They also discussed the Willets Point project.
While Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. said he was in favor of the concept initially, he has an issue with the execution. “Right now, I do not support the project at Willets Point,” he said.
“Families are struggling to put food on the table and people are struggling to get jobs,” said said Republican candidate Tony Arcabascio. “And we’re eager to put a parking lot where business have been for generations.
None of the candidates said they were in favor of the plan at Willets Point.
Looking to the future, Melinda Katz said she will push to create a tech hub in Long Island City and attempt to lure businesses to the Rockaways and southeast Queens.
“We need to encourage folks, especially an anchor tenant, to come out to the Rockaways,” said Katz. “You shouldn’t have to leave this borough to get a job.”
After arriving over an hour late to the debate, Democratic candidate Everly Brown said he would be focused improving youth programing throughout the borough.
“We are failing our kids,” said Brown.
“I believe a full education is the greatest gift you can give a child,” Katz added. “We need to make our kids college ready. I would advocate for the DREAM Act in the state of New York.”
When asked about youth programs Arcabascio said he missed out on after-school programs when he was a child. “Kids after school need a place to learn,” he said. “They need a place where they can be active and safe.”