cove development


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering Courtesy STUDIO V Architecture

A local community board has told developers if they want to move forward with a proposed development on the Astoria waterfront, they had better pay attention to the board’s suggestions.

One week after Architect Jay Valgora of STUDIO V Architecture presented the approximately 1.7-million-square-foot mixed-use development known as Astoria Cove to Community Board (CB) 1, board members voted against the proposal unless developers follow recommendations given by the board.

“We have put down in writing the recommendations that we think will help improve the situation there and will make the Astoria west area productive and really something to be proud of in our community district,” said Elizabeth Erion, assistant chair of CB1’s zoning and variance committee.

The four pages of conditions included an increase of affordable housing units from 20 percent to 35 percent dispersed throughout all five buildings of the site and be included in every construction phase; increase of parking spaces; priority of construction and permanent jobs given to local residents and youth; commercial space set aside for recreational and medical facilities; and the importance of the 456-seat public elementary school constructed at the site.

The proposed Astoria Cove by developers Alma Realty is expected to consist of five buildings, three on the waterfront ranging from 26 to 32 stories and two on the upland portion of the site, including a six-story residential building.

The project, which is expected to take more than 10 years to complete in four different phases, will also include about 84,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space.

Howard Weiss, attorney for Alma Realty, said his clients are happy the community board did not raise objections to the project and most of the conditions presented have already been changed. He said that developers will be submitting revisions to the proposal.

“[The community board] had some concerns and they expressed those concerns,” Weiss said. “But the important thing is that if you listen carefully to their vote they support the project itself.”

Although Weiss said developers are working with Department of City Planning to increase the number of affordable housing units, 35 percent would not be “realistic.”

“We are working with City Planning to increase the number of affordable units to what would be a realistically and economically viable affordable housing density,” he said.

The Astoria Cove proposal will now head to the borough president and make its way to the City Council by the late fall.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Melinda Katz wins election to become next Queens borough president


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Former legislator Melinda Katz will be the next Queens borough president.

“We sent a message from the moment I announced my candidacy that we are a borough of diversity, and that is an asset,” Katz said. “It is not a flaw in the borough of Queens and the City of New York.”

The Democrat and heavy favorite in the race trounced her two challengers Tuesday with 80.3 percent, according to unofficial results, as 96 percent of precincts were reporting.

Republican Tony Arcabascio netted 17.1 percent and third-party candidate Everly Brown, who came in last in the Democratic primary, took in 2.6 percent on the Jobs & Education line, early tallies showed.

The seat was held by Helen Marshall since 2001. The longtime incumbent and borough’s first black president is term-limited this year.

She endorsed Katz, who served in the Assembly and City Council and was the director of community boards for former Borough President Claire Schulman.

Katz will be the 19th Queens borough president.

“Every borough president has their own way about them,” Katz said. “I’m excited about the future. Helen Marshall has served this borough for over 30 years as a public official, 20 years before that as a civil rights advocate and an educator. I will continue her work, but I also have my own priorities and I look forward to working for those.”

As results trickled in on election night, the Forest Hills mom of two was surrounded by supporters at her victory party held at the Queens Democratic Party’s headquarters on Austin Street.

“We have had a whole gamut of support,” she said, attributing her victory in major part to the County organization. “I am extremely excited to be the next borough president. I’m glad the people of Queens put faith into my candidacy, and I will be very grateful to them.”

The strong finish was anticipated this time, unlike the grueling September primary election Katz faced against Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

In the contentious race, Katz ended up beating the longtime Astoria lawmaker by about 13,000 votes, according to official Board of Elections results.

Katz said her Borough Hall plans include making the Rockaway ferry permanent and creating a hotline for storm victims to get up-to-date information on the rebuilding process.

She also said she will push for more primary and urgent care facilities, expand tax incentives for new or expanding businesses that hire locally and fund the growth of 1,000 more trees.

Katz said it her job to “make sure that we not only get equal assets here in Queens, but we bring more money back to the borough of Queens because that is what we deserve here.”

With additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen

Councilmember Leroy Comrie exits borough president race


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Councilmember Leroy Comrie has dropped his bid for borough president, his campaign announced on Saturday.

“After careful consideration, my family and I believe, due to personal matters, this is the best course of action,” he said in a statement. “I remain steadfast in my faith and belief in government and it is a true honor to continue to serve the people of southeast Queens in my capacity as councilmember.”

Comrie, who trailed rivals in fundraising, represents the 27th District, which covers St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, parts of Queens Village, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens.

He was first elected in 2002. His final term ends this year.

Comrie is the deputy majority leader, head of the council’s Queens delegation and chair of the Land Use Committee.

He was locked in a Democratic primary with Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., State Senator Tony Avella, former legislator Melinda Katz and businessman Everly Brown. Republican candidate Tony Arcabascio is also running.

After the Queens County Democratic Party endorsed Katz, there were rumors of a Comrie exit in late May.

It was the second major snub after Katz landed the backing of several leaders in Comrie’s district, including the Reverend Floyd Flake, who is the senior pastor of the 23,000-member Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral in Jamaica.

“Queens is one of the greatest boroughs in our city,” Comrie said, “and I am thankful to everyone for the opportunity to showcase my platform for inclusion and empowerment and express my passion for the borough that was afforded me in this race.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Former City Council candidate Kevin Kim won’t run for office this year


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Former City Council candidate Kevin Kim announced he would not run for any office this year.

The Democrat had mulled a run in the 19th District to replace Republican incumbent Councilmember Dan Halloran, who is not seeking re-election while he fights federal corruption charges.

Kim lost a 2009 election to Halloran.

“After serious consideration, I have decided not to run for City Council this year,” Kim said in a statement. “Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the outpouring of support I received from so many people in the community.”

Political insiders said Kim, who grew up in Bay Terrace, was also eyeing a try for Borough President. But he shot down rumors to The Courier, saying that is not his intention.

“I will not be running for any office this year,” he said, “but will continue to be active in advocating for causes that are important to the community as a whole.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Marshall gives final State of the Borough address


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

In the final State of the Borough address of her administration, Borough President Helen Marshall focused on the continued recovery of south Queens nearly three months after Sandy — honoring one first responder in particular for his valiant efforts during the storm.

“Let’s reflect together now,” she said on Tuesday, January 22, “on the devastation Sandy caused. The relief, from across the street and across the country, and the rebuilding, now underway, inspired by hope and the promise of tomorrow.”

Marshall honored the memory of Dylan Smith — the Belle Harbor surfer who tragically died in Puerto Rico last month — for his heroic efforts to help neighbors during the storm. With Smith’s parents in attendance, Marshall announced her office would give a $10,000 grant to the Swim Strong Foundation, which teaches a healthy lifestyle through swimming, in Smith’s memory.

Swim Strong founder Shawn Slevin said the grant in Smith’s name would continue to help the program, which has taught more than 2,000 people water safety and granted nearly 700 scholarships.

“This will mean so much for our scholarship funds,” Slevin said. “The borough president and her staff have always been very supportive of us.”

Michael McDonald, who helped rescue Belle Harbor residents alongside Smith, recalled the late surfer was modest to the attention he received after the storm. Before the audience at Queens College’s Colden Theater, McDonald gave a heartfelt recollection of the late October night and referred to Smith as “a guardian angel in a wetsuit.”

“The idea that his name will be mentioned in what he loved to do, which was not only swim and surf, but look out for the safety of others [is wonderful],” he said.

Marshall, covering several other items on her 2013 agenda, called for continued legislation at the state and federal level to reduce gun violence. Marshall applauded the anti-gun work of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and announced she plans to sponsor a gun buy back program sometime this spring.

“While Thanksgiving was muted by Sandy and the holiday season was saddened by the horrific violence in Newtown, let’s all agree that 2013 must be a year of hope,” Marshall said. “Our hope for getting guns off the street is gaining momentum. Here in our city, we have a long-standing and tireless leader in this effort: Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Perhaps that’s part of the reason we have seen the lowest number of murders in the past 40 years.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Melinda Katz making the rounds in Queens


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

In an effort to reintroduce herself to Queens, former Councilmember and Assemblymember Melinda Katz has been making her way around, preparing to run for the borough president nomination in a crowded Democratic primary field.

“We’ve been to the civics and the precincts and community boards,” Katz told The Courier at the December Community Board 9 meeting. “I’m not trying to go to every community board, I’m trying to go to every community.”

Katz served in the Assembly from 1994 to 1999. From there, she oversaw all the community boards in Queens when she worked under former Borough President Claire Schulman for three years. Going back to the community boards nearly 20 years later, Katz has run into some familiar faces and reminiscing on some of the work done for the borough during that time.

“It’s nice to see that when you leave elected office and come back that people welcome you,” she said.

Katz left politics in 2009 after she was term limited out of City Hall. She subsequently lost a bid for City Comptroller to incumbent and fellow Queens native John Liu. Between leaving office and announcing her candidacy in November, she worked for Manhattan law firm Greenberg Trautig, where she specialized in government issues and land use.

Vallone officially announces borough president bid


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo by Alex DiBlasi

Councilmember Peter Vallone’s holiday surprise wasn’t all that surprising.

Vallone announced his bid for Queens borough president at his father’s annual holiday party on Tuesday, December 11, surrounded by friends and family. Throughout the year, rumors have swirled about the Astoria councilmember’s potential run for Borough President Helen Marshall’s soon-to-be-empty seat. However, Vallone never officially stated until the party that he intended to run for the borough presidency.

“I’ve been considering [running] for a long time now. I’ve been out there fighting for the borough I love for a long time. I’ve got a track record of doing that. I understand what Queens is about. I’m a product of Queens. I’m going to spend the rest of my life in Queens. I’d like to work with all of you to continue to make Queens even better and better,” Vallone said.

So far, Vallone has raised roughly $1.5 million for his borough president campaign — significantly higher than any other potential candidate.

Former Councilmember and Assemblymember Melinda Katz, Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, State Senator Jose Peralta and State Senator Tony Avella have already announced their intentions to run for Marshall’s seat. Councilmember Leroy Comrie, a favorite of the Queens County Democratic Party, is rumored to be running for BP as well.

Vallone said his business background separated him in the crowded field.

“I understand Queens. I’ve spent my whole life here — raised my family here. I still live around the corner from my dad,” he said. “The law firm has been there since 1932. Queens is made up of small business owners like the people in this room, and I am the only candidate with any business experience.”

Katz nabs Koch endorsment for borough president


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

The day after being released from the hospital for a respiratory infection, and on the eve of his 88th birthday, former Mayor Ed Koch endorsed borough president candidate Melinda Katz, in a race with a crowded Democrat primary.

“I am supporting Melinda Katz for Queens borough president,” Koch said in a statement. “She is the one candidate in the race that raises the level of conversation about balancing economic development with the community in Queens.”

Koch also supported Katz in her run for comptroller three years ago. This is one of the first major endorsements of a candidate thus far.

Katz, a former councilmember and former assemblymember, was the first candidate to officially kick off a campaign in the race for Borough Hall.

She is one of several Democrats vying for the Borough Presidency.

State Senator Jose Peralta officially started his campaign in late October; State Senator Tony Avella announced in November he was running for the spot. Councilmembers Peter Vallone and Leroy Comrie, and Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, are expected to announce their candidacy as well.

Koch drew upon Katz’s city council record as a prime factor for the endorsement, particularly her work as chair of the council’s Land Use Committee.

“As Chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee she achieved that balance citywide,” he said. “It is why I supported her for city comptroller in 2009, and why I am supporting her now for Queens borough president in 2013.”

It is still undecided when a primary election will be held.

Avella announces borough president run


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Tony Avella

A northeast Queens legislator has joined the large circle of Democrats vying for next year’s borough presidency.

State Senator Tony Avella, 61, announced he will run to replace outgoing Borough President Helen Marshall.

“I think Queens needs a voice, and I don’t think we’ve had that,” said Avella, who won re-election to his Senate seat earlier this month. “The office of the borough president could be much more involved in handling the borough-wide issues. I just think we could do a much better job.”

The former two-term city councilmember said he is “continually frustrated” at unhandled problems in Queens, including tree maintenance, curb replacement and school issues.

Superstorm Sandy, Avella said, could have also been less devastating if the borough leader fought for resources that instead went to other parts of the city.

“It runs the gamut,” he said. “What really made the decision for me was the lack of preparation and response to Queens after the hurricane. I thought the office of the borough president could have been much more visible and much more active.”

Other big name Democratic candidates who have announced their intent to vie for the seat include Councilmember Leroy Comrie, State Senator José Peralta and former legislator Melinda Katz.

Councilmember Peter Vallone and Deputy Queens Borough President Barry Grodenchik are also rumored to be eyeing the position.

“I think I have widespread name recognition throughout the borough,” Avella said. “I think I take a much more hands-on approach, which I think is really necessary.”

Avella said he would seek an endorsement from the Queens County Democratic Committee but would run regardless of the party’s support.

Vallone ready to run next year


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Councilmember Peter Vallone’s name will appear on a ballot next year, that much is sure.

“I cannot imagine not running,” the soon-to-be-term-limited councilmember said during a recent sit down at The Queens Courier’s offices with reporters and editors. Which race Vallone will jump into remains unclear.

Most speculation surrounding the Astoria politician regards his expected entrance into the borough president race, a candidacy he is not yet ready to declare.

“There are a couple of wide open fields out there like public advocate that don’t even have a Queens candidate in it,” Vallone said. “One of the reasons I haven’t announced is because there are a lot of opportunities out there. We’ll see soon when I announce.”

Vallone formed a new state committee at the beginning of the year that currently has more than $110,000, keeping his options open for any office that becomes available. His borough president war chest contains nearly $1.5 million.

If he were to throw his hat into the borough president ring, which already has former Assembly and Councilmember Melinda Katz and State Senator Jose Peralta, Vallone said he would continue fighting on a borough-wide scale for issues he considers important.

And what does he find to be most important? Public safety.

Vallone has branched out to areas of Queens he doesn’t currently represent on a public safety tour, speaking about why crime is up and what communities can do to stop it. An Astoria neighborhood watch program was recently resurrected by Vallone.

The chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee has been vocal about the need for the police department to continue stop-and-frisk. The controversial practice is the only way — barring federal legislation that closes loopholes — to get guns off the streets before they are used, the lawmaker said.

While he admitted stop-and-frisk is not always done properly – “there are bad cops out there,” he said – and may strain communities with a disparate number of stops, he said most of the tension is generated by “irresponsible elected officials.”

“When you have elected officials who are constantly accusing the entire police department of being racist, when you have elected officials saying that and leading rallies against police, that is going to turn community members against the police,” Vallone said, calling it “slander of the worst kind.”

The councilmember’s staunch support of stop-and-frisk often places him at odds with the more liberal-leaning Democrats on the city council and more in line with Republicans throughout the city.

“I have supporters in every party. And I have a lot of opponents in every party. The radical base of both sides doesn’t like me. The middle likes me,” said Vallone.

Having the support of the middle, the self-proclaimed conservative Democrat would not rule out running on the Republican line if he found himself blocked on the Democratic ticket of whichever office he chooses to run for. He garnered the Conservative line all three times he ran for city council, and was on the Republican line during his 2005 re-election.

“I think in Queens a Republican can have a shot.”

When Vallone decides what race he will enter, he certainly won’t be running for the job he wants most.

“If terms limits weren’t in existence, I would stay [in the city council],” Vallone said. “I wouldn’t even be looking at different offices.”

Peralta launches borough president campaign


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Peralta new

What State Senator Jose Peralta says he brings to the borough president race is almost a decade of experience in politics and representing the strong diversity in the borough.

“I have the track record, the proven track record over the last 10 years that I can point to and say, ‘these are my accomplishments, these are the issues I have tackled that affect Queens and brought results,’” he said.

