District 31
Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway

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District 31 - James Sanders
226-18 Merrick Blvd., Queens 11413
City Hall: (212) 788-7216
District: (718) 527-4356
Fax: (718) 471-7014

Committee Assignments:
Economic Development, Chair
Consumer Affairs, member
Fire & Criminal Justice Services, member
Transportation, member
Women's Issues, member

Economic Development for All New Yorkers

By James Sanders

As the chairman of the New York City Council's committee on economic development, I see as one of my primary goals shaping a new development plan that benefits those individuals and businesses with the greatest needs, not merely those whose voices are most easily discernible. In the months ahead, more New Yorkers will seek out public assistance at a time when the city has less revenue to distribute.

The most immediate concern is the monumental task of developing those areas physically and economically devastated by the September 11th attack. That is why I have helped to organize a joint hearing to determine the role of New York City elected officials and community organizations in the awesome task of rebuilding the areas in and around the former World Trade Center site.

Until now, much of the authority over the rebuilding effort has been placed in the hands of the newly formed Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, whose members were chosen by Governor George Pataki and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The administration of current Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the newly elected City Council were not involved in the selection of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation members.

I believe the effectiveness of this group has been diminished from the beginning when the governor and former mayor excluded those elected officials who will be representing New York City residents during the extensive period of rebuilding.

I remain hopeful that the discussion that we begin at the hearing on February 25 will give birth to a structure that provides the residents of New York and their elected officials with a meaningful role in the development process. A good first step would be to permit the current mayor and City Council each to appoint two new members to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Of course downtown Manhattan deserves special attention. However, it would do the city a disservice to neglect worthwhile economic development projects in other areas - particularly in the outer boroughs at this critical time. New York City is blessed with a public transportation system that has enabled multiple "downtowns" to emerge within one municipality. The opportunity to strengthen these outer borough commercial centers must be seized by a city in danger of losing some of its largest employers to New Jersey, Long Island, and other regions. I will do my part to take advantage of these resources and help all of the city's centers to flourish. It is never easy to bring public and private attention to emerging industries or regions. However, small-scale projects throughout the city can often lead to collective improvements that serve all New Yorkers, and local job development can revitalize under-served areas while giving the whole local economy a substantial boost.

In an effort to shift the spotlight, the City Council's economic development committee has encouraged its members to hold roundtable discussions in each of their districts, one roundtable per month. Some council members have decided to focus on issues of personal interest that also have citywide affects. Recently, Brooklyn Councilmember Yvette Clarke held the first roundtable to discuss programs to help minority and women in business. Other members will explore local issues; like Staten Island Councilmember James Oddo whose roundtable in April will focus on the development of the west shore of Staten Island.

I intend to hold a roundtable at John F. Kennedy Airport, which is located in my district, to examine the effects of 9/11 on the tourism and travel industries. These roundtables will enable committee members to view first hand the problems and solutions of concern to their fellow members. And they will give New Yorkers the opportunity to see the council at work.

I encourage all New Yorkers to view the committee on economic development as a potential venue for their relevant ideas and concerns. Together we will develop New York for all New Yorkers.

James Sanders Jr. represents the 31st City Council district. Updated February 25, 2002.

Community Boards for District 31
Community Board No. 10
115-01 Lefferts Blvd., So. Ozone Park, NY 11420
(718) 843-4488
Ms. Elizabeth Braton, Chair
Ms. Rose Pepe, District Manager
Community Board No. 12
90-28 161st St., Jamaica, NY 11432
(718) 658-3308
Mr. James Davis, Chair
Ms. Yvonne Reddick, District Manager
Community Board No. 13
Queen Reform Church
219-41 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428
(718) 464-9700
Mr. Richard Hellenbretch, Chair
Ms. Sally Martino-Fisher, District Manager
Community Board No. 14
1931 Mott Ave., Rm. 311, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
(718) 471-7300
Ms. Rosemary Murray, Chair
Mr. Jonathan L. Gaska, District Manager

Community Plans for District 31 (PDF format)
Waterfront Revitalization and Access Plan ? (Arverne Working Committee)

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

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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)