→ The following evaluation was conducted for the Special Election for Queens Borough President, scheduled for March 24, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was first postponed and then canceled in an Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo. Voters will choose between the same group of candidates, minus one, in the Primary Election. Citizens Union has maintained its evaluation for the Primary Election.
Donovan Richards ★ Preferred Candidate
Occupation: New York City Council Member
Education: Aviation Management from Vaughn College of Aeronautics
Candidate Website: https://www.richardsforqueens.com/
Donovan Richards currently serves as the New York City Council Member for the 31st district, encompassing much of Southeast Queens, including the Rockaways. While a Council Member, Richards has been the chair of several committees, including the Committee on Public Safety, the Committee on Environmental Protection, and the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. If elected, Richards’s top priorities for the Queens Borough President’s office are to improve affordable housing, advance criminal justice reform, protect and expand immigrant rights, and to fix public transport. While a Council Member, Richards’ main accomplishments have been securing $1.5 billion in sewer infrastructure funding for the district and securing $288 million in investments for rezoning in Far Rockaway, a historically disenfranchised neighborhood in the city. Due to Richards’ long list of accomplishments in his district, his use of data in problem-solving, and the depth of his understanding of land-use and vision for equitable development in Queens, Citizens Union endorses him for Queens Borough President.
Occupation: New York City Council Member
Education: Queens College, B.A.; Cardozo School of Law, J.D.
Candidate Website: https://www.votecosta.com/
Costa Constantinides currently serves as the New York City Council Member for the 22nd district, which encompasses Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside. Constantinides’ campaign focuses on his work with climate change and environmental reform in Queens. He has been the Chair of the Environmental Protection Committee since 2015, and throughout his term as a Council Member championed initiatives on climate change, housing, and education. In 2016, he procured $30 million to help renovate Astoria Park and has committed to creating 500 units of affordable senior housing by 2021. If elected, Constantinides’ top priorities for the Queens Borough President’s position are to appoint a Deputy Borough President for Sustainability, begin putting solar panels on all City buildings that could accommodate them, and fight the current MTA redesign of the current bus network in Queens. While Citizens Union has endorsed Council Member Constantinides in past elections and was inspired by his vision for a greener Queens, Citizens Union believed that other candidates were more suited to the position.
Occupation: Former New York City Council Member
Education: SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology, B.A.; Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, M.S.
Candidate Website: https://elizabethcrowley.com/
Elizabeth Crowley is a former New York City Council Member for the 30th district, which encompasses Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, and Woodside. She lost her re-election in 2017 by a razor-thin margin of 137 votes. Crowley’s campaign revolves around her experience as a Council Member and Queens native. During her time as a Council Member, Crowley was Chair of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services and led a citywide effort to save firehouses and improve the city’s 911 call-taking system. She also called for the removal of 16 and 17 year-olds from Rikers Island. If elected, Crowley’s top priorities for the Queens Borough President’s office are to get a larger share of city funds for the borough, expand transportation options throughout the borough, and increase arts funding. While Citizens Union has preferred former Council Member Crowley in past elections, and is impressed by her long political career and commitment to Queens, we believe that there are other candidates who are more poised to lead in this position.
Occupation: Executive Chair, National Latino Officers Association; Retired Sergeant, NYPD Sergeant
Education: New York City College of Technology, A.A.; John Jay College of Criminal Justice B.A.
Candidate Website: https://www.miranda4queens.com/
Anthony Miranda is a retired NYPD sergeant running his fourth political campaign. If elected, this would be Miranda’s first time holding a public office. Miranda’s election campaign centers on his long history of law enforcement experience, affinity for progressive activist groups, and its grassroots style. Miranda is the founder and chairperson of the National Latino Officers Association, which aims to promote and amplify Latino culture in both public and private agencies, with an emphasis on law enforcement communities. Miranda’s top priorities for the Queens Borough President office if elected are to expand public housing in the borough, ensure that Borough Presidents have a seat on the MTA board, reform and regulate taxis and Ride-Sharing companies, and advocate for NYC workers and public projects. While Citizens Union has evaluated and preferred Miranda in the past, and appreciates his commitment to reform and local issues, we believe that his level of experience is inadequate for this position.
Candidate could not be reached in time for this evaluation.