Peralta kicked off his campaign for borough president on Monday, October 22 at the Novo Lounge in Jackson Heights. He is the second potential candidate to officially launch a campaign for the November 2013 election.

Former Councilmember and former Assemblymember Melinda Katz began her campaign with an official event on Wednesday, October 10.

Peralta said understanding the diversity of Queens, the most of any other in the city, was crucial to the borough presidency – saying his district was the most diverse of any in the senate.

“Queens is the united nations of all boroughs,” he said. “I happen to represent the most diverse district in the New York State Senate. It uniquely positions me to run for Queens Borough President.”

He served in the assembly for seven years, representing communities with high Hispanic populations in neighborhoods including Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

He won the seat in a March 2010 special election after the senate voted to expel Hiram Monseratte as he faced assault charges.

Peralta’s tenure in the assembly and senate includes pushing for development at Willets Point. In May, he wrote an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo to appeal for consideration of Willets Point — or a nearby area — for a potential convention center, citing a high number of construction and permanent jobs for the area. He has recently, along with colleague Assemblymember Francisco Moya, supported a potential Major League Soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Continued development to Queens is something Peralta says he would work on if elected borough president, but “we need to make sure it’s responsible; it’s a responsible impact where both the community and Queens as a borough benefit.”

Other Beep potentials include Councilmembers Peter Vallone and Leroy Comrie, who have both said they’re still considering a run. Incumbent Borough President Helen Marshall is set to leave Borough Hall in December 2013 because of term limits. Neither Marshall, nor the borough’s Democratic Party is expected to endorse a candidate at this time, and it’s still unknown when a primary would take place.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A slight chance of showers between noon and 2pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 62. Breezy, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Friday night: Clear, with a low around 41. North wind 9 to 17 mph.

Biden and Ryan quarrel aggressively in debate, offering contrasts

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Paul D. Ryan fiercely quarreled at the vice-presidential debate here on Thursday night, with Mr. Biden using the cutting attack lines against the Republican ticket that Mr. Obama did not and Mr. Ryan delivering a spirited case for conservative policies that Mr. Romney had soft-pedaled. Read more: NY Times

Yankees fall in closeout game, allow Baltimore Orioles to force ALDS Game 5 on J.J. Hardy’s game-winning RBI double in the 13th inning

This time Raul IObanez didn’t help. Pinch-hitting for A-Rod didn’t help. The Yankees are running out of alternatives and answers as their Game 5 fate beckons. As the Bombers failed to conjure the previous game’s magic, the Orioles extended this best-of-five American League division series to a decisive game with a 13-inning, 2-1 victory over the Yankees Thursday night at the Stadium. Read more: Daily News

Melinda Katz kicks off campaign for borough president

Noting that it was crucial to determine what the common needs of a diverse borough like Queens were, Melinda Katz, former member of the City Council and Assembly, embarked Wednesday, October 10 on a year-long run for the borough president’s office — after incumbent Helen Marshall steps down at the end of 2013 due to term limits. Read more: Queens Courier

ESU police attempted To save Queens man shot by their fellow officer

On video taken shortly after Noel Polanco was shot by an Emergency Service Unit officer on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the 22-year-old is seen being brought out of a unmarked ESU truck on a stretcher. Polanco, 22, was fatally shot by ESU Detective Hassan Hamdy following an early morning traffic stop near LaGuardia Airport last Thursday. Read more: NY1

MTA announces three new fast-track bus routes to LaGuardia Airport

The city and MTA are creating three souped-up bus routes to LaGuardia Airport, including one from Manhattan and one from the Bronx. With the new routes, Select Bus Service — which includes trip-speeding tactics like curbside payment — will be in every borough next year, officials said. Read more: Daily News

iPhone thief prowls Queens

An iPhone thief is wreaking havoc in Queens, police said. The robber is responsible for stealing eight of the smartphones between Aug. 1 and Sept. 20 in neighborhoods such as Astoria and Hunters Point. Read more: NY Post

