Just like the other borough presidents, the Queens Borough President has very little real power within the city government. Instead, the office acts as an advisor to the Mayor, the City Council and other government groups that do have the power to make big changes to the city. They help dictate land usage, working with developers while protecting the character of their boroughs. The borough president also receives a percentage of the capital budget to distribute as they see fit.

During her 12 years as Queens BP, Helen Marshall increased tourism to the borough, expanded cultural programs, and dedicated millions of dollars to improving parks and playgrounds. Going forward, recovery and rebuilding for the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged borough—including the Rockaways and Breezy Point—rezoning proposals and the development of Willets Point are a few of the big issues facing the future president.

2013 Queens Borough President Candidates:

  • Melinda Katz (D): Former City Council member who represented Rego Park, Kew Gardens and parts of Maspeth, South Elmhurst and Richmond Hill from 2002 to 2009. Was born in and has lived in Forest Hills her entire life.

  • Peter Vallone, Jr. (D): Former prosecutor for the Manhattan District Attorney's office and current City Council member representing Astoria and its surrounding communities.
  • We asked each candidate for Queens Borough President to answer a questionnaire for their positions on issues facing the borough, as well as some personal information relevant to the job. We'll be doing the same for other races, including Public Advocate, Comptroller and Mayor, as soon as we receive responses from each candidate.

    Mouse-over icons for quotes from the candidates and more details about the questions.

    Do you rent?Do you have a pet?Do you bike?Do your kids attend public school?Have you been the victim of a crime?

    Melinda Katz
    Former City Councilmember

    Peter Vallone
    City Council Member

    New York City Campaign Finance Board numbers put Peter Vallone in the lead with $1,047,443.37 in contributions to date; Melinda Katz trails with $690,256.05. Katz has secured endorsements from a number of elected officials, including current QBP Helen Marshall, late Mayor Ed Koch and former QBP candidates Leroy Comrie and Jose Peralta. Vallone received endorsements from Mayor Bloomberg and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

    Change stop and frisk?Legalize marijuana?Inspector general for NYPD?More bike lanes?Congestion pricing?Ban chain stores?Luxury buildings in projects?Public-private parks?Floral Park / Glen Oaks Rezoning?Develop Willets Pt.t?Redevelop Hunters Pt.?Racino at Aqueduct?Change judge system?Clean up Queens corruption?
    Former City Councilmember
    City Councilmember

    To read the candidates full responses to our questionnaire, click below:

    Election charts designed by Aaron Marks

    Previously: The Gothamist Guide To The Manhattan Borough President Race

    Gothamist and our partners, NY1 News, NY1 Noticias, WNYC, Citizens Committee for New York City, Citizens Union, Hispanic Federation, and Transportation Alternatives, are sponsoring official Campaign Finance Board debates, including the official Democratic mayoral debate on August 21.