Now that the voters have spoken, newly elected Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is laying out her plans for the future. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
A day after her landslide win, Melinda Katz spent time with her family, but her mind is also on the future of the borough.
"My vision is to have a borough that folks all over the world say, 'I did not see New York City unless I've been to the borough of Queens,'" she said.
Katz was born and raised in Forest Hills. She served on the City Council and the state Assembly. She's the third consecutive woman to hold the position, and she's doing it as a mom raising two children.
"I love the combination. I think that being borough president and making sure this borough is where my children want to raise their children," she said.
NY1's Road To City Hall Commentator Curtis Sliwa is the father of their two boys and Katz's companion.
"I'm sitting at home, I'm saying, 'Curtis Sliwa, sitting at home, domesticated because Melinda Katz is becoming Queens borough president," he said. "This can't be real."
Katz succeeds three-term BP Helen Marshall, who was term limited from running again. Some have charged that Marshall didn't do enough to move the borough forward, but Katz wouldn't go there.
"Helen has done a lot in capital funding for a lot of the parks and a lot of the schools in the borough of Queens," Katz said. "I have a vision as well to build upon a lot of that. My vision includes economic development for the borough of Queens so you don't have to go over a bridge or under a tunnel to get a job."
Despite Katz's upbringing in Forest Hills, she said she's looking forward to serving and uplifting all the neighborhoods of Queens.
"There should be high-tech industry in Long Island City," she said. "We should be building hotels and retail in Jamaica. We need to build the Rockaways better than they were before."
Queens has more than 2 million residents who speak 160 different languages. Katz said that she looks forward to giving all of them a voice.