2017 State of the Borough Theme: “The Borough of Growth, The Borough of Families”

Urges Re-Opening in Queens of Federal Citizenship Office; Borough-Wide Plan for Bike Lanes

Proposes Soccer and Hockey Stadium at Willets Point Site; ULURP for NYC Hotel Permits; Parks Designed for Seniors

 JAMAICA, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz delivered her third annual “State of the Borough” address this morning at York College/CUNY, where she offered highlights of Queens’ milestones in recent years, some of the challenges that continue, and her vision for the borough’s future.  Borough President Katz outlined Queens’ recent growth in population, jobs, tourism, hospitality, trees, airports and schools, saying, “As we continue to be the borough of growth, we can’t forget that we are – at our core – still the borough of families.”

Highlighted proposals included: a new, soccer and hockey stadium at Willets Point; mandating public review through ULURP for hotel permits in NYC to help ensure community input and better monitoring of growth; a borough-wide plan for bike lanes; the re-opening of the displaced Queens Field Office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); building space in public parks specifically designed for seniors to stay active.

The speech included the following key points:

o   The departure of the old Queens Field Office means Queens Residents must either travel to Lower Manhattan or to Holtsville, Long Island, to reach the nearest USCIS Field Office to address their citizenship and green card applications and obtain other important services that have become even more vital during this time of uncertainty in Federal immigration policy. Borough President Katz and U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks recently restated their proposal to open a USCIS Queens Field Office in the vacant space available in the Addabbo Federal Building in Jamaica, Queens, which is optimally located near mass transit and within easy reach of Queens’ 2.3 million residents, nearly half of whom were born abroad.

o   “New York City’s land is not limitless, and with the projected growth in our borough, this highly coveted area of Willets Point needs to be remediated and prepped for a cleaner future,” said Borough President Katz during today’s address (as prepared for delivery).” …We should be unafraid to think bigger….. bolder….. and more comprehensively.”

o   “In its five years of operations, Resorts World has proven to be an exemplary neighbor to the surrounding community,” said Borough President Katz during today’s address (as prepared for delivery). “With the potential for more good-paying jobs and attracting even more visitors, I believe the expansion of Resorts World is a good partnership for this borough.”

o   This process would compel all hotel projects in the City to go through a mandated public review through the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Borough President Katz said such a process would guarantee community input and allow government to better monitor hotel growth citywide.

The program was MCed by Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant, a motivational speaker, author, and Southeast Queens resident. A traditional lion dance performed by the Asian United and Cultural Exchange Council from Flushing kicked off the program in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year, as well as brief welcoming remarks by Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, President of York College/CUNY.  Borough President Katz was then introduced by Allan Houston, two-time NBA All-Star and founder of the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation dedicated to youth mentorship and entrepreneurship.

CUNY’s Reserve Officers ‘Training Corps (ROTC) presented the colors.  Victoria Labban, an Ozone Park resident and student at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, delivered a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem.

Immediately following the address, guests enjoyed a brief reception featuring music by DJ Nat of Flux Factory in Long Island City, cookies by YouCake in Long Island City, and catering by DelishNY in Corona.

The State of the Borough Address was recorded by Queens Public Television (QPTV) and will air on the following dates and times on the following channels:


Day                           Date                            Time                   Spectrum                RCN             Fios

Thursday         February 9, 2017               6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         February 16, 2017             6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         February 23, 2017             6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         March 2, 2017                   6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         March 9, 2017                   6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         March 16, 2017                 6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         March 23, 2017                 6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34

Thursday         March 30, 2017                 6:00 pm              34/1995                  82               34


JetBlue Airways Corporation, headquartered in Long Island City, was the proud prime sponsor of Borough President Katz’s 2017 State of the Borough event.


Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz