By Bill Parry
Borough President Melinda Katz announced Tuesday the appointment of Sharon Lee to replace Melva Miller as deputy borough president effective, Saturday, Nov. 17.
Lee had served as Katz’s communications director since November 2014.
“Sharon has been a trusted member of my senior leadership team for years and I could not think of a more prepared or knowledgeable person to serve as Deputy Borough President,” Katz said. “Her vast experience in New York City government, her deep relationships across the full spectrum of Queens communities and her passion for inclusion, equal opportunity, fairness and justice will prove invaluable for the future and direction of our great borough.”
Lee has played an integral role in driving the Katz administration’s top priorities and initiatives, including the restoration of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial of Queens, the Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan, and the redevelopment of Willets Point, LaGuardia Airport and Kennedy Airport.
Lee also directed and authored Katz’s four state of the borough addresses, a series of Know Your Rights Weeks, and she also had input on Katz’s public positions on issues ranging from immigration, hate crimes, education, governance, and public works.
“It’s an honor to be appointed by Borough President Katz and to follow in the footsteps of Deputy Borough President Miller,” Lee said. “I am humbled by their confidence and this new opportunity to serve. The future of New York is Queens, and I share Borough President Katz’s vision and commitment to empowering the many global communities that call Queens ‘home.”
Before joining Katz’s team, Lee served as senior advisor and press secretary for former city Comptroller John Liu, where she was an integral member of the team that identified and exposed the fraud and mismanagement of the infamous City Time case, which ultimately led to the recoupment of a historic $500 million for the city of New York.
During her time as deputy borough president, Miller designed and led the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, a stakeholder-driven strategy to increase quality employment, economic diversity and financial security in downtown Jamaica, resulting in $153 million in public investment and nearly $1.5 billion in private investment. She was deputy borough president since February 2015 when she succeeded Leroy Comrie.
“Deputy Miller’s ideas, professionalism, charisma and ability to execute have been tremendous assets to my administration,” Katz said. “Not only has she been a fierce advocate for the 2.35 million residents of Queens, she is an intelligent, passionate person and a good friend. Miller made an indelible impact by driving smart, equitable growth of neighborhoods across the borough from Long Island City to Flushing to Jamaica to the Rockaways. For her service and devotion, the entire borough is bettered and grateful.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr