The biggest names in the borough paid tribute to the growing Bay Ridge Community Council at the civic association’s annual luncheon on Jan. 26.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), district attorney Charles Hynes, state senator and borough presidential candidate Eric Adams (D-Flatbush), and comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu joined the usual cast of neighborhood pols in singing the praises of the 62-year-old confederation of community organizations, which recently added three new member groups.
The Sheepshead Bay-born Schumer applauded the Council for its dedication to neighborhood improvement, which he said was essential to a strong democracy.
“You are the backbone of America,” Schumer told the dozens of neighborhood leaders assembled at the Bay Ridge Manor on 76th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
Liu used his time at the podium to commend Bay Ridge for its sense of neighborhood cooperation and camaraderie.
“This is one of the great communities for involvement and activism,” Liu said.
Ridge electeds assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge) and assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Bay Ridge) — who also represent storm-wounded areas of Staten Island and Coney Island, respectively — both thanked Council members who had volunteered in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“I will never forget those of you who reached out and asked about my district. I will never forget my true friends in this room,” said Malliotakis, choking up.
Council president Renee Dorsa took time to welcome the Minerva Lodge of Freemasons, the Knights of Columbus, and Saint Saviour’s Lutheran Preschool, all of which recently joined the Council. Dorsa also called on the neighborhood alliance to take advantage of emerging communication technologies while staying true to the group’s longtime practices of grassroots community involvement.
“We must move into the future while continuing to respect the traditions and history of our Council,” said Dorsa.