Former Bayside resident Claire Shulman became the first woman elected as Queens borough president in 1986.
Shulman is the highest-ranking elected official in a locality of nearly two million people who hail from virtually every country on the globe.
In addition to overseeing the delivery of city services to each community in the borough, Shulman presides over the borough board and the borough cabinet.
She plays a major role in the city government, particularly regarding land use issues and budgetary decisions. She also lobbies city, state and federal legislators on behalf of Queens.
Her major accomplishments as borough president include rezoning dozens of neighborhoods to generate responsible development and preserve the character of communities; promoting economic development in Jamaica and Western Queens; improving the borough's infrastructure; and pushing for legislation to reform the co-op condominium conversion process.
Long active in civic life in Queens, Shulman succeeded the late Donald Manes as borough president in 1986 after he committed suicide in the midst of a corruption scandal.
Shulman started her career in public service by joining a variety of civic and charitable organizations, such as the Bayside High School PTA and the Bayside Chamber of Commerce.
She was appointed to Community Board 11 - which serves Bayside, Little Neck and Douglaston - and was elected board chairman in 1968.
Shulman was named director of community boards in Queens in 1972 and was promoted to the post of deputy borough president in 1980.
A graduate of Adelphi University, Shulman worked as a registered nurse at Queens Hospital Center, where she met her future husband, Dr. Melvin Shulman. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Shulman's daughter, Ellen, gained national acclaim as a physician and astronaut aboard a Space Shuttle mission.
©2000 Community News Group
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