District 29
Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park

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District 29 - Melinda Katz
104-01 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens 11375
City Hall: (212) 788-6981
District: (718) 544-8800
Fax: (718) 544-4452

Committee Assignments:
Land Use, Chair
Housing & Buildings, member
Public Safety, member
Rules/ Privileges & Elections, member
Standards & Ethics, member

Rebuilding All Five Boroughs

By Melinda Katz

As the newly appointed chair of the City Council's land use committee, I am aware of the challenges facing New York as we try to rebuild lower Manhattan and the rest of the city. In the next few years, the City Council has a great opportunity to do some much needed work.

First, we have to rebuild the World Trade Center site in a way that respects the lives of those we lost there. In addition to some kind of memorial, it is also important to come up with an overall economic plan for the area. We need to decide what kind of industries we want to foster, what the office space need is, what kind of residential needs there are, and what kind of retail stores are going to be needed. Most importantly, there needs to be a coordinated effort to make sure that once again lower Manhattan thrives.

We are already losing jobs at an alarming rate as companies move out of the city or to the New York suburbs, Long Island, and New Jersey. We have to instill confidence that New York can rebuild and create incentives to make sure that corporations that provide tax revenues stay in the city. We must also recognize the boroughs of Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx in our rebuilding efforts. There is a lot of potential in the other four boroughs and a lot of places where economic and real estate development is needed. As chair of the land use committee, I am going to try to listen to the individual council members and learn about the specific needs of their districts and take into account what they have to say.

Finding sites for new pubic schools is also an important task of the land use committee. In Queens, we need room for 20,000 new seats just to handle the students we already have. And even with our current plans to build new schools, that number is expected to grow to 25,000 in the next few years. In the area I represent, District 29, we are trying to site three schools on Metropolitan Avenue so the children have the classrooms and desks they need. In addition to new school construction, we also need to lease and make use of existing buildings in the area to alleviate overcrowding.

Currently, the federal government is not giving us one dime for new school construction. We are educating every child who comes into New York, as we should be, but we also have to make sure we have the facilities here to house them. The city should also be receiving more money from the state. Last year, State Supreme Court Judge DeGrasse ruled that the state education funding system was unconstitutional and denied our students their right to a good education. It is clear that we deserve our fair share, and we must fight for it.

With regard to education at the city level, everyone says to me, "We have a tight budget this year, we might not be able to afford it." The fact is, in order to educate our children in the right way, we are going to have to spend the money. They do it on Long Island. They do it upstate. We need to build new schools, and we need to fund the programs that make schools work. I grew up in a cultural family -- my father was the conductor of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, and I believe that arts education is imperative. Children must also learn from after-school programs, from arts curriculum, from physical education programs, and from music programs.

In my district, another concern I have is the safety of Queen's Boulevard where 76 people have died since 1993. In recent months, there have been some good changes made. There are new lights on 62nd Street and a shorter amount of distance for pedestrians to walk across the street. We have also added more intersections so that people no longer need to walk several blocks before crossing the streets in most of the major areas. In the long run, the entire boulevard needs to be redesigned and reconstructed. Until that happens, I will continue working to make Queens Boulevard safer for the millions of people who use it everyday.

Melinda Katz represent s City Council district 29 in Queens. Updated February 11, 2002.

Community Boards for District 29
Community Board No. 4
104-03 Corona Ave., Corona, NY 11368
(718) 760-3141
Mr. Richard Italiano, Chair
Ms. Rose Rothschild, District Manager
Community Board No. 5
61-23 Myrtle Ave., Glendale, NY 11385
(718) 366-1834
Mr. Frank Principe, Chair
Mr. Gary Giordano, District Manager
Community Board No. 9
Queens Borough Hall
120-55 Queens Blvd., Rm. 310A, Kew Gardens, NY 11424
(718) 286-2686
Mr. Paul Sapienza, Chair
Ms. Mary Ann Carey, District Manager

Community Plans for District 29 (PDF format)
197-c plan (Queens Community Board 6)

Ethnic Makeup and Political Registration

Ethnic Makeup

Political Registration

Public Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

To find out what school district you live in, call the Board of Education at 718-935-2000 or link to Public School Reports

Police Precincts

Although many precincts cover areas solely within one City Council district, there are many which overlap with other districts. In most cases the overlap of precincts among districts is no more than a few blocks. Wherever there is overlap, we have made sure to alert you.

City Parks
Click thumbnail for larger image of parks in this district

Learn more about the condition of the city parks in your district at the New Yorkers for Parks (PDF file).

Community Gardens

Click for larger image
Find out more about community gardens from
the Council on the Environment of New York City

Historic Districts and Landmarks
Learn more about the historic districts and landmarks in this area.

The Waterfront

map listing suggestions for use and improvement of the waterfront in this district from the Metropolitan Waterfront
Alliance. (pdf format only)