JACKSON HEIGHTS — The 82nd Street Partnership, which is spearheading a controversial expansion of its business improvement district, has announced its new director.
Leslie Ramos was selected as the successor to Seth Taylor, who left the partnership in August, the group announced Thursday.
She previously worked as the assistant commissioner for finance at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and also served as the executive director of the Mayor's Office for Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses.
"I'm highly interested in economic and community development work," said Ramos, 43, who lives in Clinton Hill.
She is a member of the Latina Leadership Forum’s founding committee and a former board member of Latina PAC, a political action committee that addresses political and socio-economic issues, according to the partnership.
The partnership is currently working on creating the Jackson Heights-Corona BID, which would extend down Roosevelt Avenue to 104th Street and also include Junction Boulevard to 35th Avenue.
The plan has been criticized by local business owners who say the yearly fee for a business improvement district will push out small, immigrant-run shops.
At a public hearing in July, protesters called for the ousting of Taylor and the group Make the Road New York announced it was no longer in support of the plan.
Ramos said they are still in the process of looking at ballots for the plan but she looks forward to meeting with business owners.
"This is a decision that should be made by community and stakeholders," she said.
Those with concerns about changes in Jackson Heights and Corona have their reasons, but the BID, which would benefit the community, is separate, she said.
"For those that have questions about it, we'll be glad to discuss the larger issues that impact most neighborhoods in New York City when it comes to changing demographics."