Council Member Joann Ariola secures $31 Million for Queens District 32 in NYC budget

Council Member Joann Ariola secured $31 million in city council for District 32 neighborhoods.
Photo courtesy of Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit

Queens City Council Member Joann Ariola, representing City Council District 32 residents, has secured $31 million in funding as part of the recently approved New York City Council budget for fiscal year 2025. 

The councilwoman steered millions of dollars to help maintain vital services and organizations this year in her expansive district, which includes Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Glendale, Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Woodhaven

Ariola, while acknowledging her Republican minority status, attributes her budgetary success to engaging with the community and maintaining ongoing proactive relationships with city entities. 

“Those relationships really are based on accountability. It’s my job to have the relationship but also hold them accountable,” Ariola told QNS. “And they understand that they know that I’m not asking anything for myself; I’m asking for my constituents.”

Ariola’s budgetary triumph includes millions for enhancing older adult programs, schools, public safety efforts and local volunteer organizations. 

For instance, three Glendale schools are getting a combined $500,000 from the funding round for advanced media rooms, better technology and structural upgrades like new water fountains and bathrooms. 

The redistricting of city council lines across Queens last year allowed Ariola to take the lead as the legislative representative for the neighborhood. 

“I focused a lot in Glendale and Woodhaven because those were my pickup areas,” Ariola explained, emphasizing the importance of adequate legislative leadership in Queens. 

An effort to visit schools in the district also played a key role in deciding where the taxpayer money was spent.

“I went there and learned a lot,” Ariola said. “We’re all about getting to know the people and having a relationship, because if you don’t have a relationship with your schools, you don’t have a relationship with your civics.”

One educational program that gained special attention from the Queens council member is Inside Broadway, a non-profit organization that provides schools with a performance arts education curriculum for a wide range of age groups from K to 12th grade. 

Ariola shared that the $80,000 allotted to the Inside Broadway program will allow schools to embed performing arts into their curriculum. 

Funding was also allocated for services for older adults, including senior centers and programs aimed at helping seniors adapt to modern life.

Ariola secured a total of $110,000 for aging services, with over $5,000 designated for senior centers in Howard Beach, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and other areas in her district.

Graffiti removal and street clean-up initiatives in the district have been awarded nearly $280,000.

The funds are distributed to nonprofit organizations that have already been actively working to remove graffiti and litter in Ariola’s district, including the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Center for Employment Opportunities.

Law enforcement remained a top priority for Ariola, with community safety and domestic violence programs from the 100th, 102nd, 104th and 106th NYPD precincts each receiving $25,000 from the budget.

Volunteer-based organizations, including local pet rescues, are also marked to receive $5,000 each to help their causes. Ariola has prioritized helping pet rescue organizations in her district with donation events.

A $6 million project to build a skate park in Broad Channel has been funded, according to information from the councilwoman’s office.

Ariola noted that deciding how city council funds are allocated can often be challenging. She said the process of determining where the funds go often comes from looking at the past and analyzing how each recipient spent their funding. 

“It’s important to me to make sure that the constituents realize that as their representative in the city council, it’s my job to make sure that their money is being spent wisely,” Ariola said, recognizing that taxpayer dollars are the backbone of city council funds. 

At the end of June, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams agreed on a $112.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2025, amid growing tensions between the governing bodies. 

The agreed budget restored vital services, including funding for New York City Public Libraries and the Department of Education, but gaps remain for these resources to address.

Ariola’s efforts in District 32 are part of a more significant effort from city council members across the five boroughs to enhance and maintain services for community members.