Council members Nantasha Williams and Linda Lee were elected to serve as co-chairs of the Queens delegation to the City Council by their colleagues on Friday. The duo will replace former Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who chaired the delegation from 2015 to 2021, when she was term-limited out of office.
The new leadership team will lead the delegation’s budget negotiations during the city’s discretionary budget process for Fiscal Year 2023. Under Koslowitz last year, the Queens delegation helped secure more than $20 million in funding for capital projects across the borough.
The Queens delegation secured and distributed $540,000 last year in discretionary funding to various nonprofit, community-based organizations as part of the city’s Boroughwide Needs Initiative, which provided funds for neighborhood beautification and sanitation projects, entrepreneurial and technological training programs and educational programs for Queens schools. The delegation also allocated $1.1 million to more than 50 organizations to support individual food pantry programs.
Williams and Lee were elected in November and said they were proud to serve as co-chairs of the delegation.
Lee represents the 23rd District in Eastern Queens and she was recently appointed as chair of the Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Addictions and Disabilities. Prior to becoming the first Korean-American ever elected to the City Council, Lee served as the president and CEO of Korean Community Services.
“In Queens, we find strength in our unity and our diversity,” Lee said. “Throughout the borough, we have so many different communities, priorities and needs, yet we recognize that we can only achieve these things by working together. As co-chair of this delegation, I promise to lead with fairness, open-mindedness and equity for all, and will cherish the trust placed in me by my colleagues.”
Williams represents District 27 in southeast Queens and was appointed chair of the Committee on Civil and Human Rights. She also served as a leader for the SEQ Wellness Ambassador Initiative, leading her team during the first wave of COVID-19 to provide wellness checks in lieu of senior center closures. Williams also served as the project manager for M/WBE Compliance and helped initiate community outreach efforts for the JFK Redevelopment Program.
“Working together will strengthen our distinct bonds and showcase the importance of partnership and diversity presented in our districts,” Williams said. “I believe in an equitable distribution of funds for all districts and finding common ground within the delegation while respecting our differences and respective decisions. I am committed to collaboration to help bring change to our communities and eager to foster relationships with my colleagues in government as co-chair of the Queens delegation.”