Lori Cintron Knipel was honored for her more than three decades as District Leader in Assembly District 44 at the Brooklyn Independent Democrat’s annual Elegant Holiday Party on Jan. 11.
In front of a star-studded crowd at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Gravesend, Community Board 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow recognized Knipel as the woman of the evening.
Knipel, who founded Brooklyn Independent Democrats in 1997, was widely recognized by local politicians, judges, and members of the political club.
“In 1992, running for District Leader was not an easy thing,” Knipel told the crowd during her speech. “Everybody told me that it cannot be done. Wonderful senators told me that I should give it up. Luckily, I am stubborn.”
Refusing to be dissuaded, Knipel ran anyway — and won. More than 30 years later, she has continued to be a tenacious leader with a strong commitment to the people of Brooklyn. In addition to her service as district leader, Knipel founded the Flatbush Renaissance Committee and served as a longtime member of Community Board 14.
Knipel said she believed in herself and what she had to offer as a woman, a mother, and a leader. She knocked on many doors, she said, and eventually, those doors were opened. Her biggest accomplishment came last August, when her support helped to elect Rachael R. Freier to the New York Supreme Court. Freier is the first Hasidic woman to be elected to the bench.
However, Knipel announced during her speech that she won’t be seeking re-election as District Leader. She won’t be retiring, she said, and will remain in the position until September.
After Knipel’s announcement, Freier thanked her for her unconditional and benevolent help. Freier said Knipel is selfless, and doesn’t think about herself — but always has someone else in mind, and is always doing things for her family, friends, and the community. Lori’s heart is “huge,” she said, and has room for every person and every cause.
“On behalf of the people and the entire community of Brooklyn, we celebrate, applaud, and thank Hon, Lori Citron Knipel for her outstanding 32 years of commendable service as a remarkable District Leader,” Freier said.