Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/MTA
By Michael V. Cusenza
Pioneering borough politician Claire Shulman died on Sunday following a long battle with lung and pancreatic cancer.
She was 94.
Shulman was the first woman to be elected president of The World’s Borough. She held the position for 16 years (1986-2002) until she was term-limited out of office.
Reactions to her passing poured into The Forum this week.
“Claire Shulman was larger-than-life,” said Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee. “She did not waste time, and lived every single minute fully and with purpose. In a borough known for its trailblazers, few have led a life of dedicated public service as robust and as effective as Claire Shulman. You just couldn’t say no to Claire Shulman. She transformed the landscape of the city’s largest borough, and so much of what we see and enjoy today are the results of her extraordinary vision and decisions made over 18 years ago. No one loved Queens more than Claire Shulman, and in turn, she was widely respected and deeply loved.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) added, “Claire believed strongly in empowering women and pushing for more women in leadership positions, particularly in public service, way before it was popular to do so. She always believed in me, encouraged me, and set high standards that I strove to achieve.Queens is a better place thanks to Claire Shulman and I and so many owe her an immense debt of gratitude for everything that she did for our borough, and I will forever be in her debt for all the help, advice and encouragement that she provided to me.”