You may not know their names, or even their faces, but people have been at work on your behalf.
Many of them do it day in, day out, and if you don’t always hear about their efforts or their successes, it’s because they often work against difficult odds, and successes can seem few and defeats frequent, though defeats are never accepted as final.
These are the dedicated volunteers who serve on the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and on its committees.
When these Island volunteers are able to join with legislators, a good deal can be accomplished – and there are examples in this issue. There’s PS/IS 217’s Green Roof, of course, which comes about because Councilmember Ben Kallos turned some of his City budgeting power over to a democratic ballot, and Borough President Gale Brewer stepped up to add to the award that was won when volunteers worked to bring in the vote.
But a key example is the restoration of Public Purpose Fund grants – a necessary step accomplished when Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and State Senator Jose Serrano worked together with RIRA volunteers on the organization’s Government Relations Committee and two members of the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to put aright the effect of an overly general ruling by the State’s Authorities Budget Office.
The grants are back, and you’ll see most of the names you should know when you read the article that starts on page 3, our displaced front page for this issue.
It leads to this question: Wouldn’t you like to be part of such a team?
You’ll have the opportunity to work your way up to a leading role. You won’t get a lot of thanks. Sometimes, you’ll find there’s more to do than you think you can handle. But with teamwork and dedication, you will ultimately accomplish much.
Don’t just say thanks (but don’t forget that, either). Instead, join those who work hard to make Roosevelt Island an even better place to live. Seek a RIRA Common Council seat, or join a committee. You’ll find satisfactions in the struggle, and joy in the successes.