Long Island City strip club hopes third time is the charm for liquor license

The owners of a controversial Long Island City strip club who have twice been denied a liquor license are hoping the third time’s the charm. Lawyers for 21 Group Inc., which currently operates Show Palace, have asked the New York State Liquor Authority to reconsider their most recent application. Read more: Daily News

Meeks pal cops plea

A Queens businessman who had been pressed by prosecutors to dish dirt on his friend, embattled Rep. Gregory Meeks, pleaded guilty yesterday to a $50 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Edul Ahmad — whose $40,000 “loan” to Meeks in 2007 remains the subject of a House Ethics Committee probe — faces up to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced for the mortgage scam that enabled unqualified home buyers to get loans. Read more: NY Post

Melinda Katz kicks off campaign for borough president


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

Noting that it was crucial to determine what the common needs of a diverse borough like Queens were, Melinda Katz, former member of the City Council and Assembly, embarked Wednesday, October 10 on a year-long run for the borough president’s office — after incumbent Helen Marshall steps down at the end of 2013 due to term limits.

“It is such an important office in our city,” said Katz as she began her run at Portofino’s in her native Forest Hills. “Queens is a diverse borough, and part of the job of a borough president, I believe, is when to make sure that when you are representing so many different groups, so many ethnic backgrounds, so many religions, so many languages throughout this entire borough, part of your job is to find the common core of what people truly want for their families.

Katz was joined by former colleagues in the Assembly including Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry and now Congressmember Joseph Crowley. Crowley also heads the Queens Democratic Party — which is not expected to endorse any of the several Democratic potentials for the post in the near future.

Of his former colleague’s record, Crowley said Katz had always been a go-getter, resilient and has many years to add on her already tenured political career.

“She’s a tough cookie,” Crowley said. “You have to be tough in this business, I think, in New York City politics. She is someone I think is well rounded in her Queens tradition. She knows this borough very, very well.”

Katz left the City Council at the end of 2009 after serving two terms representing District 29, which includes Forest Hills and Rego Park. Before that, she served in the Assembly — representing relatively the same neighborhoods — from 1994 to 2001. Her political career began with three years working at Borough Hall under long-time Borough President Claire Schulman. In the meantime, she’s served as a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, a Manhattan law firm where she specializes in government affairs and land use.

Among potential competition are State Senator Jose Peralta and Councilmember Peter Vallone, who’s term limited out of the chamber at the end of next year. While Peralta has officially announced his candidacy — and has a kick-off planned on October 22 — Vallone says he’s “seriously considering” a run.

And while it’s uncertain when a multi-way primary will take place, Katz said she’s ready for what lies ahead in her quest to lead the borough.

“I feel strong,” she said. “I love government, the majority of my adult career has been in government. It’s always been my wish to be able to do what I can for this borough. It’s going to be a good year.”

Katz creates campaign team for Queens borough president run


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

She’s already held two political seats in Queens, and now Melinda Katz is eyeing a third.

Katz, who formerly served as assemblymember and councilmember, confirmed she would be running for borough president next year — throwing her hat into the ring with potentials like Councilmember Peter Vallone.

Katz said she was organizing a campaign team, and hoped to make a formal announcement sometime next week.

She cited her three years working in the borough president’s office as an inspiration for running.

“I know the job very well, and I was proud to serve there for the entire borough for three years,” she said.

A love of Queens and a history of holding public offices was important to her decision in running for the spot, Katz said, noting that she still lives in the Forest Hills home where she grew up.

“I’m bringing up my two boys in my old bedroom,” she said. “Queens has been my home, my family’s home, for generations.”

Katz left politics in 2009 to work at Greenberg Traurig, a law firm where she specializes in several fields including government affairs and zoning. In the assembly, she represented areas of central Queens and would go on to do the same on the council level.

Katz’s partner is radio personality and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, with whom she has two children.

Whoever wins the race will succeed incumbent Helen Marshall, who has overseen the borough for three terms. Vallone currently has the biggest war chest for the campaign, boasting that he has raised more than a $1 million for the run.