Hundreds of Neighborhood Stakeholders Help Shape Jamaica Action Plan as Part of BP Katz Initiative

QUEENS, NY – Several hundred local stakeholders participated in the Jamaica Planning Initiative Conference on Saturday, November 22, offering significant ideas and insights to help shape the Initiative’s Jamaica Action Plan, a blueprint for economic growth and development in the neighborhood.

“Jamaica is a dynamic community full of potential growth,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “We have in this room a valuable spectrum of stakeholders, from families who have called Jamaica home for decades, to the entrepreneurs whose businesses are the backbone of the local economy, to government leaders and agencies, to developers and investors who can hear directly what we need.  This reflects that Queens is committed to the development of Jamaica with many eager to invest in the growth of our neighborhood.  Thanks to what has been a strong level of community engagement, we are on track to creating a solid Action Plan to facilitate our growth.”

The Initiative’s Jamaica Action Plan, to be unveiled in the coming weeks, will be led by Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen in partnership with the Borough President Katz and the community.  Borough President Katz announced she will form a Jamaica Planning Initiative Leadership Council, which will be charged with oversight, administration and evaluation of the implementation of the Jamaica Action Plan.  People interested in joining the Council are encouraged to call the Borough President’s Office at 718.286.3000.

The discussions centered on soliciting feedback on a series of ideas that have developed over the course of extensive outreach with the Jamaica community. These ideas are designed to enhance services for residents and businesses and facilitate holistic development and growth in the Jamaica neighborhood.

The conference was sponsored by Borough President Katz, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU), New York City Department of City Planning, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, York College, Regional Plan Association, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball and CAU Commissioner Marco Carrión also delivered brief remarks.  Also in attendance were Congressmember Gregory Meeks, Assemblymembers Vivian Cook and William Scarborough and Councilmember Daneek Miller. The conference was facilitated by Community Board 12 Chair Adrienne Adams.

The conference included breakout sessions during which residents, elected officials and representatives from the Regional Plan Association, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and community-based organizations joined several officials from New York City government in discussing opportunities and strategies for economic development in Jamaica.  Among the City agencies represented were the Departments of City Planning, Small Business Services, Cultural Affairs, Parks & Recreation and Housing Preservation & Development.

The Jamaica Planning Initiative is a neighborhood-based, local stakeholder-driven approach to community development that brings together community residents, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations, private firms, and industry experts with policymakers and city government leaders to discuss priority issues, opportunities, challenges, and project ideas to strengthen the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens. The Initiative has engaged community and elected leaders as well as encouraged inter-agency collaboration, and will culminate in the creation of the strategic Jamaica Action Plan.