The RIRA Column

May 21, 2016

Jeffrey Escobar, President
Roosevelt Island Residents Association
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Happy Roosevelt Island Day! Head to Good Shepherd Plaza starting at 9 a.m. for a day of community service, festivities and fun. Make sure you come by the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association (RIRA) bagel breakfast sponsored by the RIRA Social Cultural & Education (SC&E) Committee starting at 9 a.m. to enjoy breakfast, and bring along any new or gently used children’s books (any language welcome, from ages infant to 8) to donate to the RIRA Book Drive.

Want to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty? Head to the RIOC and A Living Library tent and volunteer to help with the many beautification, planting, and clean-up projects they are sponsoring. If you have signed-up to donate blood during the RIRA-sponsored annual blood drive, hang on to your Green Sheet after you have donated blood to redeem your Island thank-you’s from our merchant sponsors.

Are you one of the few Island residents who have not yet been trained through RIRA’s Hands-Only CPR training? Visit the RIRA Hands-Only CPR tent and receive free training – you just may save an Island neighbor’s life.

If the morning of community service, creative exploration, and education has not yet tired you out, the fun’s just beginning with family games, rides, food, petting zoo and pony rides, culminating with a film screening sponsored by Rooftop Films at Firefighter’s Field. Be sure to check out this year’s festivities, and to all our Roosevelt Island family, friends, and neighbors who were able to attend this year’s festivities, we truly hope your Roosevelt Island Day was one filled with catching up with neighbors – old and new, family fun and community service.

Food For Seniors: We Need Your Help!

Late last year, in conjunction with GrowNYC and the Department of Aging, and through the efforts of the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA), and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s Office, the Roosevelt Island Senior Center successfully became one of the centers participating in the Food for Seniors pilot program for Northern Manhattan, which provides our seniors with locally-grown fruit and vegetables for just $8 a bag directly delivered to their senior center.

To continue the service, the program needs volunteers and/or financial assistance to help transport nine food deliveries to the Roosevelt Island Senior Center from the Hudson Guild senior center on Ninth Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets during July to November. Can you assist or have some ideas on how to coordinate deliveries? Please reach out to either myself at , Christina Delfico at , or Shulamit Warren of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office at for more information, and check out . Let’s make this program a permanent one for our senior citizens!

Cornell Tech Town Hall

On Monday, June 13th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., our neighbors to the south, Cornell Tech, will be holding a Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Cornell Tech Community and Construction Task Force. They will be discussing Cornell Tech’s academic programs, community engagements, status of campus construction and operations, and the anticipated opening of the Roosevelt Island campus in 2017. Come with your questions and take a moment to learn about the progress of the Project and what the campus will hold for the Island when it opens next year.

Throughout my term, I have asked that each of you consider giving back to your community; join a RIRA Committee, attend our various community events. As the Common Council takes its summer hiatus and resets for the fall, I ask that you consider undertaking the highest task of community service and consider running for, and serving on, a seat on the Common Council in the Fall.

This September, the Common Council will be reconvening in earnest, which will include the undertaking of the arduous task of conducting the Island-wide elections for the new slate of Common Council Members and Executive Officers.

All seats on the Common Council and its Executive Officers positions (including my own) will be up for grabs in an Island-wide election for the new slate of Common Council Members and officers for the 2017-2019 term.

As with the national and State elections, this year’s Island elections will be a pivotal one for us. Newly elected Common Council members will dictate what initiatives and direction RIRA will undertake for the next two years, will analyze and implement the results of The Survey, and contend with the opening of Cornell Tech’s campus.

Issues such as the explosion of the Island’s population, the continuing accelerated deterioration of the Island’s transportation and infrastructure, and the preservation of Island life in the face of rapidly changing community needs, are just a few issues that the new Common Council will be tasked with. Do you have an interest in collectively solving these and many other Island issues? If so, I truly hope that you will heed my call and run for a seat on the Common Council. If you have any questions about what it means to serve on the Common Council, how to run for a seat this fall, or how to get more involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself at , Adib Mansour, Chair of the Nominations Committee at or your current Building Representative at .

The success of the Common Council depends on the active participation of each and every one of you, as the members of the community whom we represent and as members of RIRA itself.

Should you see any of us, or myself, out and about enjoying our wonderful home this summer, please stop and say hello. And have a very Happy and Safe Summer!

Tags: RIRA Column

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