Melinda Katz

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Melinda Katz
Katz at Rockaway Beach Opening 2015
19th Borough President of Queens
Assumed office
January 1, 2014
Preceded by Helen Marshall
Member of the New York City Council from the 29th District
In office
2002–2009
Preceded by Karen Koslowitz
Succeeded by Karen Koslowitz
Constituency Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, South Elmhurst, Richmond Hill
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 28th district
In office
1994–1999
Personal details
Born (1965-08-19) August 19, 1965 (age 50)
Forest Hills, Queens
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Curtis Sliwa (to 2014)
Single (2014 to present)
Children Carter Katz, Hunter Katz
Residence Forest Hills, Queens
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
St. John's University School of Law
Website Melinda Katz website

Melinda R. Katz (born August 19, 1965) is a New York politician who is currently the Queens Borough President.

Katz was a New York City Councilwoman from 2002 to 2009.[1] She left politics in 2009 to work at Greenberg Traurig, a law firm where she specializes in government affairs and land use.[2] In 2012, she announced her return to politics with a run for Queens Borough President in 2013.[2] She had previously run for City Comptroller in 2009.[1]

Early life[edit]

Melinda Katz grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, and still resides there with her two children, fathered through IVF by radio personality and founder of the Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa. On February 14, 2015, the New York Daily News reported they had separated on Election Day 2014 two years after they had announced plans to marry.

She comes from a Jewish family with a long history of civic involvement. Her father, the late Maestro David Katz, was founder of the Queens Symphony Orchestra in 1953, and her mother, the late Jeanne Dale Katz, founded the Queens Council on the Arts.[3]

Katz graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (summa cum laude), where she was named a Commonwealth Scholar, and later earned a law degree from St. John's University School of Law.[3] She was recruited by the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where she worked as an associate for several years before running for the New York State Assembly.[3] In 1995 the New York Daily News named her "one of the one hundred up-and-coming young leaders for the 21st Century."[3]

Political career[edit]

During Katz's tenure in the New York City Council (2002 to 2009),[1] she represented the 29th Council District, which includes Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and parts of Maspeth, South Elmhurst and Richmond Hill.[1] Katz served as Chair of the Standing Committee on Land Use, which was responsible for approving rezoning measures that will ultimately give an extreme makeover to wide-ranging pockets of the city, including, Williamsburg, Greenpoint[4] and Jamaica.[5] As chair of the committee, Katz oversaw the rezoning of 6,000 city blocks, including the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning in 2005.[6] Prior to being elected to the New York City Council, Katz was Director of Community Boards for the Office of the Queens Borough President (1999–2002),[1] and served as a Member of the New York State Assembly representing Queens' 28th District (1994–1999), which included Forest Hills, Rego Park, and parts of Middle Village and Glendale.[7]

During her tenure as an Assembly Member, Katz authored sixteen bills that became laws, including some crucial health care initiatives.[3] She wrote the law requiring HMOs to provide women direct access to gynecological care without forcing them to first see a primary care physician.[3] She also was the Chair of the Sub-committee on Urban Health.[3] Additionally, she has carried several bills to increase penalties for various forms of assault, and has been a long-time supporter of working men and women.[3] In June 2009 she was the only woman running in the Democratic Primary for New York City Comptroller.[3]

In 2012 she announced her plans to run for Queens Borough President in 2013.[2] She has been endorsed by Congresswoman Grace Meng, Councilman Leroy Comrie and the 1199 Hospital Workers Union.[8]

Personal Life[edit]

Katz married Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, and separated from him in 2014; they have two children together.[9][10] She is named in a court case involving Sliwa, accused by his ex-wife Mary of diverting money to Katz while still married to Mary as part of a plan to build a "nest egg" with Katz prior to moving in with her.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Candidate Melinda Katz: City Controller". The New York Daily News. August 16, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Cullen, Terence. "Katz creates campaign team for Queens borough president run". Katz creates campaign team for Queens borough president run. Terence Cullen. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Huffington Post, The (2009). "Melinda Katz". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Katz, Melinda". Candidate Details. Our Campaigns.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ Craven Mcginty, Jo (September 11, 2007). "Rezoning Plan for Jamaica Wins Approval of Council". The New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ Hughes, C.J. "Where real estate meets politics". Where real estate meets politics. The Real Deal. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Melinda Katz". Queensnewyork.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ross Barkan (2013-08-15). "Melinda Katz Scores 1199 Endorsement | Observer". Politicker.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  9. ^ Karni, Annie (April 14, 2012). "Sliwa’s a parent & Guardian to secret donor kids with fmr. City Councilwoman Melinda Katz". New York Post. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ Chung, Jen (April 15, 2012). "Curtis Sliwa Was Ex-Council Member Melinda Katz's Sperm Donor And Now They're Getting Married". Gothamist. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ James Fanelli, DNAinfo New York, Guardian Angels' Curtis Sliwa Swindled Wife During Affair, Lawsuit Says, May 9, 2013
  12. ^ Dareh Gregorian, New York Daily News, Curtis Sliwa Child-Support Trial: Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz Gets Grilled, December 11, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Alan Hevesi
New York State Assembly, 28th District
1994–1999
Succeeded by
Michael Cohen
Preceded by
Karen Koslowitz
New York City Council, 29th District
2002–2009
Succeeded by
Karen Koslowitz
Preceded by
Helen Marshall
Borough President of Queens
2014–present
Incumbent