Queens’ business leaders, cultural organizations and elected officials will travel to Albany on May 8 for the inaugural Queens Day, during which they will advocate for the borough to get its long-overdue share.
We applaud Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Chamber of Commerce for finally putting together an event that will showcase Queens in Albany. Queens Day will give state leaders a better understanding of the borough’s needs, diverse culture and tourism opportunities. But the day will also showcase the borough’s educational institutions, food and cultural sites.
Queens’ leaders have pointed out that the borough is ready to be considered for large-scale developments— for example, the recent rumor that the New York Islanders were considering a move to the borough or the long-gestating plans to develop Willets Point. And elected officials representing Queens have said that the borough is overdue for school aid and better funding for hospitals. These are all good ideas.
On May 8, the message in Albany should be loud and clear that Queens’ time has come. And we believe it would behoove all of the borough’s various development corporations, business improvement districts, elected officials, stakeholders, business leaders and cultural institutions to get involved. As has been said, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Queens is the most diverse county on the planet, where approximately 138 languages are spoken. It’s also the second-most-populous borough in New York City.
But Queens is often overlooked. An expense-and-budget-priorities report released earlier this year by the Queens Borough Board found that the borough consistently ranked last or second to last in a majority of city services, including affordable housing, services for seniors, cultural institutions, children’s services and schools.
Queens Day will be a great opportunity to get the word out that a borough with such a diverse population has a wide variety of needs, but also has great potential to give back to the state in the years to come.