Saturday, August 2, 2014

Report From RIRA President Jeff Escobar - Roosevelt Island Activities, NY State Assembly Primary Election, RIRA Common Council Election, Giving Back, CB 8 Speaks Interview & More

 Image of Mr. Escobar (right), Ms. Polivy & Mr Parnes  From CB 8 Speaks

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar sends the following Report To The Community:
Happy summer, friends and neighbors! The “dog days” are truly upon us, and the Common Council hopes that the season thus far has been a safe and healthy one for you, full of outdoor fun, family, and memories. This is a magical time on Roosevelt Island, and our little ship in the East River is abuzz with the excitement and energy that only summer can bring. Kicked off in June with another successful and well-attended Roosevelt Island Day, the activities continue to roll on. With outdoor movies on Saturday nights at Southpoint Park or Firefighters Field, family workshops at the FDR Memorial Park on Thursday mornings, informal neighborhood picnics and barbecues at our parks, and the R&R Family Concerts at the Good Shepherd Center, there has never been so much to do (or not do). We hope that you continue to explore all that the Island has to offer during the waning summer days.

As fall approaches, election season draws near. This year will be pivotal for Roosevelt Island -- our District will be electing a new Assemblymember to represent us in Albany. The Democratic primary for the seat is Tuesday, September 9. Understanding its importance, the Government Relations Committee of the RIRA Common Council is sponsoring a Town Meeting on Tuesday, August 5, at 8 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Center, to give all of you the opportunity to meet the candidates. Come and directly ask the tough questions of Gus Christensen, Ed Hartzog, David Menegon, and Rebecca Seawright, to see if they truly understand the stakes here on the Island, and if they have what it takes to represent us.

Speaking of elections -- for many months now, I have asked that each of you consider giving back to our community by serving on the Common Council. In September, the Council will reconvene after the 3-month summer hiatus, and its activities will include the arduous task of conducting November's Island-wide election for Council members and executive officers. The new Council members will determine RIRA's direction and initiatives for the next two years. Issues of Council concern include the expansion of the Island’s population as the remaining Southtown towers come on line, and the accelerated crumbling of the Island’s infrastructure, and the environmental hazards and community well-being at risk, as the Cornell project marches toward Phase I completion. Do you have an interest in collectively solving these, and many other, Island issues? If so, I hope that you will run for a seat on the Common Council. If you have questions about what it means to serve on the Council, how to run for a seat, or how to get more involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to your current Building Representative, or to me at

Finally, I invite all of you to tune to the Manhattan News Network (Time Warner Ch. 34/RCN Ch. 82/FiOS Ch. 33) on Thursday, August 7, at 9:30 p.m. to view Part II of an interview, by former RIRA President Ellen Polivy, of Larry Parnes and me as Co-Chairs of Community Board 8 Manhattan’s Roosevelt Island Committee. We discuss the issues that we believe the Island faces in the near and distant futures in the context of New York City as a whole, and how we believe that we as a community can start solving them. For Part I of the series, go to either or here.

Have a question or issue you would like to discuss?Email me at And be sure to say hello when you are out and about. And have a very happy rest of your summer!
Here's Part 2 of CB 8 interview on Roosevelt Island governance with Mr. Escobar and Mr. Parnes hosted

by Ellen Polivy.