President's Introductory Remarks

The 1998 Queens Civic Congress Platform

April 25, 1998


The Queens Civic Congress (QCC) is a nonpartisan, not for profit umbrella group of eighty-five civic associations throughout Queens. The QCC 's primary purpose is to bring together the various communities of Queens through their civic and community associations to exchange ideas and forge an agenda to meet their common concerns.


The Congress was an outgrowth of the Federation of Queens Civic Councils, founded in 1962, and its two remaining regional civic councils, the Eastern Queens Civic Council and the United Civic Council. In June of 1997, these organizations voted to merge and form the Queens Civic Congress to better meet the challenges of the 21st century.


This platform builds upon the work of previous Federation platforms and the policy statements of the two councils. The Platform Committee has updated and expanded those efforts through research and solicitation of various member viewpoints.


On behalf of the Congress, I want to express our gratitude to the Platform Committee Chair Richard Hellenbrecht and his committee members: Pat Dolan, Paul Kerzner, Debra Markell, Seymour Schwartz and Edwin Westley for their outstanding work.


This platform was presented and adopted unamimously by the membership of the Congress at its Annual Luncheon on April 25, 1998.


We hope that by the Congress adopting this platform, the political leadership will recognize a united Queens voice on these various issues and will thereby be given the political support to attain them.


Sean M. Walsh




Officers of the Queens Civic Congress

President: Sean M. Walsh

Vice Presidents: Corey B. Bearak, Patricia Dolan, Paul Kerzner, Arthur F. Rojas

Secretary: Seymour Schwartz

Treasurer: James A. Trent

Founders: Albert Greenblatt, Robert I. Harris




Land Use and Zoning

Illegal Conversions and Buildings Issues

Community Facilities

Parks and Recreation

Public Safety

Transportation - Aviation Issues

Transportation - JFK Access - Light Rail System

Transportation - Mass Transit/Vehicular Transportation


Economic Development


Health and Hospitals

City Governance


Appreciation to Con Edison for printing the 1998 Platform


Land Use and Zoning


A land use policy based on community input and review reflecting the availability of city services and infrastructure is essential to preserve and enhance the fundamental character of the city’s neighborhoods. Planning must be sufficiently flexible to respond to demographic and environmental dynamics by creating new opportunities for the orderly development of housing, busines, and community facilities.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:

1. Include provisions for community input and review and legislative oversight of major residential, commercial, industrial and public developments.

2. Create additional contextual districts to reflect the existing residential configurations, density and uses.

3. Provide technical assistance to community based organizations for neighborhood-based planning.

4. Support long-term planning as a means of preserving and enhancing the physical character and stability of neighborhoods.

5. Establish urban design elements as part of the land use decision making process.

6. Map large-scale retail uses only in districts appropriately zoned: discussions to site "big box" retail establishments must be subject to community input, review and legislative oversight.

7. Mandate community review of publicly funded (federal, state and city) agencies' major proposals.

8. Establish borough-based offices to perform planning functions and zoning for the borough.

9. Include in all land use decisions a non-renewable effective date for the implementation of the permitted action.

10. Require amended plans or proposals by public agencies to include an updated environmental impact statement.

11. Require legislative review and oversight of Board of Standards and Appeals decisions to grant variances.

12. Retain the present Zoning Resolution provisions limiting transfer of development rights, i.e.. limiting the transfer of unused air right allowances from one site only to an adjacent or shared lot.

13. Increase planning staff of agencies that make land use policy determinations.

14. Provide community boards with at least ninety days’ notice of all land use applications.

15. Prepare a Master Plan to define development and preservation requirements of the diverse communities of Queens.

16. Call for an immediate legislative correction of the 1961 Zoning Resolution's definition of basement and cellar space as it applies to calculations in determining a building's FAR. The Court of Appeals in 1997 overturned the DOB & BSA interpretation that basements used for dwelling space must be included in the total FAR.

17. Major Concessions in Parks - Parks, playgrounds, wharves and piers are irreplaceable assets of the city that must be protected from heedless development. Commercial uses must be limited to activities that are consistent with the nature of these very special places. Concessions, which are inherently commercial, must be regulated by rules formulated by the City Planning Commission as mandated by the City Charter.

The City Planning Commission adopt the following as the standard for determining what is a major concessions, that would require rigorous public review under ULURP: 1.) Marinas with 50 slips or more; 2.) Parking lots of any size; 3.) New buildings of more than 10,000 square feet -- not in parks; 4.) New buildings of more than 10,000 square feet -- in parks; 5.) Open use in park -- 20,000 square feet; 6.) Restaurant -- 250 seats or more; 7.) One or more concessions totally 25% of one park.

