Recap: Queens Borough President Candidate Forum

February 12, 2020

On February 12th, 2020, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF) held a nonpartisan candidate forum for the Queens Borough President special election, which will take place on March 24th. The forum took place at the New York Hall of Science in Corona and provided the opportunity for nearly 100 voters to hear from candidates about where they stand on important sustainability issues in Queens. Participating candidates included Costa Constantinides, Elizabeth Crowley, Anthony Miranda, and Donovan Richards.

Candidates spoke about the imminent threat of climate change, protecting Queens communities from the risk of flooding, the need for sustainable transportation options, and the importance of improving local air quality in Queens neighborhoods.

Costa Constantinides has represented Western Queens in the New York City Council since 2014. During the forum, he expressed the need to “break car culture” and pursue more sustainable methods of transportation, the importance of waste equity, environmental justice, and the expansion of green space in Queens. He also brought attention to the Renewable Rikers Act, legislation he recently introduced that would transform Rikers Island to be a renewable energy hub. He discussed using Rikers to process organic waste and moving a wastewater treatment plant there. Constantinides noted that his ideas for Rikers could lead to the creation of green jobs in the borough.

Elizabeth Crowley is a former Queens City Council member and served from 2009–2017. Crowley emphasized public transportation issues, including reducing rider fares and utilizing railways for public transportation. She also highlighted the devastation from Superstorm Sandy and the delayed response in recovery efforts. Crowley plans to prioritize green infrastructure projects to help protect Queens communities from future flooding events. She also proposed implementing a tax to address traffic congestion and air pollution near airports; funds generated could be invested back into the borough.

Anthony Miranda is a former law enforcement officer and long-time civil rights advocate. Throughout the forum, Miranda discussed several key issues, including the need for sustainability to be at the core of all city planning projects. He affirmed the importance of having a proper environmental impact assessment for the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain. Miranda echoed other candidates’ views about public transportation accessibility, and stressed the need for safer bike lanes.

Donovan Richards has served as a New York City Council member of Southeast Queens and the Rockaways since 2013. During the forum, Richards spoke about his involvement in rebuilding the areas of Queens affected by Superstorm Sandy. He also expressed the need for green infrastructure in areas of Queens that are most vulnerable to flooding. Richards spoke about his priority for improving conditions in environmental justice communities, including stopping the use of heating oil that creates air pollution and negative health outcomes. Additionally, Richards discussed his plans to increase education for green technology to get more people involved in the emerging green workforce.

The forum concluded with remarks from Melissa Zavala, a board member from the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, who co-hosted the event with NYLCVEF. Zavala highlighted the city’s current sustainability efforts and how ambitious programs are needed to achieve our goals. By electing a Queens Borough President who places the environment as a top priority, Queens can lead the charge in these efforts.

Thank you to our partners, Jackson Heights Beautification Group, Eastern Queens Alliance, Guardians of Flushing Bay, New Yorkers for Parks, Regional Plan Association, Waterfront Alliance, and Tri-State Transportation Campaign for helping to make the event a success!

A special thanks to the New York Hall of Science for hosting this event.

< Back to Our Work

Related Articles

This July, we encourage you to take the challenge of going plastic-free. Recruit your friends, family, and neighbors to take the Plastic-Free July Pledge. Everyone that takes the pledge will be automatically entered to win a free zero-waste kit!

On May 28th, 2020, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF) held a candidate forum for New York Assembly District 125, which covers Tompkins County and parts of Cortland County, to replace longtime Assemblymember Barbara Lifton, who is retiring. The forum took place on Zoom ahead of New York’s primary election on…

We recently held a candidate forum for Congressional District 17 in the lower Hudson Valley, whose longtime representative and environmental champion, Nita Lowey is retiring.

We recently held a candidate forum for Congressional District 15’s primary election, which will take place on June 23rd to replace longtime environmental champion Rep. Serrano who is retiring. The forum provided the opportunity for voters to hear directly from seven of the candidates about where they stand on important sustainability issues. You can watch the forum video and read the recap here.

You can install green infrastructure projects right in your backyard. Sign the Keep it Green Pledge by May 31st and you will be automatically entered to win a FREE rain barrel. 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF) launched its New York City Climate Action Tracker. This digital tool will follow the city’s progress on its climate goals from Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan.

On March 5th, 2020, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Sustainable Westchester, and Pace Energy & Climate Center co-hosted the Westchester Clean Energy Summit. The Summit focused on the future of clean energy in Westchester. Panelists from local and state government, academia, and business spoke about New York State’s new climate law—the…

We recently co-hosted a forum to provide attendees with scientific and fact-based information about the health impacts of wind turbines.

We recently hosted an educational forum on coastal resiliency strategies with Stony Brook University. The forum highlighted living shorelines as a nature-based solution to creating resilient coasts on Long Island.

Get Involved

THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS