Katz highlights borough’s popularity at State of the Borough address

By Madina Toure

At her annual State of the Borough Address Thursday, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz highlighted the progress the borough has made now that it’s become a top destination for tourists and other New York City residents.

Katz spoke before a crowd of more than 1,000 elected officials, city agency commissioners, community leaders and Queens residents in the Kupferberg Center for the Art’s Colden Auditorium at 65-30 Kissena Blvd in Flushing. Actor and model Branden Wellington, who also serves as an in-game host for the Mets, served as master of ceremonies.

“The industries come here because they find things that they can’t find anywhere else in the city,” Katz said, referring to the country’s most ethnically diverse county.

She touted other accomplishments such as the Jamaica Now Action Plan to revitalize Jamaica, her work in helping to save the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the revamping of the Queens Library after former CEO Thomas Galante was placed on indefinite leave for alleged misuse of funds.

She also criticized the Common Core curriculum, presented her plan to get rid of classroom trailers, shared some of her reservations about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rezoning proposals and recognized the late NYPD Officers Brian Moore, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were murdered while on patrol.

At the end of her address, she brought out New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, former player Edgardo Alfonzo and Mets Manager Terry Collins, who led the team into the World Series.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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