December 17, 2020

Serving as a Council Member in New York City is a special honor and brings unique challenges and opportunities. I am not surprised when my colleagues move to other exciting positions. But it is a special moment when three council members move up at the same time.

The end of 2020 brings a triple transformation, and I want to congratulate all three of my impressive colleagues.

Earlier this month, former Council Member Donovan Richards became the Queens Borough President. Queens is an amazing place, and it is universally acknowledged to be the second best borough of New York City (after Brooklyn, of course). Borough President Richards will enter the history books as the first African-American Borough President of Queens, the most linguistically diverse spot on the planet.

Council Member Andrew Cohen has represented Norwood at the ready, overseeing a robust constituent services department, regularly appearing at community meetings across the 11th Council District, and carrying himself with warmth and dedication. While understanding of the law is essential to being a judge, so is understanding humanity. Mr. Cohen now brings both to his new role as a New York Supreme Court Judge. We will all benefit from his wisdom and compassion.

Council Member Ritchie Torres has been showing that skill and determination are infinitely more important than stereotypes. He grew up in the Throggs Neck public housing development, but that didn’t slow him down from becoming the youngest ever member of New York City Council. Now he is moving to Congress at a time when we have new leadership in the White House. History will also forever mark that Ritchie Torres becomes first gay Afro Latino elected to Congress. This is a great moment for our country.

I wish all three of my former colleagues the best of luck in their new positions.