State of the Borough Address Centers Equity at the Heart of Queens’ Recovery

(March 3, 2021 at 7:00PM)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards today delivered his first State of the Borough address, detailing his administration’s accomplishments within the first 100 days. The Borough President also outlined Queens’ path out of the COVID-19 pandemic and offered a bold vision for a borough freed of systemic inequities.

The text of the address, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

“The state of our borough is not where it ought to be, for we have been decimated by the health pandemic, the economic crisis and racial injustices. But these issues do not need to define us,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “We, as a borough, as a people, have an opportunity to choose how we define ourselves. As a borough, we will not stay down. Queens, we will rise.”

Delivered at the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) in Astoria and streamed on Borough President Richards’ website and social media channels, the address centered on rooting Queens’ recovery in true equity for all borough families and combating the existing injustices in healthcare delivery, economic development, transportation services, housing and environmental policy in our borough. These injustices are often exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To achieve these goals during his time in office, Borough President Richards pledged to establish an Immigrant Welcome Center at Queens Borough Hall, create at least 2,000 units of truly affordable housing, invest in upgrades across Queens’ New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing developments, overhaul the community board appointment process, establish workforce training programs and other job creating initiatives, and ensure sustainability is at the heart of all new land use projects subject to his review and more.

As highlighted in the address, these efforts will augment the numerous reforms Borough President Richards already put into motion over his first two months in office, including but not limited to the creation of the $17.5 million Queens Small Business Grant programdigitizing the community board application to greatly increase interest in membership, hosting an ongoing series of job recruitment fairs, and establishing the Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board.

The hour-long program — available for replay at queensbp.org/SOTB2021 — also included the Presentation of Colors by the New York Police Department (NYPD) Law Enforcement Explorers’ color guard, a rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner by students from Astoria’s Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, remarks from Deputy Borough President Rhonda Binda, and a performance by renowned Cambria Heights saxophonist Ashley Keiko, the founder of music academy Keiko Studios in Queens Village.

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