You are reading

Borough President Richards endorses Queens DA Katz for re-election

Mar. 3, 2023 By Bill Parry

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards endorsed the re-election campaign of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz Thursday, March 2.

As a city councilman, Richards chaired the Public Safety Committee, where he pushed for a fair justice system, often working with Katz while she served as Queens borough president.

“For me, Queens public safety is personal. I grew up in southeast Queens and got involved in politics when a close friend of mine as a teenager lost his life to gun violence,” Richards said. “Melinda Katz has served the residents of Queens diligently as their district attorney and I know her dedication to public safety is just as fervent as mine.”

In recent weeks, Katz has gained the support of organized labor unions, including the Uniformed Firefighters Association, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), 32BJ SEIU, the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council, 1199SEIU and many others.

“It is an honor to receive the support of Borough President Donovan Richards, a tireless advocate for the public,” Katz said. “This endorsement means so much to me, as the borough president has always remained a critical voice for New Yorkers in the arena of criminal justice. I look forward to working with the borough president for four more years, as we continue to make Queens a safer place to live, work and raise a family.”

Katz will face a challenge in the June 27 Democratic primary from Douglaston resident George Grasso, 65, who resigned as administrative judge for criminal matters for Queens Supreme Court in August to run for district attorney, despite having two years left on his term. In endorsing Katz, Richards looked past the challenger.

“This year, there is only one choice,” Richards said. “We must re-elect District Attorney Melinda Katz and not take one step back from the immense progress we have made since she took office three years ago.”

Retired Judge George Grass and his campaign workers kicked off the petitioning process during foul weather in Sunnyside Tuesday evening. (Courtesy of Grasso campaign)

Grasso was brimming with confidence after he kicked off the petitioning process with 30 campaign workers Tuesday evening on Bliss Plaza under the 7 train in Sunnyside.

“We got nearly 500 signatures on what was a very lousy night,” Grasso told QNS. “You need 4,000 signatures to get on the ballot so a few more evenings like that and we’ll have enough in a week and a half.”

Grasso served more than three decades in the NYPD, rising through the ranks to become the first deputy police commissioner before stepping down in 2010 and heading to the bench. Since he announced he was running for DA in October, he has campaigned in Flushing and southeast Queens but it was his first foray into western Queens as a candidate.

“These folks were fully engaged Sunnyside Democrats signing in this awful weather and expressing a level of support that there is a challenger running for DA this year, and in two cases, we got signatures from employees of the current Queens DA’s office, “ Grasso said with a laugh. “It gave me a chance to pass out campaign literature about my platform and my biography, and such, so it was a really good start to the petitioning process.”

Recent News

Five Queens startups win $20,000 each in 2024 Tech + Innovation Challenge

May. 19, 2024 By Czarinna Andres

A diverse range of businesses, including a yoga studio, an olive oil distributor, a female health care provider, a sustainable mushroom farmer, and an AI-powered physical therapy service, have been named winners of the 2024 Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC). Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant to support their business operations.

QBP Richards, advocates rally to demand Mayor Adams restore funding to City’s libraries

May. 17, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

A rally was held at the Queens Public Library at Forest Hills on May 16, during which Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, union reps and library advocates called on Mayor Eric Adams to reverse the proposed $58.3 million budget cuts to the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and the Queens Public Library (QBL) for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins on July 1, 2024.

Queens elected officials secure $70 million from New York State Budget for school safety equipment in religious and independent schools

May. 17, 2024 By Anthony Medina

Religious and independent schools throughout the city will soon receive additional funding for school safety equipment, thanks to Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Michael Gianaris, who, after extensive advocacy efforts, successfully secured $70 million from the New York State Budget for 2024-25 for Non-Public School Safety Equipment (NPSE) grants.