Tag Archives: Inauguration

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz sworn in by Mayor de Blasio


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was officially sworn into office Thursday in a star-studded political gathering.

“It’s an exciting time for me,” said Katz, in front of hundreds of supporters and a lengthy list of dignitaries. “I’m humbled and I’m honored to be the Queens Borough President.”

The 48-year-old Forest Hills mom of two was installed Jan. 9 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, with the help of Congressmember Joe Crowley.

“I have to tell you that Melinda brings so much to this job,” de Blasio said. “She has a real passion for the people she serves. She loves this borough. I can tell you that because I’ve seen her stand up for Queens many times.”

The mayor said the “exemplary” and diverse borough “epitomizes the American Dream.”

“Melinda Katz gets to be the person who brings all those beautiful strengths together and makes this borough work for the people,” de Blasio said.

The newly elected borough president, dedicating the night to her parents, took her oath of office with her hand upon her father’s copy of the Old Testament.

Crowley, citing Biblical figures, said he hoped for Katz “the wisdom of Moses, the leadership of Joshua and the valor and the strength of Esther.”

“She possesses many of those qualities and more,” Crowley said. “We’re going to have the opportunity to see her grow.”

The standing-room-only ceremony at Queens College’s Lefrak Concert Hall also featured U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and dozens of Queens legislators.

Katz’s partner, Curtis Sliwa, and the couple’s two sons, Carter and Hunter, watched from the audience.

Katz, a former member of the City Council and state Assembly, was elected Nov. 5 to be the 19th borough president of Queens. She succeeds Helen Marshall, who held the seat since 2001.

Her plans for the borough include making the Rockaway ferry permanent and pushing for more primary and urgent care facilities.

“Let’s move it forward,” Katz said. “Let’s make it a place for families to have everything they need right here in the borough of Queens.”

“My only wish is I never let you down,” Katz said.

 

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Paul Vallone sworn into City Council during local inauguration


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Hundreds of residents packed into a school auditorium Saturday to watch Councilmember Paul Vallone get sworn into office.

The early afternoon ceremony at P.S. 169 in Bay Terrace was attended by a lengthy list of dignitaries, including State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

Vallone, 46, was installed by his father, former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. He took his oath of office, swearing on the family’s Bible.

“I believe that what you’re doing today, by bringing Paul Vallone into this very diversified and complicated district … that you will be delivering to this Council district one of the best representatives in government that this country has ever produced,” Vallone Sr. said.

The freshman legislator continues the 40-year Vallone legacy in City Hall. His brother, Peter Vallone Jr., was term limited out of the City Council at the end of 2013.

Vallone, who represents District 19, was officially sworn into the City Council Dec. 10 by City Clerk Michael McSweeney.

He ended his inauguration by giving out his first proclamation to Kevin and Tina Lynch, who won ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” last month and rocketed Whitestone to national stardom.

 

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De Blasio sworn in as 109th mayor of New York City


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos via NYC Mayor's Office Flickr/Official Photos by New York City Mayor's Office

Updated 1:30 p.m.

The Bloomberg era has ended and the de Blasio administration has begun.

New York City’s 109th mayor, Bill de Blasio, was sworn in during a ceremony at his Park Slope, Brooklyn home just after midnight Wednesday, followed by a formal inauguration on the steps of City Hall later that day.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman officiated the New Year’s Eve oath of office, which was also attended by the mayor’s wife Chirlane McCray, daughter Chiara and son Dante.

“From the beginning, this has been our family together reaching out to the people of this city to make a change that we all needed. I want to thank you for having brought us to this moment,” de Blasio said after taking the oath in front of his home.

“To everyone this is the beginning of a road we will travel together,” he added.

Former President Bill Clinton swore in de Blasio on the steps of City Hall with a bible once owned by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

De Blasio previously served as a regional director in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration and managed Hillary Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. Both endorsed de Blasio for mayor in the general election.

Before administering the oath, Clinton said it had been a “great joy” for his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and him to see de Blasio’s progress “because he has served with such passion and because he represents with his family the future of our city and the future of our country.”

Telling New Yorkers “our work begins today,” in his inauguration speech de Blasio pledged to expand the pay sick leave law, require big developers to build affordable housing, stem the tide of hospital closures, reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy and ask the wealthy to pay a little more in taxes to provide universal, full-day pre-k and after-school programs for middle schoolers.

“We won’t wait, we’’ll do it now,” he said.

“Let me be clear: When I said I would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it. And we will do it.” he added.

A thousand tickets were reserved for the general public to attend the public swearing-in ceremony, with de Blasio pledging that it would be an “inauguration for all New Yorkers.”

Several dozen New Yorkers from across the city were additionally invited to join the mayor on stage. The group included a Queens engineer who emigrated from Bangladesh, according to de Blasio.

Mayor de Blasio takes the subway with his family to his City Hall inauguration.

Queens resident and the 2014 New York City Youth Poet Laureate, Ramya Ramana, read an original poem at the inauguration, which she dedicated to de Blasio.

Ramana, a first generation Indian-American, grew up in the borough and recently won the New York Knicks’ Poetry scholarship to St. John’s University, where she is a first-year student, according to the mayor.

