In advance of the June 22 New York City (NYC) primary election, St. John’s University hosted a virtual Candidate Forum for the Office of the Queens Borough President.
The forum, coordinated in partnership with the Queens Daily Eagle—the only daily print newspaper covering Queens, NY, communities, politics, and legal justice system—was broadcast live on Queens Public Television (QPTV). The forum featured incumbent Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and his two primary race opponents, NYC Councilmember James G. Van Bramer ’94SVC and former New York City Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.
The forum featured questions posed to the candidates by Safiyah Seelochan, a rising Junior and Environmental Science major at the Queens campus, and Rachel Vick, Political Reporter for the Queens Daily Eagle. Brian Browne, Executive Director for University Relations and Assistant Vice President for Government Relations, coordinated the forum and moderated the hour-long discussion.
“Responsible citizenship is a valuable part of the mission and heritage of St. John’s University,” stated Mr. Browne. “To better achieve that goal, since 2008, the Office of Government Relations regularly hosts candidate forums to inform and engage the University community and the neighboring communities in the political process.”
The Queens Borough President Candidate Forum featured a lively discussion on issues including public safety, COVID-19 recovery, economic development, transportation, and housing. The role of the Office of Borough President—an elective office in each of the five boroughs of New York City—was also included. Borough presidents are elected by popular vote to four-year terms and can serve up to two consecutive terms, for a total of eight years. They have influence over land use and development projects in their borough, appoint members to community boards and other boards, spearhead legislation at the New York City Council, are respected representatives of their borough, recommend capital projects, and convene task forces to address critical issues in the borough.
The forum is available online and will be rebroadcast on QPTV in advance of the June 22 primary election.