Streetsblog continues our series on City Council candidates with a look at the race for District 22 in Queens, which covers Astoria, Ditmars-Steinway, and northern Jackson Heights. The seat has been held by Peter Vallone, Jr. since 2002; he is now running for Queens Borough President.
Two Democratic primary candidates – Democratic District Leader Costa Constantinides and anti-crime activist Antonio Meloni – are joined by a Republican candidate, former New York Young Republican Club President Daniel Peterson. Danielle De Stefano is also listed as a candidate by the New York State Board of Elections.
Streetsblog sent questionnaires to the campaigns to get a better understanding of where the candidates stand on transit, traffic safety, and transportation policy. We begin in alphabetical order with responses from Costa Constantinides and will run Daniel Peterson’s answers in a separate post. Antonio Meloni responded to Streetsblog’s questionnaire, but did not provide answers for publication. Danielle De Stefano did not respond.
Streetsblog: A proposal for a pedestrian plaza at 30th Avenue, 33rd Street and Newtown Avenue was defeated by opposition from Community Board 1 and Council Member Vallone. Do you think public plazas, like the ones installed in other neighborhoods throughout the city, provide a benefit to the community?
Costa Constantinides: Generally, I think that public plazas provide tangible benefits to their neighborhoods. With a few exceptions, many of the communities in western Queens don’t have park space within walking distance. Without shared public spaces where friends and neighbors can congregate, a community has no place to vent and breathe. As a Council member, I will work with the community to create more public spaces that meet the needs of both residents and small business owners.