Meet the City Council’s New Members: Costa Constantinides

Meet the City Council’s New Members: Costa Constantinides

Meet the City Council’s New Members: Costa Constantinides
January 28, 2014

Before being elected to the City Council, Costa Constantinides wore a lot of hats. And not just as a Council staffer—before entering the public realm, he worked at KB Toys, first as a senior sales associate and then as the manager of the company’s flagship store in the Manhattan Mall. 

That is not to suggest that Constantinides did not always have an appetite for public service. Community activism runs in his family: His mother was a longtime president of all the PTAs in his school district.

After Constantinides graduated from law school, he decided to give back to his neighborhood, becoming a district leader, a board member of the Long Island City Alliance, and the president of the Queens County Young Democrats, among other positions. He later got a job as legislative director for Councilwoman Darlene Mealy, before moving over to work for Councilman James Gennaro, eventually becoming his deputy chief of staff.

Constantinides hopes to follow in Gennaro’s footsteps by honing in on environmental issues germane to his district and New York City. “I’ve been working with environmental advocates for a long time, I know what we’ve been able to accomplish, I know what we still have left to accomplish,” he said. “I’m going to be a strong advocate for repower projects for power plants, to create more open space for our district, looking for clean energy projects and to expand our city’s use of nontraditional energy sources like biofuels, solar, wind—and just looking to make our city more green and more sustainable.”

Constantinides is also one of a handful of self-described progressives who will enter the City Council, though he indicated that he is still undecided on whether he would join the growing Progressive Caucus.

“I know I ran as a strong progressive, I’ve run with the support of a lot of different unions, I’m going to be fighting for middle class and working class New Yorkers—that’s what my district is comprised of. Those are going to be the people I’m fighting for.”

District: 22
Neighborhoods represented: Astoria, Long Island City; parts of Jackson Heights, Rikers, Randall’s and Wards Islands
Policy focus: Environment, public safety
Date of birth: Jan. 7, 1975
Birthplace: Astoria, N.Y.
Education: B.A., Queens College; J.D., Benjamin Cardozo School of Law
Previous Occupation: Deputy chief of staff, Councilman James Gennaro
Family: Wife: Lori; son: Nikolas
Party: Democrat
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