QUEENS, NY — With an eye toward a future rooted in justice for all Queens families, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards delivered his 2024 State of the Borough address today, April 12, championing historic investments in affordable housing, economic development, clean energy, education and more that his administration has made over the past year.

The full text of Borough President Richards’ address, as prepared for delivery, can be found by clicking here.

“My friends, I have faith in you. I have faith in us. The state of our borough is stronger than ever because I have faith in our shared mission: To create a borough rooted in justice for all 2.4 million of us,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “To overcome the cruelty and hardship of our world and build a borough that transcends our divisions. To not be prisoners of fate, but pioneers of a future worthy of our families.”

Delivered in the Claire Shulman Theatre within Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s iconic Queens Theatre for the second consecutive year, Borough President Richards’ State of the Borough address drew heavily from the numerous historic injustices Queens families have endured for generations across the spectrum of society.

In his address, the Borough President put forth a bold vision to root out those inequities in housing, education, employment, the environment and more. Some of the speech’s major highlights included:

  • The announcement of a diversity tech and innovation center — to be constructed in Long Island City — with the goal of connecting historically marginalized Black and brown entrepreneurs to the borough’s blossoming tech ecosystem.
  • A call on city government to fund the construction of hydroponics labs in every New York City public school, building on Borough President Richards’ efforts to dramatically scale up the number of such labs in Queens schools.
  • A celebration of historic affordable housing and community development projects at Willets Point in Northern Queens, the Creedmoor campus in Eastern Queens and across Far Rockaway, as well as a comprehensive neighborhood plan to rezone much of downtown Jamaica.
  • Borough President Richards’ historic allocation of more than $30 million to Queens schools, $20.2 million to borough parks, $14.4 million for Queens healthcare institutions and more this year.
  • A comprehensive look at Borough President Richards’ efforts to transform Queens into the nation’s leading clean energy hub through the reimagining of the Ravenswood Generating Station, the development of the Champlain Hudson Power Express and other climate-related projects.

Borough President Richards’ State of the Borough address was preceded by introductory remarks from retired NASA astronaut Dr. Ellen Baker — the daughter of the late former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman. City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also offered pre-address remarks.

Deputy Queens Borough President Ebony Young served as the event’s emcee and offered welcoming remarks, as did Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone, followed by FDNY Firefighter Michael Green-Gregg’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner and the NYPD Guardians Gospel Choir’s renditions of both Lift Every Voice and Sing and the Kirk Franklin song “Melodies from Heaven.”

Highlighting the unmatched diversity of Queens, the program featured musical performances by acclaimed Queens-based saxophonist Steven Salcedo and his band, as well as vocalist Greta Scott of Joe’s Academy of Music, located in St. Albans. The Queensboro Dance Festival also performed the Tinikling, a traditional Filipino folk dance.

A short film about Borough President Richards’ efforts to create a more just Queens, created by New York City-based production company Reframe the World, kicked off the program. The short film can be found by clicking here.

The 2024 State of the Borough address was generously sponsored by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Long Island City-based JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines and BRP Companies.