18. The Borough President, Empire State Development, the Dormitory Authority and the City administration must work together to implement a rational, community-sensitive plan for the reuse of portions of the Creedmoor campus that are presently or potentially surplus property. The QCC has already provided a master plan and will continue to participate and cooperate in the Borough President's Creedmoor Task Force.



Illegal Conversions and Buildings Issues


The illegal conversion or adding of apartments in existing housing in excess of the established zoning and use group regulations is a major quality of life problem in Queens, and more importantly a significant life safety issue. This issue was brought to the fore in April 1997 with the death of four people living in apartments that were illegally added to a wood frame structure. Throughout Queens this practice has gone unchecked as staffing levels in the Department of Buildings (DOB) and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) were reduced in response to the City’s financial difficulties in the late '70's and early '90's.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:

1. Prompt and decisive action must be taken by the City against illegal apartments, single room occupancies and inappropriate commercial uses in residential buildings.

2. Increase inspection and enforcement by the city DOB & HPD to achieve compliance.

3. Implement state legislation to increase inspectors’ access to buildings with suspected violations and to allow the filing of tax liens on unpaid Environmental Control Board (ECB) fines -- i.e. to allow ECB to assess fines and other liens that can be converted to tax liens and potentially result in seizure of property.

4. DOB & HPD must allow community participation in inspection.

5. DOB must dedicate at least one full-time inspector to each community board as regular point of contact on buildings issues, inspections and follow-ups, with no less than one full day per month in the assigned district or as necessary to meet residents' complaints.

6. Establish a multi-agency task force to coordinate services among the fire, buildings department and other agencies, to report directly to the office of the mayor.

7. Establish a program to educate and inform new and established homeowners of relevant building codes and zoning laws and of the respective fines for noncompliance.

8. Require the Police Department to assist and cooperate with the Buildings Department to enforce stop work orders where necessary.

9. No further expansion of self-certification for new building or alteration permits. No self-certification for the correction of violations.

10. Prohibit the use of SOLD signs on residential property..





Under New York City Zoning Regulations, many religious, medical and professional operations are referred to as "community facilities" and are permitted to be placed in any zoning district as-of-right. Many neighborhoods have been adversely affected by community facilities since 1961 because their uses have changed substantially. Religious facilities, for example, have events to try to cover increasing operating costs, bringing extra traffic, noise, parking and congestion into otherwise quiet neighborhoods. Small congregations have occupied private homes in residential areas, often without adequate parking, necessary handicapped access and emergency egress. "Professional offices" included under this category were originally intended to mean medical doctors, dentists or lawyers who lived there and dedicated a small walk-in office to their practice. More recently, private houses deep in residential neighborhoods have been converted to use by multiple professionals with substantial clinical practices.

Publicly and privately supported community facilities perform an increasingly important role in our neighborhoods. It is imperative that communities are able to comment, evaluate and review the siting and operations of these entities.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:

1. Every community shall participate in the choice of siting, scoping and sponsoring of publicly funded facilities in its district.

2. Siting of facilities shall be based on the need for the proposed service in the community.

3. The sponsoring federal, state or city agency shall notify all elected officials, community based civic organizations and neighborhood groups coincidentally with the promulgation of the Request for Proposal. Public notice shall appear at the same time in community newspapers that circulate in the affected neighborhood(s).

4. Coinciding with the issuance of the initial Request for Proposal, there shall be full disclosure by the sponsoring federal, state or city agency and by any provider responding to the RFP:

a) verification of need in a sited neighborhood.

b) alternative sites.

c) choice of providers.

d) terms of the contract (including length).

e) establishment of a Community Compliance Review Board.

f) full financial disclosure by the provider.

g) environmental impact statement.

5. Creation of an objective rating system to assess the effectiveness and impact on the community of the program.

6. Creation of the repository for public comment on facilities at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

7. Eliminate the community facilities bulk bonus in residence districts.

8. Require community facilities to obtain special permits when they seek to site in residential districts -- subject to public review with legislative oversight

9. Impose parking requirements for all community facilities regardless of the zone they are in, predicated on occupancy rather than the number of fixed seats.