Letitia James, who is succeeding de Blasio as public advocate was also sworn in at City Hall Wednesday. The councilmember is the first woman of color to hold citywide office. Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President since 2006, was sworn in as city comptroller, replacing John Liu.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Plenty of sunshine. High near 35. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Generally clear. Low 27. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Jackson Heights Orchestra concert

The Jackson Heights Orchestra will perform a concert at the Community United Methodist Church on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. featuring music by Handel, Mozart, Bach, Suk, Haydn. Soprano soloist Winnie Nieh will be performing with the orchestra, led by Conductor Pat Glunt. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Black ice warnings after 21-car pileup in Brooklyn

Black ice is again expected to be a concern for the morning commute after it contributed to a massive pileup in Brooklyn and shut down a stretch of the Long Island Expressway Tuesday evening. Read more: NBC New York

Preet Bharara goes after pensions of thieving former New York City Council members

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is making good on his promise to go after the pensions of city politicians nailed for corruption. Read more: New York Daily News 

De Blasio to hold open house after inauguration

The inauguration for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will be followed by an open house at Gracie Mansion a few days later, the future mayor’s team announced Tuesday. Read more: NBC New York

2 winning tickets in $636M Mega Millions drawing

The two winning Mega Millions tickets were sold in California and Georgia, lottery officials said Wednesday. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Bipartisan budget agreement nears final passage

A modest, bipartisan budget pact designed to keep Washington from lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis and ease the harshest effects of automatic budget cuts is on the brink of passing the Senate. Read more: AP

 

Paul Vallone sworn into City Council


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@pfvjr

Councilmember Paul Vallone was officially sworn into the City Council Tuesday by City Clerk Michael McSweeney.

The freshman legislator, who represents District 19, begins his term Jan. 1.

He will have a local inauguration ceremony Jan. 4.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy with a chance of snow in the morning, then overcast with a chance of snow and a chance of rain. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 21. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 50%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of snow in the evening, then partly cloudy with a chance of snow. Low of 25 with a windchill as low as 12F. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 20 mph shifting to the West after midnight. Chance of snow 50% with accumulations up to 1 in. possible

EVENT OF THE DAY: Tongues Untied, True Tales Told: African-American Women Changing the Picture in Film and Television at the Museum of the Moving Image

Barbara Montgomery, a veteran actress-turned-director, will screen excerpts from her upcoming film Mitote, which shares the stories of three African-American women who live in New Mexico, circa 1900. Each has a story to tell, based on a unique historical incident. Following the screening will be a wide-ranging discussion with Barbara Montgomery and her featured cast members, S. Epatha Merkerson (Law and Order, Lincoln) and screen legend Ruby Dee, about the untold stories and missing representation of African-Americans. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Ambulance collides with  car, crashes into Queens house 

Police say an ambulance on its way to a call of an unconscious person in Queens collided with a car and ended up crashing into a home Sunday afternoon. Read more: NBC New York

Queens cab driver fatally injured by SUV in Manhattan

A yellow cab driver from Queens died Sunday morning after an SUV crashed into his taxi on the East Side of Manhattan. Read more: NY1

Former Mayor Ed Koch back in the hospital, but doing well

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch is back in the hospital for the third time since September, but a spokesman said the former mayor is doing well. Read more: CBS New York

Obama inauguration speech sets stage for battles

President Barack Obama has prepared a second inaugural address that broadly lays out his vision for the country’s future, setting the stage for looming debates over taxes, guns, immigration and other issues while leaving the details for another day. Read more: ABC New York

CBS News hires former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a contributor, and network bosses say she will take part in inauguration coverage on Monday

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined CBS News as a contributor — just in time for inauguration coverage. Read more: New York Daily News 

Harbaugh brothers take 49ers, Ravens to Super Bowl

This Super Bowl will be filled with firsts — and one significant last. The Harbaughs, San Francisco’s Jim and Baltimore’s John, will be the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in the NFL title game. Read more: ABC News

 

 

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder sworn in


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan. Senator Charles Schumer formally swore Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder into office.

Newly-elected Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder was formally sworn into office on Sunday, November 6 in a ceremony attended by dozens of locals and elected officials, including Senator Charles Schumer.

Goldfeder succeeds former Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer — who resigned from the seat to become Queens County Clerk — in the 23rd Assembly District. He won 54 percent of the vote in September’s election, securing his victory over former NYPD officer and Republican candidate Jane Deacy.

“For me, this is bittersweet because I have to say goodbye to some of the things that I love doing, but I know that Phillip Goldfeder is going to be a wonderful Assemblymember,” Pheffer said. “I am so confident that he’s going to do an even better job. He has all this enthusiasm, and he has all this drive.”

The ceremony was held at J.H.S. 210 in Ozone Park. Bagpipe players and the Broad Channel High School Band entertained audience members prior to the inauguration.

Among those in attendance were Congressmember Bob Turner, Assemblymember David Weprin, Councilmember Eric Ulrich, Assemblymember Grace Meng, Congressmember Gregory Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Councilmember James F. Gennaro, Councilmember James Sanders Jr., Pheffer’s longtime chief of staff Joann Shapiro and Democratic district leader Frank Gulluscio.

“Phil Goldfeder has become our Assemblymember, and he got there the old fashioned way,” Schumer said. “He earned it. Phil worked his way up, and he worked hard.”

Goldfeder was previously a member of Schumer’s staff as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. He also worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a representative for Queens.

“When he worked for me, we immediately saw he was special. He bubbled with enthusiasm and energy, and he never rested,” said Schumer, who added that Goldfeder’s nickname in the office was “Shpilkes” — a Yiddish term for nervous energy. “You have to have resilience to do this job. You have to have the right heart, the right brain, and the right soul. Phil has all of that.”

Goldfeder, a lifelong Far Rockaway resident, represents Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways.