District 29 - Council Member - Democrat
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Karen Koslowitz

Karen Koslowitz

District 29 - Council Member - Democrat
Chair - Committee on State & Federal Legislation
Committees: Aging, Housing and Buildings, Consumer Affairs, Economic Development, Small Business, Women's Issues

Forest Hills- Rego Park- Kew Gardens- Richmond Hill

Biography

Council Member Karen Koslowitz has been a lifelong and tireless advocate in helping seniors, women, and families improve their standard of living and quality of life. Koslowitz serves the 29th District of Queens, which includes Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and parts of Richmond Hill. Her service in the council today is a continuation of nearly 30 years of public service, having first served in the City Council from 1991-2001.

Prior to her election in 2009, Koslowitz served as Deputy Borough President under Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, where she represented a county of 2.2 million residents in the most diverse county in the United States. She oversaw constituent services and presided over the borough’s 14 Community Boards.

Koslowitz began her career in the private sector at Fischbach and Moore, Inc., electrical contractors. She entered the world of public service in 1982 as a Legislative Aide for Congressman Gary Ackerman and subsequently for Council Member Arthur Katzman. She became the full-time Special Assistant and Queens Ombudsman to City Council President Andrew Stein in 1988. In 1991, Koslowitz was elected to the city council in a special election. She held the position until 2001 as a result of term limits.

During her tenure, Koslowitz fought side-by-side with her constituents to shut down an all-nude strip club Runway 69 in a family-friendly residential area— a move many have said played a major role in revitalizing Forest hills—and introduced legislation to ensure similar clubs may not open in similar neighborhoods. She was actively involved with the local Chamber of Commerce and other civic associations to help maintain a safe, graffiti-free and clean shopping environment for local residents.

Some of the major pieces of legislation Koslowitz has sponsored include:
• Senior citizen tax relief (by increasing the income eligibility standard)
• Full and free access to reproductive health care facilities for women
• A one-year ban on adult entertainment establishments opening in New York City
• Streamlining the bureaucratic red tape involved in locating and retrieving towed vehicle
• A resolution calling upon the Federal and New York State governments to enact legislation requiring the testing of newborns for HIV and the disclosure of the results to the newborns’ parents
• Ban on the sale of realistic-looking toy guns

In addition, Council Member Koslowitz is also responsible for:
• Funding the Queens Boulevard pedestrian improvements with former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.
• Providing handicap accessibility in movie theatres
• Ensuring equality in dry cleaning/ nail salons
• Unit Pricing in supermarkets
• The small business bill of rights and The Tenant Fair Chance Act
• Children’s safety in parks by bringing back recreational park managers (“parkies”)
• Much-needed school renovations for various elementary schools and ensuring classes were equipped with computers.

Karen was raised in the Bronx and is a graduate of the city’s public education system. She has two daughters who were raised in Queens and attended public school. Her daughter, Heidi, is a graduate of C.W. Post and currently works in the Queens Court system. Her daughter Marcia is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook and mother of her 3 grandchildren, Michael, Ian, and Lauren. She is also a proud mother-in-law to her son-in-law Rob.