Parks and Recreation


Parks and recreational facilities are among the most important quality of life programs of any community, particularly in Queens County. Parks are irreplaceable assets. The long-term viability of parks in Queens has become increasingly under attack due to significant reductions in professional maintenance and upkeep at Parks facilities and on trees along our thoroughfares throughout the borough. Deferred maintenance and use of non-professional maintenance workers will eventually lead to a complete breakdown of Parks services. Horticulture and forestry services are being ignored completely, and there are insufficient plumbers, masons, carpenters, etc. in skilled positions.

The Parks Department has conducted major capital programs to improve parks and has not followed-through with maintenance and support services to protect the investment. In addition, as the borough with the largest amount of natural area, Queens has the most to lose from a policy of only maintaining the ballfields and playgrounds at its parks. Given the extensive residential and commercial development of Queens, it is crucial that we protect in every way possible the current and potential parklands throughout the borough.

Queens contains many lovely parks and greenways which must be protected from natural deterioration, vandalism and changes in use of open areas due to a variety of factors.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:

1. Secure funding for Greenways for the Queens area.

2. Enforce vendors' permit requirements in parks to control illegal vendors.

3. Commend the administration of Borough President Shulman for significant reduction of graffiti in public places and encourage expansion of these programs to eradicate graffiti.

4. Enact legislation to address graffiti removal on private property.

5. Remove and replace dead trees within 6 months, prune trees on a ten year cycle and plant at least 25,000 trees citywide per year

6. Improve parks physical plant

a) Increase maintenance, security and repair services at Parks

b) Improve plant life, nature trails

c) Add recreational/educational programs and services.

7. Hire sufficient professional employees to maintain the NYC Parks infrastructure.

8. Establish a Parks budget line item for the maintenance for natural open spaces.

9. Incorporate recycling into the trash removal procedures of NYC parks. If it works for the residents, it should work for the city.

10. Preserve Fort Totten - This beautiful and historic area has become available due to reduced need as a military installation by the federal government. We must protect this property for use of future Queens residents by:

a) Mandating restrictive covenant for the reversion of any Fort Totten space exclusively to Parks Department for public use if the space is no longer required by Fire Department for educational purposes.









We have witnessed a significant reduction in crime statistics throughout the City. While the administration is to be commended on this improvement, which greatly impacts our quality of life, three factors remain of great concern to the Congress: there is a continued perception that crime is a threat with the diminished presence of patrol officers in our precincts; response time to 911 emergency calls has deteriorated greatly - especially in Queens; and, there continue to be problems with community and individual relations with police officers, and within the ranks. The Fire Department continues to get high marks in effectiveness.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


1. Bring Queens precinct staffing to Safe Street/Safe Cities levels and maintain those levels.

2. Increase the percentage of uniformed police in Queens to match the citywide percentage of crimes. We have 19% of the manpower, but 25% of the crime in the city.

3. Restore and increase police staff assigned to Community Patrol.

4. Develop a plan to bring all Queens precincts to less than seven minute response time - comparable to Manhattan responses.

5. Increase NYPD Budget allocation to purchase more RMPs, Unmarked and Nondescript Vehicles. Keep the present practice of keeping cars for three years, i.e. 90,000 miles.

6. Increase allocation of RMPs (radio motor patrol vehicles) to outlying precincts.

7. Increase emphasis on auto theft, robberies and burglaries.

8. Work with community groups for a graffiti-free environment, increase penalties for defacing property.

9. Continue bicycle program with tax payer supported equipment and maintenance.

10. Permit NYPD to enforce DOB & HPD stop work orders and assist with the service of violations and inspections.

11. Implement the deployment of emergency services ambulances to community based garages.



Transportation - Aviation Issues


We recognize the importance of Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports to the convenience and economic vitality of the borough and city. However, we must control and curtail the negative impact of both noise and pollution stemming from the aircraft activity at the two Queens airports, and abort the harsh, often unbearable sufferances of residents nearby to these facilities.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


1. Oppose any exemption in the High Density Rule, and call for an immediate moratorium on additional flights (slots) at LaGuardia airport. Set statutory limitations on the number of operations at New York metropolitan airports and the restriction of all flights, scheduled and unscheduled (except emergency operations) to the hours of 7 am to 11 pm.

2. Improve noise abatement procedures, including an immediate ban on flights by any commercial jetliners built before 1980. So-called "hush kits" have no effect on noise or pollution from old Stage-2 aircraft. We urge that there be a change in take-off frequency from every 58 seconds to a much wider time interval to attenuate the unremitting jet-noise created by the "high density rule".

