The RIRA Column

January 9, 2016

Jeffrey Escobar, President
Roosevelt Island Residents Association
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If our local weather forecasts are to be believed, you are either reading this warmly tucked at home with friends and family as Jack Frost finally comes back from vacation, blanketing our little ship on the East River with a thick cover of snow, or you are whiling the weekend away, relieved that New York has once again evaded Snowmageddon. Either way, we, on the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association, hope that our Island neighbors, family, and friends have had a great start to the New Year. Here’s what’s been happening the last few weeks.

Polling Initiative: The Survey

The Survey is a RIRA Common Council initiative intended to gauge and understand what issues and programming matters are important to you, as well as discover which are most important to maintaining and improving the quality of life on our little Island. Although one-on-one conversations and outreach with your respective building representatives are the most efficient way to have your opinions and comments heard, your Common Council understands that the daily ins-and-outs of family, professional, community, and personal commitments can sometime hinder one’s ability to fully engage in Island life.

The RIRA Common Council is very excited to formally embark on the first step of this initiative with the formal rollout and launch of The Survey. Beginning on January 23rd, all residents of Roosevelt Island are invited to go to www.riraonline.com/survey and answer a few questions regarding Island life and concerns. Compiled through the assistance of professional consultants, from Cornell University and the Chairs of the Committees of the Roosevelt Island Common Council, the three-minute survey is intended to open a direct dialogue with the Island Community and get the pulse of our residents. Don’t have online access or prefer to respond through traditional pen and paper? Head to the Roosevelt Island Public Library or the Public Safety Department. Common Council volunteers will also be available at the Roosevelt Island Public Library to assist in completing the online survey during the times and dates posted at the library. Also, keep your eyes out for when your Common Council Representative will be on hand in your building to assist in The Survey. We strongly encourage all of you to participate and let your voice be heard!

On Friday, February 12th, The Survey will officially close and the tallied responses will be communicated to the Common Council, RIOC and the Electeds. Based on those results, both this term and next term’s Common Council will shape its programming and advocacy platforms accordingly. Further Community-wide meetings with the Island Community will be held to discuss issues identified which affect the Island as a whole. Lobby meet and greets with Building Representatives will be held for issues that affect your building. Together, we can hopefully address the issues that matter to you the most. Have questions regarding The Survey or assistance on participating? Have other polling questions that were not raised but you believe should be asked of the Community? Email the Polling Initiative’s Chair, Adib Mansour at and let your voice be heard!

Cornell Tech Community Task Force

On Monday, January 25th at 6:00 P.M. on the 12th floor conference room at 546 Main Street, the Cornell Tech Community and Construction Task Force will be holding its first meeting of 2016 to not only give the community a construction update, but also to receive a presentation from the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) group who will be discussing preparing women for nontraditional careers in the construction, utilities and transportation industries. Have questions or concerns regarding the current construction of the Project? Want to know more about the NEW group and nontraditional careers for women? Attend the January 25th meeting!

RIRA ­Advisory Committee

On Wednesday, January 27th at 5:00 pm, the RIRA Main Street Retail Advisory Committee will be holding its first meeting of the year to discuss the current status of retail development on our Main Street Corridor, discuss future plans regarding retail development and answer any questions or concerns the Island Community may have concerning retail development. All those interested in finding out more about the current status of retail development on Main Street and where it is going are strongly encouraged to attend. Reach out to Anne Kanninen, Chair of the Main Street Retail Advisory Committee at with any questions or concerns you might have and for the location of the meeting.

Composting Initiative Partnership

Since the launch of the Composting Initiative late last November, Islanders have contributed nearly one ton of organic kitchen scraps and materials to be composted. The Roosevelt Island Composting Initiative in cooperation with the NYC Compost Project and BIG-Reuse will continue to accept organic kitchen scraps at the Roosevelt Island Saturday Markets under the helix to be composted and used to rebuild Island and City gardens. Through your efforts, the City is well on its way to its goal of reducing landfill waste by 20% to 30%. But we are not done yet! Continue to contribute your kitchen scraps to the movement and join your fellow neighbors, RIRA, the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, the PS/IS 217 PTA, iDig2Learn the Girl Scouts and 45 other Island residents every Saturday as we look to reduce, reuse and recycle. And keep your eye out as the initiative grows! Want to find out more about how you can join the movement? Send the Common Council an email at .

On Roosevelt Island We… Initiative

Many thanks go to Brownie Girl Scout Troop 3001 and its Troop Leader Aiesha Eleusizov for helping to kick-off the RIRA Social Cultural and Education (SCE) Committee’s first installment of its year-long “On Roosevelt Island We …” campaign. Through the eyes, minds, words and pictures of our Island’s children, the first installment of the SCE Committee’s multi-media campaign designed to promote good citizenship and raise awareness of the impact Island Residents have on each other’s lives will be posted throughout the Island. Keep your eyes out this year for more installments as the SCE Committee looks to work with all our Island’s children and children’s groups. If you or your child have an idea for an “On Roosevelt Island We …” poster, or your or your child’s community group or organization would like to participate in this year’s campaign, do not hesitate to reach out at c for more information. And when you see a poster, don’t just read it, but heed it!

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Contact Info

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New York, NY 10044
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