About Us

Mission Statement
The purpose of the Western Queens Community Land Trust is as follows:
  • To promote a more equitable city by way of community land ownership lasting in perpetuity. We aim to reclaim as much of the Western Queens area as possible for CLT ownership and in partnership with local communities, always focusing on economic, racial, and environmental justice.
  • To promote community involvement and land stewardship. This remains directly in contrast with the capitalist goals of private ownership, which place individual needs above those of the community and the greater good. WQCLT seeks to counterbalance the flawed process of land development in New York City.
  • To strengthen the local economy by providing affordable working spaces to local artists and business owners. This can ensure a healthy exchange of goods and services within the community.
  • To offer priority access for low-income residents to deeply and permanently affordable housing, community, and commercial spaces in marginalized communities, as a way of keeping with the value of economic equality.
  • To encourage environmental sustainability in our building design by choosing the most resource-efficient designs with minimal negative environmental impact.
  • To constantly inform and empower the community with outreach and advocacy campaigns that reinforce our principles. We aim to mobilize residents in promoting and sustaining economic equality throughout Western Queens. It is important that WQCLT’s properties remain part of the community.
  • To empower immigrant communities by leveraging our communal resources so that Western Queens remains affordable to people of all economic backgrounds. In order to preserve Queens’ unique economic and racial diversity, we provide land and building space for residents to live, work, and preserve their cultures.
  • To mirror the principles laid out in Article 17 of the New York State Constitution, which states, “Aid, care, and support for the needy should be provided by the state and its subdivisions.” We consider ourselves to be one of those subdivisions.
Board & Staff
Memo Salazar, co-chair

Memo is a filmmaker and longtime resident of Sunnyside, Queens. He is also a local business owner and co-runs the Sunnyside CSA, which aims to bring sustainable food justice to the neighborhood. Aside from trying to keep Queens affordable for everyone, he is often found working alongside Cookie Monster and Big Bird on a certain street everyone knows!

Jenny Dubnau, co-chair 

Jenny Dubnau has lived in Jackson Heights for 18 years. She is a working artist who has been renting commercial workspace for many years. She’s a founding member of the Artist Studio Affordability Project and a member of the Justice for All Coalition steering committee. Her community efforts to fight gentrification and rezonings continue, and she is actively involved in a coalition working to pass a commercial rent stabilization law. 

evie hantzopoulos, Treasurer

Evie has lived in Astoria since 1999 where she has been active in community affairs. She currently serves on Community Board One, and co-founded the 31st Ave Open Street Collective, Frontline Foods Queens, and Astoria Mutual Aid Network. In January 2022, she was appointed as Executive Director of the Queens Botanical Garden.

shrima pandey, secretary

Shrima has been living across Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights since her family came to the US from Nepal in 1997. Previously, she served as the Small Business Program Manager at Chhaya CDC and was an organizer with Queens Neighborhoods United. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Start Small Think Big, a national nonprofit supporting small businesses, and the chair of the health committee in Community Board 4.


Daniela has lived in Western Queens since she migrated to the US in 2018. She is a social justice activist and a community organizer. Daniela is the founder of Immigrant Assistance Services and a member of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.

pamela herrera, land justice organizer

Pam is a new member to Queens. She cased managed rapid rehousing families and individuals in our neighboring state, NJ. She has a history working in Western Queens as Woodside on the Move’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator. She is also a social worker with a long-term goal to eliminate homelessness. Pam joined WQCLT as our first part-time staff in March 2022, and transitioned to full-time in September 2023.


One Queens Activist Resorts to a Hunger Strike in Long-Running Fight Over a City Building

March 11, 2023

Why is Suga Ray on Hunger Strike

March 10, 2023

All about the Queens Community Land Act

March 9, 2023

A Hunger Strike to Quash the Tale of Two Long Island Cities

March 7, 2023

Council Member Won Puts Forward Guidelines That Developers Seeking Rezoning Must Meet

Astoria Post
August 3, 2022

Community Land Trusts Protect Housing Affordability – and Democracy

Center for New York City Affairs
June 2, 2022

Huge LIC Building Should Be Handed Over To The People, Advocates Say

May 19, 2022

From Amazon to Community-Controlled Economic Development: The Western Queens Community Land Trust

Progressive City
May 11, 2022

Inside NYC’s Little-Known Department of Education Building

Untapped New York
May 5, 2022

NYC Is Fighting for More Community Land Trust Funding

Next City
April 21, 2022

Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Hunter Urban Review
January 19, 2022

Trust Exercise

Urban Omnibus
December 2, 2021

Weigh in on the Future of Two Publicly Owned Buildings in Western Queens Saturday

Queens Post
September 17, 2021

Imagining Collective Ownership: Community Land Trusts versus Amazon’s HQ2

Urban Systems Lab
September 16, 2021

Sea Level Rise and Flood Vulnerability on the Western Queens Waterfront: How Community Land Trusts May Support Longer-term Resilience in Western Queens

Urban Systems Lab
September 16, 2021

Western Queens CLT: Looking to Start Big, and Not With Residential Units

July 26, 2021

New York City Needs a Development Reset – Starting with Public Land

Gotham Gazette
December 3, 2019