How the Women We Elected Can Help Roosevelt Island

How the Women We Elected Can Help Roosevelt Island

As the next year rolls out ahead of us, the women we elected have a remarkable chance for helping Roosevelt Islanders. Couple that with independence and authority we haven’t seen in our public officials in years and you’ve got potent chemistry working.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Who Are They?

The women we elected – or will soon elect – bring a unified strength and experience. Each has shown a marked ability to listen to community concerns along with the determination to act on what they hear.

Start with Rebecca Seawright. Seawright has represented Roosevelt Island in the State Assembly for several terms. She’s here a lot and advocates as much as she follows. In this legislative session, she has shepherded two laws through the assembly aimed at taming RIOC.

Last week, Seawright brought Mayor Eric Adams for his first listening tour of Roosevelt Island. After a meeting with the community in the senior center, she introduced him to the local library and, then, led him on his first Tram ride.

And City Council Member Julie Menin‘s impact was more than immediate. Even before taking office, Menin sent a crew out in the cold of December.

Cameron Koffman from Menin’s staff hands out free COVID test kits in Good Shepherd Plaza. This was in December 2021, before Menin took office in January.

Having led three city departments, she brings unparalleled experience and connections to the job. This spring, she reminded Roosevelt Islanders that her campaign was more than hot air, taking on RIOC, demanding that OMNY readers be brought to the Tram.

Menin replaced Ben Kallos, a popular but ineffective council member, who termed out. The step up in focus was notable.

Of the women we elected, Liz Kreuger is an anomaly because we haven’t officially elected her yet – or again. Kreuger is a legislative powerhouse who represented Roosevelt Island before the 2010 Census led to redistricting that left her out.

Liz Kreuger, second from the left, chairs the Senate Finance Committee that approves appointees to RIOC’s board. She’s in a unique position where she can demand better-quailied people. Photo credit: Liz Kreuger’s legislative website.

A certain winner in the November general election, Kreuger resumes a State Senate District that now expands to include Roosevelt Island. Although outgoing Senator José Serrano has worked effectively for the community, Republican gerrymandering had him in a strange district mostly in The Bronx.

How the Women We Elected Can Help

Seawright, Menin and Kreuger bring the community a trio of women as their most immediate voices in power. The alignment promises better authority because all three are independent-minded and constituent-friendly. Along with that, their experiences deliver tools for delivery Roosevelt Island has never had before.

A little-known fact is that all three have a right to sit on RIOC’s board as non-voting members. While they can’t vote – neither can President/CEO Shelton Haynes – they can insert community voices in what has become an “It’s all about us” RIOC agenda.

And there’s little doubt each is capable of managing this new angle with grace and intelligence. Along with all the other things they can do with laws and budgeting, they can bring life and community spirit back to RIOC.

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