3. Establish and enforce formal accountability by the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration to the Environmental Protection Administration and independent citizen representation. Reinstate and strengthen enforcement of the Quiet Communities Act of 1978 and the Noise Control Act of 1972.

4. Take immediate steps to reduce the effects of aircraft noise and pollution from jet exhaust and the dumping of jet fuel on human mental and physical health and damage to the environment. Also, install air sensing devices on the Queens side of runaway 13/31 at LaGuardia Airport to supplement those being installed in a controlled test by the State of New York’s Health Department in the South Bronx.

5. Adjust flight schedules to more evenly spread aircraft noise among the communities. Adjust the distribution of flights off LaGuardia's runway 13, since northeast Queens endures 95 percent of the take-offs at LaGuardia.

6. Select a site or sites for a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar system that will maximize safety at both LaGuardia and Kennedy International Airports which will be acceptable to surrounding communities.




Transportation - JFK Access - Light Rail System


We agree to the need for an alternative efficient mode of access to and from Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports and Manhattan. However, the current plan for a Light Rail Airport Access System as adopted by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey fails to provide a one-seat ride from the airport to Manhattan and does not meet the needs of airline travelers for efficiency, comfort and affordability to reduce the amount of vehicular traffic congestion and air pollution to any significant degree. Nor does the Port Authority’s own evaluation of ridership estimates in relation to planned costs justify this costly spur to the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station.

As importantly, both the construction period, which will extend for many years, and the final project alignment will render significant harm to the many communities in its path. By its design and construction features, the concrete aerial highway with its steel-on-steel technology will create an ugly, noisy blight on Queens neighborhoods and will bring harm for many decades to come.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


1. Oppose the construction of the Van Wyck Expressway spur from Kennedy Airport to the Long Island Rail Road station in Jamaica. A Kennedy airport rail link project must go forward in a responsible manner that preserves and enhances the neighborhoods that are home to tens of thousands of Queens citizens. Our responsible borough, city and state officials must stop this ill-conceived project. With careful redesign, the rail link can be placed in a manner that will serve New Yorkers and visitors alike without creating a blight on our neighborhoods.

2. A direct one-seat rail access must be provided to both Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports. This seamless, accessible, comfortable and affordable airport link with greater efficiencies and economies, that can contribute to the city transportation infrastructure and that will at the same time minimize harm to communities by using cut and cover technology or by installing noise and sound barriers.

3. Any revised plan must be subject to community input and review.



Transportation - MASS Transit/VEHICULAR



Queens is a borough of nearly 2 million residents encompassing scores of communities. Queens' transportation infrastructure is the life line that binds the neighborhoods of the communities of our borough together. It links Queens residents with jobs, services and activities both inside and outside the borough. Providing fast, accessible transportation for residents of the borough is critical to our economic, educational, cultural and social success. Our economy is highly dependent on efficient transportation. Should commuting become difficult, individuals and companies will seek housing and economic opportunities elsewhere.

Transportation in our borough includes both mass transit, primarily subways and buses and to a lesser extent, the Long Island Rail Road, and vehicular transportation, i.e. our local streets and roads and arterial highways, expressways, bridges and tunnels.

Planning and funding for capital projects to expand capacity is at best tenuous. Each of these transportation modes has separate needs.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


Mass Transit Issues

1. Use the Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget surpluses to restore mass transit service to pre-cut levels. Train and bus service sustained drastic cuts in the mid-1990's causing overcrowding, discomfort and inconvenience to riders. Queens commuters have had to bear an average 20% reduction in bus service, with some suffering up to 50% reductions in weekly services.

2. Establish a singular citywide Surface Transit Authority to coordinate interborough operations, improve surface transportation, ensure a meaningful community role in project and operations planning and improve scheduling.

3. Construct the long-promised 2nd Avenue subway line and complete the 63rd Street tunnel to meet the needs of Queens residents destined to the underserved east side of Manhattan. This will enable construction of the Long Island Rail Road downtown Manhattan connection and a new connection to Grand Central Terminal so that the tens of thousands of eastern Queens and Long Island commuters who use the Long Island Rail Road destined to the east side and to lower Manhattan may enjoy more convenient access.

4. The Long Island Rail Road must increase marketing of its service to Queens residents and must complete a marketing study before recommending or implementing any further station closings in Queens.

