Following her official inauguration last week, the 48-year-old Forest Hills native received hopeful approval from nearly every elected politician and civic leader from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who officiated the swearing in, Congressman Joseph Crowley, who reportedly made peace with de Blasio after a quarrel over now-Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – also in attendance – and Senator Charles Shumer.
As she held her hand over her father’s copy of the Old Testament, eyes gazed towards the Lefrak Concert Hall stage at Queens College with hope and expectations for the future of the borough.
Transportation advocates looked with anticipation for the revival of the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail line, while park advocates expect support for green space with a new 3.5-mile greenway.
Parents and educators looked on with hope that the new borough president would focus on education and secure jobs for tenured teachers, fight for after-school programs and ensure a brighter future for the students.
Civic leaders await smarter development in their communities and a unified battle against lobbyists who might not necessarily have the community’s best interests at heart.
Prior to her election, Katz had unveiled plans including a high-tech economy, a push to rebrand the borough with mix-used district,s and hiring requirements for rebuilding projects on the Sandy-devastated waterfront.
Although borough presidents have a limited capital budget and must rely on their grandiose title to get support for game-changing legislation, with her background as the head of the City Council’s Land Use Committee, and years of experience, maybe this cheerleader has more than just a pom-pom up her sleeve.
While it is certain that she cannot please every corner of the wide-eyed spectators at Queens College that night, Katz can however start with what she knows best.
Her first order of business, if she hasn’t already started, should be to leverage as much support from the inside, her former Council cohorts, and create a unified vision for the future of Queens.