FDR Hope Memorial Ready To Open

RIOC will open FDR Hope Memorial, but you’re not invited

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You paid for it, but you’re not invited to the ribbon-cutting for the FDR Hope Memorial on Saturday. A press release excluded all local news sources. And no RIOC Advisory extended an invitation to the event, just three days away.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

You’re not invited

“Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) and the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) announced plans to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the unveiling of the FDR Hope Memorial,” RIOC said.

But there’s a problem. RIDA did not know that any press release went out and had not approved it. State assembly member Rebecca Seawright, also quoted in the release, was unaware of its exclusive nature.

As we reported yesterday, we stumbled on a story in Yahoo News about the ribbon-cutting. As standard practice, they simply replicate a press release they receive, if they think it’s newsworthy. Others followed.

Although clear that RIOC wanted the news spread, it was in fact equally clear that you’re not invited. Not if you live on Roosevelt Island.

Keep in mind we know about this only because we found it in a Google search. It does not even include a time for the event, and RIOC has not notified the local community.

The ribbon-cutting is just three days away. You’re not invited.

But you might find a couple of items worth a chuckle. A cynical one, probably, but still…

About the ribbon-cutting..

“We are reminded every day, by our island’s name, that we have a legacy to uphold by continuing to represent how inclusion and diversity can prosper in New York.”

RIOC president/CEO Shelton Haynes

This is funny only because it contradicts reality on the ground. Roosevelt Islanders and local news media have no place in this exclusive event. And take a look around. RIOC sports one of the least diverse work forces, at all levels, you will find anywhere.

Haynes recently seized the second floor of historic Blackwell House for his office. The space is not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. His salute of support for people with disabilities, in the real world, rings hollow.

“Guest speakers attending the FDR Hope Memorial unveiling will include… Representative Caroline Maloney.” Is she related to our own local “Carolyn Maloney?”

That’s Representative Carolyn Maloney, in white on the right, with NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, on Roosevelt Island Day. But we don’t know who “Caroline Maloney” is.

Note: If you have any spare spell check software, consider donating it to RIOC.

Finally: “RIOC is committed to providing services that enhance the island’s residential community,” but you’re not invited.

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