5. The Transit Authority must provide convenient, street level Metrocard outlets for people with disabilities and seniors since Metrocard service is currently provided only at subway station booths reached by deep staircases or at off-street retail locations, barring access by the physically disabled and seniors.

6. Enforce the three minute rule for idling buses.


Vehicular Transportation Issues

1. New York State and New York City must control and reduce ever-expanding trucking and commercial vehicular traffic that is clogging our streets and highways and produce insufferable pollution. Freight transportation alternatives must be developed, such as a proposed rail freight tunnel under New York Harbor, linking Brooklyn with New Jersey and the mainland.



Transportation - MASS TranSIT/VEHICULAR TRANSPORTATION (continued)


2. Control and reduce illegal and perilous truck and commercial vehicular traffic on Queens’ local streets through meaningful policing and environmental enforcement.

3. Expand use of alternative fuel vehicles in the effort to maintain and improve air quality and to conserve energy. In particular, buses, cabs and all city-owned vehicles should be replaced with vehicles using alternative fuels.

4. Expand use of EZ-Pass for paying municipal parking lot fees and install EZ-Pass scanners in all lanes, including manned lanes at MTA Bridges and Tunnels facilities.

5. Enact legislation to protect the privacy of EZ-Pass users and bar the use of EZ-Pass for monitoring or enforcing speeding and other traffic infractions or for tracking vehicular use. Enact legislation to set standards for law enforcement agencies or others seeking EZ-Pass data which would require a judicial subpoena.

6. Implement variable tunnel and bridge tolls based on time of a day use, particularly featuring off-hour discounts for travellers and truckers in order to relieve prime travel time delays.

7. Create safe cycling routes to encourage less reliance on fossil-fueled vehicles and to enhance the quality of life of Queens citizens.

9. Oppose the expansion of HOV lanes in Queens, which have proven to be ineffective in national surveys, as an imposition on the quality of life of residents and communities in its path, with no benefit to the people of Queens.

8. Discontinue the use of pedestrian barricades, which are an unnecessary restraint, a misplaced priority in terms of quality of life concerns, and a misuse of police resources.

9. Regulate and closely supervise city and utility work crews and private contractors who cut open streets and roads so that remedial work is proper, durable and long-lasting.




It has been said our society is judged in part by how we treat our children. If we use our Queens Public Schools as the measure, then it can be said we are not doing very well. Overcrowding is a constant. New school construction has been rare, and maintenance of out schools has been lacking. We are just beginning to see some progress. For example, School Board 30 has a new primary school and an intermediate school is on the drawing boards and in eastern Queens, availability of space at Creedmoor has prompted consideration of a new high school and possibly a new intermediate and elementary school.


Therefore, the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


1. Expand the Beacon Program to include all schools within the district, thereby encouraging neighborhood youth programs in each community.

2. Implement a robust pre-kindergarten program in each school district.

3. Implement school-based management.

4. Develop and implement a building-by-building maintenance plan

5. Reduce school overcrowding by building new schools and increase capacity by staggering the school year.

6. Increase school intervention and guidance services

7. Restore all extracurricular programs – particularly music and art programs.

8. Seek principal accountability for all school issues – academic and physical plant.

9. Implement school-based budgeting.







Queens has the second largest and best educated labor force of all the boroughs. There are 446,000 jobs in Queens – up 16,000 jobs since 1993. Queens also has a significant pool of available warehouse, industrial and commercial space – much of which has been modernized and upgraded. But the competition for office, retail and professional space and jobs from Nassau County and other regional counties is fierce.

The lifeblood of any county is the ability to attract new businesses and to retain existing businesses in order to create economic growth and provide job opportunities for local residents. Queens has major aviation industry jobs, service sector, wholesale and retail trade industries in its economic base. Large tracts of vacant land or buildings in previously industrial areas and in the Rockaways create huge opportunities for significant economic development in our borough. Economic Impact Review should be part of the review process.

Entrepreneurs and businesses need certain incentives, in addition to access to capital and labor, in order to start a new venture or continue an existing business.


Therefore, the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


1. Support the Rockaway Technodome Development project. The Pataki and Giuliani administrations must provide the necessary and reasonable capital infrastructure to ensure that private sector reinvestment flow uninterrupted to the Rockaway Technodome Development site.

2. Institute the "Manhattan Tax Credit Model" to help neighborhood commercial shopping strips – The shopping areas in the other boroughs should be able to use this package of tax credit incentives. The tax credit model was originally used in the revitalization of downtown Manhattan to improve commercial occupancy, and to increase utilization and enhance competitiveness with respect to neighboring megastores and suburban malls.

