Constantinides takes the oath of office
by Jason Cohen
Jan 29, 2014 | 1445 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Costa Constantinides is sworn in by Peter Vallone, Sr.
Costa Constantinides is sworn in by Peter Vallone, Sr.
Sen. Charles Schumer
Sen. Charles Schumer
In a packed auditorium at Long Island City High School on Sunday, lifelong Astoria resident and Costa Constantinides was sworn into office for City Council.

Constantinides, 38, who previously served as deputy chief of staff for former Queens Councilman James Gennaro, is the first person outside of the Vallone family to represent the area in decades.

Throughout the afternoon, many of his colleagues praised Constantinides, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Senator Chuck Schumer.

“He’s not only going to be a great representative for all of you, but be a great representative for the City of New York,” Mark-Viverito said.

His life began on the streets of Astoria, where he would play basketball at Ditmars Park, had his first job at Genovese and met his wife on Steinway Street. It’s an amazing neighborhood, he said.

“People come from all over here in western Queens,” Constantinides said.

Constantinides said his goals as a councilman include improving parks and garbage pickup, and fixing what he views as the failed educational policies of the Bloomberg administration.

“Schools should not be closing,” Constantinides said.

Another major problem in western Queens is health care. Since 2008, four hospitals have closed, and Constantinides said he fully supports the expansion of Mount Sinai Hospital in Long Island City.

And with the increasing amount of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists in the neighborhoods of the district, Constantinides said he would focus on street safety.

“Getting milk should not be a dangerous endeavor,” he said.

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