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New chair elected for Queens Community Board 1

Evie Hantzopoulos has been elected the new chair of Community Board 1. Photo by Neha Gautam

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

Queens Community Board 1, which covers parts of Long Island City, Astoria and Woodside, elected Evie Hantzopoulos as its new chair during the most recent meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the Astoria World Manor, at 25-22 Astoria Blvd.

Hantzopoulos has been a member of the community board since 2010, including as chair of the housing committee. She takes over the role from Marie Torniali, who reached her term limit. In addition to her work with Community Board 1, Hantzopoulos is also the executive director of Queens Botanical Garden.

“This is just another way for me to give back to the community and become more engaged in what’s going on,” Hantzopoulos said. “I was honestly happy to get the support of the board [to be elected chair]. These people really care about the community. I’m looking forward to working with everybody to figure out what it is we can do as an entity and how we can function better as a board.”

With the community board meetings now once again taking place in person after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to be virtual, Hantzopoulos has emphasized the importance of building relationships, both with those in the community and among the board members themselves. She feels this can go a long way towards better serving the community.

One of the more pressing issues that Hantzopoulos expects the board to try and address at upcoming meetings is examining Mayor Eric Adams’ “City of Yes” housing proposals, in which they will weigh the degree to which it could bring economic opportunity and more affordable housing to their area.

“We want to make sure that we’re really going to be able to serve the community and make sure that [City of Yes] is really going to create actual affordable housing,” Hantzopoulos said.

Another hot button issue relates to transportation issues. Pedestrian safety is an area the board and the community as a whole would like to improve. According to Hantzopoulos, a lot of people have been injured or killed trying to cross streets in the district, in large part due to a lack of safe and accessible crosswalks.

Other topics Hantzopoulos expects to be discussed by the board and members of the community at upcoming meetings are property rezonings, which are commonly discussed there, as well as questions related to the Office of Cannabis Management and how it is addressing giving out licenses and dealing with illegal smoke shops.

In 2021, Hantzopoulos ran for the Democratic nomination in the New York City Council election for District 22, but ultimately finished second to Tiffany Cabán, who went on to be elected Council Member.

The next Community Board 1 meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Mar. 19.

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