Queens Leaders Reflect On John Liu


From the City Council to the Comptroller’s Office, John Liu has had an impact on not just Flushing or Queens, but New York City as a whole.

During his time in public office, Liu has influenced many of Queens’ community leaders and elected officials, some directly and some through his actions. As he wraps up his time as Comptroller, some of these individuals looked back on the job he has done and how he has changed Flushing and the City for the better.

John Liu has made a lot of friends within the Flushing community, the area he represented in the City Council.

John Liu has made a lot of friends within the Flushing community, the area he represented in the City Council.

One of the biggest impacts Liu has had in Flushing was his work in spearheading the creation of the Flushing Business Improvement District. The BID’s executive director, Dian Yu, thought Liu did a “fantastic” job as Comptroller, and that he changed the face of Flushing with his successful push to create a BID in the neighborhood.

“I think he played the crucial role in forming the Flushing BID. He was the one who strongly pushed for it,” Yu said. “He had a vision of what the BID could be. The community will be forever indebted to him for what he did.”

Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) took over the seat that Liu held in District 20, before he became Comptroller. Since they first met, Koo said he has seen Liu as a dedicated and energetic man who did his best to help his community.

“His passion for Flushing and for New York City in general was incomparable to any dedication I had seen in the past. His love for his community only grew as he served the community, and then, the City,” Koo said.

The councilman also praised Liu’s work as Comptroller, giving him top marks for his work in saving the City money.

“Liu has done a wonderful job as Comptroller, and if I had to review his work personally, I would only be able to give him the highest grade possible,” he said. “His influential work in shutting down the CityTime program has saved the City millions of dollars over the past few years.”

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) got his start in public service in then-Councilman Liu’s office, working on quality of life issues in downtown Flushing. Kim said that Liu’s determination and dedication to helping the community has not wavered at all during his career.

“When I first met him as an intern back in 2002, I found him to be extremely passionate and tenacious toward his work,” Kim said. “As Comptroller, he brought the same type of hard work ethics as when he was a councilmember. He was visible in every single community. He truly reflected the voice of the outer borough communities.”

One of Liu’s longtime supporters has been State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), who first met him when he was president of the North Flushing Civic Association. The senator said that Liu’s continued awareness of social issues helped make him a good Comptroller.

“Although his main role as Comptroller was to be the City’s fiscal manager, he also worked on social issues that are important to everyday people,” she said. “I hope that one day he returns to government where his talent for public service can be put to good use.”

Christopher Kui, the executive director of Asian Americans for Equality, applauded Liu for his role as an Asian-American leader in a citywide position, as well as for his work in bringing together diverse communities to create change.

“Through my time working on the [transportation] committee, he’s been a great mentor and advisor to me in quality of life and transportation issues for downtown Flushing,” Kui said. “John was a trailblazer not only for the Asian-American community, but the entire City.”

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125,, or @Joey788.