September 29, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The former Costa Constantinides council member was sworn in on Tuesday to the board of directors of the town’s Economic Development Corporation.
Constantinides, who is now the CEO of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, was appointed to represent Queens by the President of Queens Borough, Donovan Richards. The role of NYCEDC, as a quasi-private corporation affiliated with the city, is to use the city’s assets to drive growth. The board helps set the agenda.
âI am honored and delighted to appoint him to the NYCEDC board of directors,â Richards said in a statement. “Costa’s track record clearly shows his dedication to the economic growth and success of Queens, which will continue as long as Costa has a seat at the table.”
Constantinides represented District 22 – which includes his native Astoria, Rikers Island, and parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst – on city council from 2014 to April 2021, when he stepped down about six months ago to hold a position with the Boys & Girls Club. The district council has been without a representative since its departure, including during the budget season.
He was appointed to the board of directors of an often controversial organization. As part of EDC’s mission to generate jobs and income for the city, it often allocates public goods to developers.
NYCEDC has worked with developers on a number of controversial projects, such as Willets Point and the Long Island City waterfront. He also worked on the Sunnyside Yards Master Plan and the BQX connector. He also defended the deal with Amazon.
Constantinides thanked Richards for his appointment to the EDC Board of Directors.
“As our city recovers from the pandemic, fights for a more just and equitable economy, combats the effects of climate change and strives to become more sustainable, EDC is a key agency in achieving a stronger city” Constantinides said in a statement. âRepresenting Queens on this board is an honor and I will follow your lead to ensure that Queens has a strong voice at EDC. “
He replaces Melva Miller, CEO of the Association for a Better New York.
Mayor Bill de Blasio approved the appointment on Tuesday and Constantinides was sworn in on the same day.
EDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb said she looks forward to working with him.
âWe are delighted that Costa Constantinides is joining the NYCEDC board of directors representing Queens as we move forward in helping to build a recovery for all New Yorkers,â said Loeb. âHer role as CEO of the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens brings a unique perspective, helping us to consider the needs of the youth in our neighborhoods as we seek equitable solutions for all New Yorkers. “