Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Gotham Votes 2013

Queens Borough President

The office of borough president was created at the time of the consolidation of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island into the City of Greater New York in 1898. The idea of borough president, the charter said, was to preserve "local pride and affection." But the presidents' heyday drew to an end in 1989 when the Board of Estimate was eliminated and their powers diminished. Today, the borough presidents make a few appointments, chair the borough boards, and oversee the delivery of services in their boroughs. They can also propose legislation in City Council. (Adapted from "Being Borough President," Gotham Gazette, 2005)


Aurelio Arcabascio

Aurelio Tony Arcabascio (R,C)

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Biography: Arcabascio was raised in Queens and attended Queens public schools. He has degrees from Mercyhurst College and CUNY. He entered the world of business where his works in the technology industry and has never been in politics before.


Everly Brown

Everly Brown (C)

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Biography: None.



Melinda Katz (D)

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Biography: A native of Queens, Melinda Katz attended city public schools and graduated from the University of Massachusetts and St. John's University School of Law. After working for a major law firm, she was elected to the State Assembly in 1994 and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1998. In 2001, Katz was elected to City Council,where she chairs the Land Use Committee. She and her son live in Queens.



Peter Vallone Jr. (D)

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Biography: Born in 1961, Peter F. Vallone Jr. was elected to the City Council in 2001. He serves as the chair of the Public Safety Committee and has emerged as a vocal fighter of graffiti and supporter of the Police Department. His father is a former City Council speaker. Vallone, who represents Astoria, will be term limited in 2013.

Dropped Out


Tony Avella (D, WF, I)

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Biography: A lifelong Queens resident, Tony Avella was born in 1951 and graduated from Hunter College. He worked as an aide to a number of city officials, including former City Councilmember Peter Vallone Sr. and Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins. Avella was a member of Queens Community Board 7. In 2001 he was elected to the City Council. In 2009, he decided not to sek re-election and instead seek the Democratic nomination for mayor. He lost that bid to William Thompson Jr. In 2010 he was elected to the New York State Senate.


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