BY BROOKE SMITH 

Joseph Risi is the chairman of Community Board 1 serving the Astoria, Long Island City and Queensbridge area. The community board’s role is to monitor the quality of services provided by various agencies, conduct public hearings to submit to elected officials, and monitor the allocation of funds earmarked for community development. Risi is honored to serve such a vibrant and diverse community with an active and participating community board. “I am fortunate to have such a board composed of skillful, talented members to assist making our community board the number one in Queens.” Their focus is to make the community’s interests first and foremost. This requires responding and acting on the community’s complaints.

MOTIVATION TO CONTRIBUTE TO COMMUNITY: Risi’s volunteer work with Community Board 1 provides the platform necessary to make a difference in his community. This type of service rewards him with the satisfaction that he can make the community better. He encourages everyone to consider public service and get involved in their community.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Risi’s biggest challenge is making the community aware of what the board can offer and how they can assist residents with their services or discuss the lack thereof. This requires reaching out to different community organizations to voice the complaints of residents. “A lot of members don’t know the important role the community board has and how they can assist with problems and issues they may have. The community board can replace many of the common calls made about issues like potholes or sidewalks with snow that need to be plowed.” To get the message out, the board works to keep people abreast and updated via Internet.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Joseph Risi was born in Astoria, New York. He attended St. John’s University where he received his bachelor’s degree in government. He went on to obtain his doctorate degree at Widener University School of Law.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Risi began his legal career as a principal law assistant at the New York State Unified Court System. He began his private practice in Astoria where he currently practices as an attorney at Risi & Associates. He has been admitted to the United States Supreme Court, United States Tax Court, United States Military Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division 2nd Department. He is the past president of the Queens County Bar Association and the Long Island City Lawyers, member of the Columbian Lawyers Association, counsel to the United Civic Community Association, board member of the U.S. Selective Service System, member of the Queens Aviation Advisory Committee, counsel to Shareing and Careing Breast Cancer Support Services and chairman of Community Board 1. He also served as counsel to the late Senator George Onorato for 22 years.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Risi’s greatest accomplishment is being happily married with three adult children. He is also proud of the skill set his board has and the privilege he has of working with them.

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