Tag Archives: Lefrak Concert Hall

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.



Queens pols get big laughs at ‘Legislative Acts’ show

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Nicolette Djokovich


They can sing. They can act. They can legislate.

Borough politicians took to the stage to perform in “Legislative Acts,” a sold-out fundraising event held Saturday night at Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall.

The audience roared with laughter throughout the 16-act performances, which included song, dance, comedy and more.

Each skit featured jokes about election season and the officials themselves.

Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr. and former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman dressed as Superman and Wonder Woman, respectively, for their skit called “Save the World.” The two brought the audience, and themselves, through belly-laughs, as they worked together to recall their lines while jokingly bickering.

In another skit, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer asked Congressmember Greg Meeks if he had been frequenting the gym. Van Bramer then warned the U.S. Representative not to “take selfies.”

Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz sang her rendition of “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!”

The performance concluded with all of the cast members singing “We Are the World,” together on stage.

However, in their version of the song, the chorus was changed to, “We are the world. We are Bill’s children” – referring to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. The audience broke into hysterics for the final laugh of the evening’s performance.

Councilmember Ruben Willis and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas

The event benefited the college’s programs, Big Buddy and Women and Work.

Big Buddy aims to create stability and support for homeless children by pairing them with student mentors from Queens College. Women and Work serves victims of domestic and family violence, single mothers, immigrants, displaced homemakers and downsized workers by focusing on job-training and life skills that can enhance self-esteem with social capital and establish a social network.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras singing the “Election Tango.”

Councilmember Leroy Comrie stops the fighting between Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder and Councilmember Ruben Wills over who decided to wear their wig first.

Former Borough President Claire Shulman (right) and current Borough President Helen Marshall (left) pass their words of wisdom on to Borough President-elect Melinda Katz before her solo routine of “On My Own.”

Assemblymember William Scarborough, Congressmember Grace Meng and the Ensemble sing their new take on a classic, calling it, “No Business Like Small Business.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder and Queens County Clerk and former Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer in their skit, “Goldfeder.”

City Comptroller John Liu accompanied by the Ensemble singing “Ticket to Ride.”