I’m thrilled that my friend and colleague Dennis Walcott has been named the Queen Tribune “Queens Person of the Year.” I first met Dennis many years ago, when I worked for the Queens Library. He and his wife were instrumental in organizing the first-ever Friends Of group for the library in Cambria Heights, and we have known each other ever since. When he was tapped to lead the Queens Library this year, I knew the organization was in steady and capable hands.
I had worked with Dennis when he was the deputy mayor for education and the schools chancellor. While we didn’t agree on every issue, he was always honest, accessible and a pleasure to work with.
As the chair of the City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries, and someone who is passionate about the power libraries have to transform lives, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dennis on a number of library projects in his new role.
Together, we fought to baseline city funding for six-day library service in all five boroughs, which means we can count on visiting our libraries six days per week for years to come.
I have also been fortunate to work with Dennis Walcott on overseeing the construction of our brand-new $38-million Hunters Point Library. This library, which will quickly become a New York City landmark, will fill a much-needed void in library service along the Long Island City waterfront, and serve as a beautiful beacon of all that Queens has to offer. Last summer, Dennis and I celebrated the topping off of the Hunters Point Library, and I look forward to cutting the ribbon with him in the spring.
Dennis has been a great friend of Queens. I wish to congratulate him once more on being named the Queens Tribune “Queens Person of the Year,” and look forward to working with him to make our libraries and our borough even better. Like me, Dennis Walcott lives Queens—completely.