Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), a candidate for the Queens Borough President role, released his five-point plan to enrich the diversity initiatives of the World’s Borough at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights on Friday.
The candidate, who was surrounded by Bengali, Nepali and Peruvian community leaders announced that he would create a Department of Diversity and Outreach and use some of the offices nearly $5 million budget to set up satellite sites, expand language services, prioritize the Census count, empower Community-Based Organizations and reinvent environmental justice communities, according to Constantinides’ campaign team.
The candidate wants satellite offices in Jackson Heights, the Rockaways, Jamaica and Bayside in order to be more accessible to residents who can’t make it to Borough Hall in Kew Gardens in order to provide services and immigrant services to the local communities, according to Constantinides’ team.
“Queens residents need to look out for their neighbors — now more than ever. In these uncertain times, the Queens Borough President’s Office should be a beacon of hope for anyone who needs help,” said Constantinides, who is a part of the Jewish Caucus and the Committees on Resiliency and Waterfronts, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management and Technology. He also chairs the Committee on Environmental Protection.
Through the proposed office, the candidate wants to provide more services to immigrants by printing more materials in different languages or disseminating materials digitally for the borough’s newest members who speak approximately 190 languages, according to his campaign team.
Constantinides also wants to ensure that every person regardless of status so that Queens will not be undercounted and receives enough funds for affordable housing, hospitals and major infrastructure projects.
If elected, Constantinides wants to support CBO leaders by educating them on the city’s budget process to help them understand the requirements necessary to receive grants or funds to do community projects.
The Environmental Chairman intends to fight for environmental justice in Queens for communities of color that have born the brunt of flooding, power plant pollution and poor air quality with resilient infrastructure, community work with sustainability experts and providing green jobs if elected.
“My five-point diversity plan will embolden the office’s great ongoing work to protect immigrant communities, provide more language access, and bring the borough president’s office into our neighborhoods,” said Constantinides. “This is the kind of work our coalition has already accomplished together and I look forward to bringing it boroughwide.”