Elected in 2012, Melinda Katz is the 19th Borough President of Queens County and is the third consecutive woman to be elected to the position, following in the footsteps of Helen Marshall, and one of her mentors, Claire Shulman.
Katz served in the State Assembly from 1994 to 1999, representing Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village and Glendale. During her time there, she wrote and passed 16 laws including Kendall’s Law, which helps prosecutors pursue long-term and repeated cases of child abuse. She was also chair of the Assembly’s Urban Health Sub-Committee.
The current Borough President then got a taste of the office she now holds, serving as director of Community Boards under Shulman. Among her duties during that time were planning economic development projects for the Borough, and designating sites for city facilities.
Katz was elected to the City Council, representing Forest Hills, Rego Park and Kew Gardens from 2002 to 2009. She was chair of the coveted Land Use Committee in the Council, creating over 15,000 units of affordable housing during that time. She also petitioned for zoning measures that paved the way for many development projects in all five Boroughs.
Katz’s father, David, founded and conducted, the Queens Symphony Orchestra. Her mother, Jeanne, created the Queens Council for the Arts.