Borough President Melinda Katz will be assuming the role of District Attorney come January 1. Shortly thereafter, the mayor will announce a special election, which will likely take place in March 2020. The Borough President weighs in on land use issues, delegates funding for community projects and appoints members to community boards. Here we present, in their own words, the candidates who have confirmed they are running. The only candidate who is not profiled here is National Latino Officers Association Chairman Anthony Miranda who filed with the Board of Elections to run for the position on Nov. 1. He was asked to submit a bio for publication but did not respond. It’s a short campaign, turnout is expected to be light, and as we saw earlier this year, every vote counts. So please do your civic duty and make your voice heard.
Costa Constantinides has represented Western Queens, including his native Astoria, in the New York City Council since 2014. His career has been punctuated by successful efforts to protect the Big Apple against the violent effects of climate change, especially in the last four years as chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection.
Born and raised in Astoria, Costa has spent his entire life in Queens and has fought for a borough that reflects its rich diversity. Whether he’s fighting to close power plants next to public housing, enacting the largest carbon emissions reduction ever mandated by a city, or investing in green spaces, Costa has built a career on developing meaningful policies that improve everyone’s quality of life.
As the next Queens Borough President, he’d build on these efforts to ensure the nearly 2.4 million people who live here aren’t displaced by rising tides or rising rents. He will continue his commitment to sustainable building, boosting the borough’s resiliency, and combating the affordability crisis.
Costa also established his deliverability on these commitments after the New York City Council passed the eight-bill Climate Mobilization Act in April 2019. A single bill in this package mandating large buildings become energy efficient is expected to generate more than 140,000 jobs over the next decade. The package also requires green roofs on new construction, promotes renewable energy within New York City, and begins the process of closing the dirtiest power plants.
Costa is a product of the New York City school system, having graduated from P.S. 84, P.S. 122, and William Cullen Bryant High School. He worked full-time as a KB Toys manager while putting himself through Queens College and Cardozo Law School. Costa still lives in Astoria today with his wife and son.
Elizabeth Crowley stands for bold solutions that address some of Queens’ greatest needs, and for the Borough to finally get the resources that it deserves.
As the first woman ever elected to the 30th New York Council District, Elizabeth served on the City Council for 9 years and has never been afraid to speak truth to power. As Chair of the Fire & Criminal Justice Committee, Elizabeth fought against Mayor Bloomberg’s plan, for three years in a row, to close 20 fire companies — and she won every time.
In the Council, Elizabeth engaged in a public battle with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn following her slush fund scandal to reform the City’s discretionary funding practices. As a result, the Council adopted new rules that guaranteed all City Council districts are given equitable amounts of annual capital funding. While Mayor de Blasio continues to put Queens last, Elizabeth continues the fight to get Queens its fair share.
Elizabeth has always been a strong advocate for better transportation to improve quality of life and to inspire economic mobility. Following a feasibility study Elizabeth had commissioned while serving on the City Council, she founded Friends of the QNS, an advocacy nonprofit organization to reactivate the Lower Montauk Branch of the LIRR for local commuters, under the MTA. The QNS Rail would run from Jamaica to Long Island, serving nearly 7.7mm riders annually.
In 2017, Elizabeth co-founded the 21 in ‘21 Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to empowering women with the tools and resources to run for local office. The goal of 21 in ‘21 is to elect 21 women to local offices by the year 2021.
Elizabeth was born and raised in Queens. She is the 14th of 15 children born to Mary and Walter Crowley, who were both dedicated to community service. Elizabeth and her family, including her two sons Dennis and Owen, live in Glendale. Elizabeth Crowley followed her passion for the arts into college, receiving her Bachelor degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she was a Presidential Scholar and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Prior to being elected to office, Elizabeth worked as a restorative painter on many of New York’s landmarks including Radio City Music Hall, The Central Synagogue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Elizabeth also holds a M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute’s Graduate School of Architecture.
Alicia Hyndman [DROPPED OUT OF RACE 12/30/2019]
Alicia L. Hyndman was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 10, 2015 in the 29th AD in southeast Queens. The daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Assemblywoman Hyndman emigrated to the U.S. from London, England as a young child. She spent her formative years growing up in Hollis & South Ozone Park attending public schools, PS 34, IS 109, JHS 226 & John Adams High School.
Prior to being elected to the State Legislature, Assemblywoman Hyndman worked closely with community stakeholders as an active member of Community Boards 12Q, and 13Q, serving as a member of the Boards’ Education Committees, and also as a regular participant of the Rosedale Civic Association. Leading the advocacy for the 36 elementary and middle schools in the district, through collaborative leadership, she was able to bring in $30 million in capital funding for technology upgrades, facilities improvements, playground rehabilitation and other amenities to enhance the quality of education for students.
Assemblywoman Hyndman’s professional career spans over a decade and a half with the NYS Department of Education as a Senior Professional Conduct Investigator, overseeing trade and vocational schools. Assemblywoman Hyndman also helped create the Long Island Barber Institute which graduated hundreds of Queens residents, allowing them to obtain jobs and become entrepreneurs, and opening dozens of establishments throughout the Borough.
As a longtime community education advocate, Assemblywoman Hyndman will focus heavily on bringing resources and information back into the community to support youth and senior services, alleviate flooding, grow small businesses, and provide access to living wage jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Assemblywoman Hyndman holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Framingham State College, Mass. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She currently resides in Rosedale, Queens with her two lovely daughters Nia and Nyla.
Donovan Richards is a lifelong Queens resident who has represented Southeast Queens in the City Council since 2013. Growing up he lived in Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, and Rosedale, with frequent visits to grandparents who lived in the Rockaways. He attended Jamaica High School and Redemption Christian Academy before studying communications, radio, and TV at Nyack College. He later received a degree in Aviation Management from Vaughn College.
Donovan got his start in politics after the tragic killing of a close friend inspired him to get more involved in his community and join the fight to end gun violence. He worked in numerous positions within the City Council where he connected with the community and developed a hands-on approach to helping constituents. This knowledge has been crucial since being elected to the represent the district he grew up in.
As a fighter for affordable housing, he was proud to serve as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises during his first City Council term. He used this position to fight for rezoning in the Rockaways to increase residential availability as well as commercial and community space, including a new library. He also served as Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection following Super Storm Sandy. Through his position he was able to help secure funding for flood protection to protect Rockaway communities.
Richards has been a steadfast advocate for criminal justice reform, most recently acting as Chair of the Committee on Public Safety.
James Van Bramer
A lifelong resident of Queens, Jimmy Van Bramer was first elected to the New York City Council on November 3, 2009. First reelected in 2013, he was overwhelmingly elected to a third 4-year term on November 7, 2017.
Now serving as Deputy Leader of the City Council, Council Member Van Bramer was reappointed by Speaker Corey Johnson to the Budget Negotiating Team which plays an integral role in formulating the City’s budget to fund critical programs, projects and organizations citywide. Council Member Van Bramer was also reappointed to chair the Council’s Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Committee. As Chair of the committee, he has oversight over 200 libraries and thousands of cultural organizations, institutions and programs throughout New York City. Council Member Van Bramer has led this committee his entire tenure in City Council. During this time, he has fought hard to secure over $1 billion for our City’s libraries and the arts.
Council Member Van Bramer served as the Majority Leader of City Council during his second term in office beginning in January of 2014 and served in the role until the end of the 2017 Council Session.
Council Member Van Bramer is committed to standing up for Queens Values and is leading the resistance in Queens to President Trump’s harmful policies and actions that are in direct contrast with these values.