• Call for Community-Centric Jamaica Neighborhood Plan
  • Millions of Dollars Allocated to Boost Queens’ Healthcare System
  • More than 4,600 Affordable Housing Units Signed Off On
  • Historic Investments in Building Tangible and Societal Infrastructure 
  • Pushes for Establishment of Universal Free Afterschool Programming

(April 28, 2023 at 12:30pm)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. delivered his 2023 State of the Borough address this morning, announcing a number of new initiatives and touting historic investments his administration has made over the past year across the spectrum of society.

The text of Borough President Richards’ address, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

“What is our legacy? What are we building in this borough that our children will cherish long after our days are done? I know what I want our legacy to be,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “One of innovation, where there is no dream too big or idea too bold. One of industry, where there is no better borough to build, hire or start a business. One of investment, where there are no cracks to fall through — only pathways to prosperity, no matter your race, religion or background.

“That is the legacy we are building in Queens every single day. That is the State of our Borough — limitless in its potential and endless in its opportunities.”

Delivered in the Claire Shulman Theatre within Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s famed Queens Theatre, Borough President Richards’ State of the Borough address focused heavily on his administrations tireless work and critical investments in the fields of housing, healthcare and infrastructure — both tangible and societal.

Some of the major highlights and accomplishments outlined the Borough President in his address include:

  • Calling on the NYC Department of City Planning to launch a Jamaica Neighborhood Planning Study, in an effort to develop a holistic, community-led plan to make Jamaica the premiere live, work and play community in the city.
  • Investing more than $127 million in capital funding across Queens schools, healthcare institutions, parks, libraries and more over the course of his tenure.
  • Signing off on more than 4,600 units of affordable housing during his time as Borough President.
  • Demanding the establishment of universal free afterschool programming for all city children, regardless of ZIP code.
  • Announced a partnership with Vaughn College to support its Drone Pilot Pipeline, a five-course program where local high school students can earn college credits and drone pilot certificates.

Borough President Richards’ State of the Borough address was preceded by introductory remarks from New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, as well as remarks by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, New York State Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Deputy Queens Borough President Ebony Young served as the event’s emcee and offered welcoming remarks, as did Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone, followed by the NYPD Guardians Gospel Choir’s renditions of the National Anthem and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

The program also featured a musical performance by the Braata Folk Singers and a dance performance courtesy of the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. Providing pre-program entertainment was DJ Tam Jams.

Long Island City-based JetBlue Airways and Resorts World New York City, located in South Ozone Park, sponsored the State of the Borough address, as did Delta Airlines and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

A short film about Borough President Richards’ investments in Queens, created by New York City-based production company Reframe the World, was shown to begin the program. Their participation, along with the participation of the event’s sponsors, was facilitated by the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram