Councilmember Daneek Miller is “rolling up his sleeves” and taking the ball into his own hands, creating partnerships throughout the southeast Queens community to form one voice for City Hall.
“There’s the potential to do really great things as a collective,” he said. “To be successful you have to be inclusive. You have to empower others, and you do that by being inclusive and engaging.”
Miller’s first two weeks in office have been a testament to his campaign – meeting with various community and clergy members to form those coalitions early on. He also introduced City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to area residents because “we have a different set of concerns. We needed her to come out and see specifically what to do,” he said.
Getting guns off the streets leaped to the top of Miller’s agenda after the city’s first murder of the year took place in Jamaica, when a 22-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest.
“I’ve been a young man in the streets. There’s no reason you should walk around here and not feel safe,” he said. “That’s not what this community is about. We’re better than that.”
He hopes to target the area’s youth, work on conflict resolution and provide a means to get them focused on school and employment.
Miller was officially sworn into office on Saturday by Mark-Viverito at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in front of a crowd of dozens of elected officials, community leaders and residents.
Former Councilmember Leroy Comrie passed the torch to Miller, and said he expects the new councilmember to not only lead the 27th district but to have a great impact on the city.
“Daneek understands government. Daneek understands more importantly people, the needs of people ,” he said.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congressmember Gregory Meeks, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Mark-Viverito and labor leaders also spoke about Miller, and said he will be a voice for the middle class.
Moving forward, Miller is determining the feasibility of participatory budgeting, establishing community policing and taking “full advantage of all amenities that the district has to offer.”
“I’m going to shoot hoops at one of the youth centers later,” he said. “I don’t have to change who I am or what I’ve done in the past.”