BY BENJAMIN FANG
With nearly 25 years in city and state government, former Councilman and Assemblyman Mark Weprin is bringing an insider’s perspective as the newest addition to the Queens Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Weprin served in the state Assembly from 1994 to 2009, chairing the Small Business Committee and the Jewish Legislative Caucus. From 2010 to 2015, he served in the City Council representing a district in eastern Queens.
During his tenure in the council, Weprin was both the chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, as well as the chair of the Queens Delegation.
In June 2015, Weprin was appointed as Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs for Governor Andrew Cuomo, a role he held until January 2017. Since then, he has worked as a shareholder with the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, where he represents clients in legislative and regulatory matters with various levels of government.
Weprin said he understands how government programs can be used to promote Queens businesses.
“There’s a lot of perspective I can offer to the chamber,” he said. “I have a unique insight on how government works, and what needs to be done in order to accomplish goals in Queens.”
As a longtime Democrat, the former legislator said he believes government can help lift people up and be a “saving grace” in people’s lives. He has continually emphasized, especially to the more progressive wing of the party, that in order to pay for government programs, the city and state need to build the tax base.
“We need jobs, tourism and work in Queens,” Weprin said. “I’m trying to emphasize to them that jobs are our friends, and jobs will support the city as we move forward.”
As a former elected official who represented a section of the borough, Weprin said he recognizes how much opportunity there is in Queens. He believes the Queens Chamber in particular has been a credible and strong voice on behalf of the borough in terms of job development, training and promoting industries.
He believes the next ten years in Queens will be very exciting.
“There’s so much untapped potential in Queens, so many people moving in and jobs being created,” he said. “We want to make sure to foster that moving forward to have Queens as an economic engine for the city.”