After 12 years, Queens has a new borough president, as Melinda Katz was inaugurated in Flushing Thursday. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
The daughter of Queens, as the lifelong Forest Hills resident calls herself, is all grown up.
Sworn in by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Melinda Katz is the third female to serve as borough president.
"We want to work with the diverse communities," Katz said. "We want to move the borough forward and create jobs and protect our children."
Katz's swearing in ceremony was attended by local, state and even federal lawmakers.
Those who worked with her while she served on the City Council and in the state Assembly hailed her praises, but for the audience, it was the mayor who stole the show.
"I want to make this special offer that later on this winter, if, in fact, we have a snowstorm and you need some shoveling, I will send Dante right over," de Blasio said.
Katz said that she is ready for the job and knows what she's getting to first.
"We need to focus on families and what's going to keep families right here in the borough of Queens, whether it's jobs or education or health care," Katz said.
In her inaugural speech, Katz was passionate about her promise to encourage economic development across the borough, saying that no neighborhood will be left out.
"We are the Bangledeshi small business owner on Hillside Avenue. We are the Ecaudorian mother who is balancing two jobs and raising two children. We are the senior couple from Laurelton trying to figure out how to keep our home on a fixed income. We are a newly married gay couple making a life in Jackson Heights and raising a family, and we are a fourth-generation Italian family amassed with keeping our traditions," Katz said.
Katz and NY1 commentator Curtis Sliwa are raising their two boys in the same Forest Hills home where she grew up.
The borough president said she wants Queens to be a place where people want to live, and where you don't have to go over a bridge or under a tunnel to get a job.