Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Tuesday shared his congratulations and appreciation for Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna and her historic tenure as the first Latina to serve in a boroughwide capacity.
In January, Reyna, who in 2001 became the first woman of Dominican descent to be elected to office in New York state, will help launch Athena Consulting Group, an all-female startup firm focused on business development, community engagement, government relations, public relations, as well as minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) certification.
At a community celebration Tuesday night at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Adams thanked Reyna for her commitment to “proactively improving service delivery across Brooklyn,” spearheading the development of his “pipeline” approach to education, as well as for connecting and preserving community pathways to economic development.
“On behalf of all Brooklynites, I salute Diana Reyna, who has distinguished herself as a deputy borough president, council member, civic activist, and proud daughter of Brooklyn,” Adams said. “She is as passionate a public servant as I have known, and her community-first legacy will be felt for generations.”
In her time at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Adams said Reyna coordinated a variety of initiatives, including the revitalization of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, the establishment of New York City’s first-ever Chinese friendship archway in Sunset Park, and the championing of the BQGreen, a 3.5-acre decked park she has proposed over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) trench in Williamsburg to improve local air quality and open space access.
Adams said she also served as chair of the Brooklyn Borough Service Cabinet, a charter-mandated committee that coordinates service delivery functions and considers interagency problems that impede the delivery of City services.
Additionally, Adams said Reyna helped foster the creation of various education “pipelines,” connecting schools through coordinated curriculum and programming to train students in emerging careers, such as engineering and urban agriculture, in partnership with institutions such as Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights and Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach.
As the former chair of the Committee on Small Business in the City Council, Adams said Reyna helped him take on issues, such as access to capital, industrial business zone (IBZ) protection and MWBE contracting.
“Working with Borough President Adams has been one of the highlights of my career,” Reyna said. “Together, we have pushed Brooklyn, community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, business-by-business, and block-by-block to meet its great potential, where everyone will have a seat at the table.
“I leave Brooklyn Borough Hall with gratitude and the utmost respect and love for our staff, as well as cherish the lasting relationships that we’ve forged across the borough,” she added. “As Brooklynites, we’ll all have roles to play in writing Brooklyn’s next chapter.”
Reyna, who was born and raised in Williamsburg’s Southside, currently lives in Bushwick with her husband, a sergeant in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and two sons.
She attended the Transfiguration School in Williamsburg, St. Joseph High School in Downtown Brooklyn, and Pace University in Pleasantville, New York.
Prior to her tenure at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Reyna served for 12 years as representative of the 34th District in the New York City Council, working in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Williamsburg, as well as the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood.