Costa Constantinides announces run for borough president

Astoria Councilman Costa Constantinides has made it official: he’s throwing his hat in the ring for Queens borough president.

He formally declared his candidacy last week, and promised to make climate change, fairness and protecting the borough the central issues of his campaign.

“To protect Queens, the next Borough President must have a plan to protect every neighborhood and strengthen our economy, schools and infrastructure,” he says. “I helped pass a Green New Deal for New York, now we must do the same for Queens.”

Since elected to the City Council, Constantinides has chaired the Environmental Protection Committee, where he has led efforts to make the city more sustainable in the fight against climate change.

If elected to Borough Hall, the councilman plans to “reinvent” the office to become more accessible, proactive and transparent. With an annual capital budget of $60 million, the office can be used to make investments to protect Queens, he said.

From climbing sea levels that could swallow JFK Airport to serious flood damage for residents of the Rockaways, Constantinides said the stakes can’t be higher for the borough.

His campaign released positions on other important issues as well.

  • On education, Constantinides plans to fund a hydroponic science lab for every Queens school, as well as make energy efficiency investments like funding solar panels.
  • On parks, Constantinides plans to invest in parks to make them greener, more resilient and healthier.
  • On affordable housing, Constantinides would advocate for any housing development on public land to be 100 percent affordable.

Here’s some background bio on Constantinides, from his own campaign:

Costa grew up in Astoria, the son of a Cypriot immigrant and an education advocate, who’s a proud product of the New York City public school system. He worked full-time as a KB Toys manager on Steinway Street while putting himself through Queens College and Cardozo Law School. Before winning his first term in 2013 with more than 65% of the vote, Costa served as Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Council Member James Gennaro. Costa still lives in Astoria today with his wife and son.

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