3. Eliminate the sales tax on apparel/footware purchases under $500 – The absence of sales taxes on clothing in neighboring states encourages people, especially larger families, to leave our area – and out retailers – for their clothing purchases. Two-week long pilot programs have proven the popularity of eliminating this nuisance tax. Promptly and permanently eliminate this state and city sales tax.

4. Eliminate the Unincorporated Business Tax – Entrepreneurs and professionals continue to leave the city, particularly Queens County, for the lure of business climate of nearby suburban counties.

5. Cap assessment increases on all Residential Real Estates Taxes – New York City’s real estate tax rates may be reasonable because of caps that were instituted many years ago. However, tax payments depend also on real estate assessed valuations, which are allowed to increase annually without any caps.

Reasonable yearly caps have to be put on both real estate taxes and real estate assessments. In addition, there is an inequity between private home taxes and cooperative ownerships. Co-op taxes should also eventually be equalized with other real estate taxes. Develop appropriate state legislation as needed.



Stabilize Water/Sewer Rates – Water/sewer rates have been going up at a percentage increase two and three times the rate of inflation. This "hidden tax" is a source of revenue for the city that receives little attention and no retribution from those who have to pay it. The independent New York City Water Board had to learn to live within its means. All funds generated by the Water Board must be dedicated to running the agency and for operating and maintaining the City’s vital water supply and sewer systems. This water/sewer rate increase must be capped yearly at the rate of inflation. We demand that the removal of the capital costs from the calculation of the rate structure. Capital water and sewer projects should be funded directly from the general New York City capital budget.

7. Eliminate the New York State gross receipts tax on out utility bills – The gross receipts is a hidden tax imposed by New York State, and very few other states, on its residents’ utility bills- gas, electric and telephone. The gross receipts tax contributes to New York State being one of the highest energy cost states in the country, raising about $1 billion for the state coffers. While the state has begun to phase this tax out, under the present scenario it will be years before it is eliminated. Furthermore, the deregulation of utilities will draw out-of-state competitors, which are exempt from this tax. These utilities will be able to offer lower rates than our native utilities. It is time to eliminate the residential and commercial gross receipts tax in this legislative session.

8. Eliminate the New York City personal income tax surcharge – New York City is one of the only municipalities in the country that has a personal income tax, much less a surcharge on top of that. This onerous tax add-on was imposed temporarily during financial crisis in order to meet City obligations. But, even in the strong recovery we are enjoying, this surcharge has been renewed and remains in effect. We must immediately remove the personal income tax surcharge and lower the City’s personal income tax to retain the middle-class base in the City.



As preparation for the closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill (Staten Island) in the year 2001 goes forward, all New Yorkers must share equally and fairly in the challenges of disposing the city’s waste.

The Queens Civic Congress adopts the following.


1. Meet an implement the City Council’s waste recycling plan.

2. Adopt a plan to dispose the city’s waste that is not subject to recycling.

3. Mandate community review and notification with legislative oversight for the siting or change in use of waste transfer stations.

4. Implement weekly collection of recycling in all Queens neighborhoods without diminishing the frequency of regular collections of putrescibles.

5. Restore street trash collection and cleaning of street trash receptacles. Increase frequency of collections.

6. Enforce Department of Sanitation rules in commercial districts.

7. Create Community District Sanitation Councils similar to precinct community councils, which would provide an opportunity for problem resolution and coordination of operations.


The issue is clear for Queens: the Borough must establish a plan for a "World Class" standard of patient care for all Borough residents.


Therefore the Queens Civic Congress adopts the following:


1. Rebuild and modernize Queens Hospital Center.

2. Execute the plan to put emergency service ambulance garages in local communities.

3. Resist the privatization of public hospitals.



1. It is the position of the Queens Civic Congress that there is no need for charter revision commission at this time since any necessary changes could be made by individual referendum call. A major revision to the New York City Charter at this time would be disruptive and unproductive. We feel that there are currently few major issues to be resolved and those could be addressed by revision to state law or individual referendum as part of a future general election.


2. We support continuing the current method of community board appointments by the Borough Presidents and City Council members and thus oppose proposals to change this method. However, the Queens Civic Council has noticed a reduction in the appointments of the civic and neighborhood representatives to community boards. A lack of Civic expertise significantly reduces the effectiveness of local community boards. Greater emphasis must be given to prospective community board member qualifications and active community participation.