A ‘dyed-in-the-wool Queens guy’ named commissioner of Community Affairs Unit

Woodside's Roberto Perez is named Commissioner of the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. (Photo courtesy of the mayor's office)

A longtime Woodside resident will lead the city’s Community Affairs Unit supporting the COVID-19 vaccination efforts across the five boroughs.

Roberto Perez was appointed commissioner of the CAU, where he will be tasked with connecting city resources to communities, especially those that were most impacted during the pandemic, as well as deepening the relationship between the NYPD and neighborhoods.

Perez served as deputy commissioner of the 20-person team during the first de Blasio administration. His prior position was at the Department of Education, where he was senior executive director of intergovernmental affairs.

“It’s an honor to come back to CAU to lead a group of talented and committed city workers who are the face and voice of this administration in each part of the city,” Perez said. “One of the mandates of government is to be accessible to people, and we will continue following that mandate every day at our unit to build and strengthen our commitment with all New Yorkers.”

A native New Yorker and Queens resident for nearly 40 years, Perez is known for his broad knowledge of the social and political issues impacting neighborhoods across the city, a talent he showed hosting a political affairs talk show called “Perez Notes” at LaGuardia Community College.

“The word community should mean listening and learning from New Yorkers,” Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan said. “That defines all my experiences with Roberto Perez, who I have known since he had a community radio show at LaGuardia Community College. He led people through listening to them, deeply and always with compassion and a love of New York.”

Councilman Daniel Dromm has known Perez even longer than Nolan has.

“I am especially pleased that Roberto Perez, a former student of mine at P.S. 199Q has been appointed to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit,” Dromm said. “I have had the pleasure of working closely with him throughout my tenure in the Council. He is a consummate professional and is dedicated to uplifting all of NYC’s diverse communities, particularly the underserved.”

Perez also worked at the School Construction Authority.

“I’ve seen firsthand his leadership and responsiveness to the needs and values of communities of color,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “Utilizing his vast policy knowledge and decades of experience serving New Yorkers, Roberto will no doubt serve well in his new role as commissioner.”

Councilman Costa Constantinides added his endorsement.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Roberto since his days at the Perez Notes at LaGuardia Community College,” Constantinides recalled. “He is a dyed-in-the-wool Queens guy who has worked tirelessly to solve problems in our communities.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo was among the many elected officials from across the borough hailing the Perez appointment.

“Not only does he bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position, but he is a Queens native so we know he will get the job done,” Addabbo said. “With Roberto’s guidance, I know our local communities will be on the road to recovery from COVID-19.”

Councilman Francisco Moya, who represents the neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the coronavirus last spring including Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona, where he is a lifelong resident, welcomed the appointment.

“As a resident of one of the most diverse places in the world and with the neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic, Roberto Perez will bring firsthand government experience to support out COVID recovery and vaccination efforts,” Moya said. “I congratulate Roberto on his appointment and look forward to partnering with him in his role as Community Affairs Unit commissioner.”

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