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Koslowitz celebrates her return to Council

What was old is new again as City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) celebrated her inauguration for her second tenure in the governing body.

A month after she returned to the seat she held between 1991 and 2002, a host of political luminaries gathered at Queens Theatre in the Park for the ceremony, which included former Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I learned then what I still know now: The constituents are my bosses,” Koslowitz said after taking a ceremonial oath of office. She said she was ready to pick up where she left off, regaining the chair spot on the Council Consumer Protection Committee.

“I plan to work on issues that will improve the lives of everyday New Yorkers,” she said. Koslowitz also pledged to create a parent advisory group composed of parent group leaders from all the schools in her district to address educational issues.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) recalled Koslowitz from her first stint in the Council as being straightforward and honest with her views.

“Whatever drama there is in the City Council, it just gets a little lighter when you know the Koz is in the room,” she said, using her nickname for Koslowitz.

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) mused about the absurdity of a pecking order in which he holds seniority over Koslowitz. He also praised the voters for electing “someone who is completely comfortable smacking me in the back of the head when I’ve done something wrong.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) recalled meeting Koslowitz when she was still a staffer for then-Council President Andrew Stein.

“She cared so much in her nice, New York way,” he said. “She was relentless in working to get a street light, in making sure Queens Boulevard had the right kind of street lights.”

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) summed it up with a theatrical flourish befitting the venue.

“Act I is over,” she said, referring to Koslowitz’s previous tenure. “We had an intermission, and now we’re up to Act II. Act II is going to be even better than Act I.”

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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