BY ANTHONY SANTINO
The Queens Chamber of Commerce (QCC) hosted its third annual Queens Day in Albany on March 19, offering a chance for chamber members to network with the elected officials.
“Queens has really started to arrive,” said Chamber president and CEO Thomas Grech. “It’s gone from being an outer borough to being considered a great destination.”
Attendees met with elected officials from Queens throughout the morning. Popular topics included the recent Amazon deal falling through, the opioid epidemic, and concerns over marijuana legalization.
Kumar Araja, an Arverne resident who owns an IT company, saw the occasion as a valuable opportunity to make sure the elected officials who represent him have his business interests in mind.
“We want to tell our elected officials how important it is to support small businesses because they contribute so much to their communities,” he said.
Thelma Young, who works for Century 21 in Fresh Meadows, has been to all three Queens Day in Albany events.
“One of my motives for coming up here is to let the politicians know what’s going on in Queens real estate,” said Young. “In Queens, we have a lot of ‘zombie houses,’ and we need to let the banks know that we need to do something about them.”
In the afternoon, attendees sat in on sessions of both the Assembly and State Senate.
“We in the Senate get to shape the direction in which we go,” State Senator Joseph Addabbo said from the floor of the legislature. “I’m grateful for that opportunity. I’d like to say thank you to the borough, it’s given me a great opportunity to be a public servant.”
In the evening, those who made the tip were treated to food and drinks from about 50 vendors from Queens.
“This was by far our most successful and largest Queens Day,” said Grech.