Editorial: Add Your Voice, Boost Impact

Written by Briana Warsing. Posted in Volume 37, Issue 4 - October 22, 2016

Want to keep Roosevelt Island the best darn community ever?  Here's how.

What can you do if you still believe in accountability? What can you do if you believe the Island’s best days are still in the future? What can you do if you still believe in the principles of a community drawn from every part of the Island? You can run for the Roosevelt Island Residents Association as a member of the Common Council, and you can vote in the local RIRA election on November 8.

Get involved at the local level. We have an unorthodox set-up, because we are on New York City land but controlled by New York State. RIOC, a State agency, is responsible for maintenance, operation, and management of the Island. But it is RIRA that promotes and defends resident interests and is recognized as the official representative of Island residents in negotiations with the State and other official entities.

We are a small community, and not an especially high profile one. At a Open House NY tour of Cornell Tech, Andrew Winters said that in his unscientific survey, only 50% of New Yorkers have ever heard of Roosevelt Island. Yet how many of us can say we’ve been to City Councilman Ben Kallos’ office, or chatted with Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright or shaken Carolyn Maloney’s hand or attended State Senator Serrano’s constituent hours. How many of us say, “Hi Susan,” when we see newly minted RIOC President Rosenthal on Main Street.

Keep the Island spirit alive. Run for common council. Vote in the RIRA elections.

-BW

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