With the Astoria Ferry Landing and NYCHA Astoria Houses serving as a backdrop, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney endorsed each other for reelection on Friday, May 21. They also laid out a plan for the future of the “World’s Borough.”
Richards, who is seeking reelection for Queens Borough President after winning the seat vacated by now Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, pointed to the Astoria Houses behind him and underlined how the COVID-19 exacerbated the issues ailing underserved communities. He said that it was time to not only rebuild the borough, but to reimagine a better Queens.
“You see the Astoria Houses, a development that has sorely needed investment, a development made up of some of the greatest and best people in this city, but who live in squalor, who live in conditions unworthy of who they are,” Richards said.
He noted that a ZIP code should not determine the level of education nor access to health care, public transportation and quality housing.
Referring to longtime Congresswoman Maloney, Richards, who’s facing five challengers for the borough president seat in the June 22 Primary, stressed that it was imperative to have strong, experienced partners in Congress who fight for their constituents and ensure their districts receive a fair share from the Biden administration’s infrastructure package.
“There’s a real opportunity to bring $80 billion down to the local level in this next infrastructure package and we need to be at the forefront of this conversation. It needs to be looked at through an equity lens, and I am happy to have a firm partner and ensuring in this part of Queens that we’re going to deliver for the people who need it the most,” Richards said. “We need people in leadership who continuously delivered for these communities. I believe [Maloney] is going to be a firm partner, moving into the future.”
Congresswoman Maloney said that she was Richard’s federal partner and has worked with him on issues such as a skilled trades pilot program, which is meant to decentralize the work order for NYCHA developments like Astoria Houses, Ravenswood Houses and Queensbridge Houses, making repairs timelier and more efficient.
The chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, who is currently facing Astoria activist Rana Abdelhamid in the race for Congress in 2022, also hopes they can make the Astoria Houses pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic a permanent fixture.
Maloney said she’s endorsing Richards based on “his record of getting things done” and for making “people his top priority.”
“What can I say? Not only does he get the job done, he’s just a very, very nice person,” Maloney said. “I would say that a vote for Donovan is a vote for yourself. It’s a vote to Queens!”