Katz noted that the greater Long Island City area has 19,000 new units of housing, with another 20,000 units in the pipeline, which presents some challenges, particularly for the public school system.
“It's just overcrowded, we need to build schools,” she said. “We're not building them as fast as we need to.”
She said while more people come to live in the borough, the infrastructure needs to keep up with the growing population.
“People want their kids to go to public schools, to a large extent,” she said. “We start building today, Queens will not be not overcrowded in a few years.”
The borough has also seen an increase in tourism, Katz said, which bodes well as legislators “sit at the bargaining table” for the budget.
“Tourism is great, but it also means real dollars for our schools, our senior centers, our streets, for nonprofits developing organically in Queens,” Katz said. “They’re able to say, ‘we deserve the same infrastructure to grow.’”
The borough president spoke about some of her accomplishments in her first term leading Queens. That list includes an increase in tourism, a growing number of schools and a revamped Queens library board.
One of the libraries set to open this summer is the Hunters Point library, she said.
Katz briefly took questions from community members. Some asked about ways to get more involved, such as joining the community board.
When asked what she looks for in a community board application, Katz said she wants applicants to have some experience in organizations, such as civic associations, community councils or parent-teacher associations.
“The community board is a true city agency. It conducts business, it has a true role,” Katz said. “I do like to look for some experience.”