Borough President Melinda Katz explicitly refused to answer questions about her run for District Attorney (DA) at a reporter’s roundtable at Queens Borough Hall 120-55 Queens Boulevard today. The press roundtable is a yearly event which serves as a preface to her Queens State of the Borough Address.
Katz outlined the issues that she plans on discussing in her address this Friday. Katz tried to keep the conversation topics of education, immigration, transportation, the 2020 census, and public housing. However, when it came to the topic of her DA campaign she was tight-lipped.
“If this were not a government building and I wasn’t the Queens Borough President holding a press conference on issues that are really important to a lot of people here in this room I would probably answer your question,” she told reporters.
“We will be happy to answer questions on politics any time. I do think that I’m a little bit, not disturbed, I’m a little bit surprised that when we have a roundtable that discusses issues that are really important to this borough that we’re not talking about it with the dignity it deserves,” she reiterated as another reporter asked about her candidacy.
Despite her resistance to speak about her candidacy Katz announced her candidacy for the position of DA in early December. According to the former QCP article Katz said, “I am running for District Attorney, and all that it represents because I know that many people don’t always feel protected by the criminal justice system.”
When it came to other topics Katz stood firmly rooted in her beliefs. Her opinion remained unchanged when questioned about her support for Amazon HQ2.
“About 18 months ago when Amazon was a possibility, and remember we one area of hundreds and then it was down to 20 we had been talking about the fact that we had actually been making Long Island City or trying to a place where these tech jobs could be an asset,” said Katz. “I will say that the rollout was not good, there is still a lot to be planned and a lot to do.”
Katz also exerted that the Queens Education system needs assistance. “Queens is the only borough in the city of New York where our schools are overcrowded. We are at 106 percent capacity the last time we checked. That means that our schools are over 100 percent capacity. There are 106 kids and 100 seats,” said Katz.
“Our kids are feeling the squeeze of Queens, and it’s not like that all over the city of new york, it’s only here. And by the way, the funding matches the inequities,” she added, as she explained that Queens has the lowest per-pupil spending per borough.
Katz’s State of the Borough Address is being held at LaGuardia Community College this Friday at 10:30 am. She intends to review the following for this year’s address:
- Infrastructure overhauls at JFK and LGA airports consisting of new gates at LGA, and renovations to the historic TWA hotel nearby JFK.
- The Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plans which offers a “roadmap for equitable job growth in the city’s next great tech hub in Long Island City”
- Her plans for the Queens Complete Count Committee in 2019 to ensure an accurate headcount for the 2020 census.
- Overcrowding in Queens public schools and inequities in the Education budget
- Public housing
- Public transportation