2017-03-01 / Front Page

UCCA Holds Annual Breakfast


(L. to r.); Council Member Costa Constantinides, UCCA President Rose Marie Poveromo, Mount Sinai Queens Executive Director Caryn Schwab, 114th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, General Manager LaGuardia Airport, Port Authority of NY & NJ Lysa Scully, 115th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry and Richard Smyth, Project Executive, LaGuardia Redevelopment 
Photo Vinny DuPre (L. to r.); Council Member Costa Constantinides, UCCA President Rose Marie Poveromo, Mount Sinai Queens Executive Director Caryn Schwab, 114th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, General Manager LaGuardia Airport, Port Authority of NY & NJ Lysa Scully, 115th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry and Richard Smyth, Project Executive, LaGuardia Redevelopment Photo Vinny DuPre The United Community Civic Association (UCCA) held their annual Legislative/Executive Breakfast on Friday, February 24th, at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel.

The forum is a tradition that brings community leaders to the forefront, to highlight issues that are important to the neighborhoods served by UCCA. UCCA President Rose Marie Poveromo welcomed all attendees and Maureen Allen, Chair of the breakfast and a Director of UCCA, introduced the guests.

The Port Authority Project Executive Richard Smyth detailed the LaGuardia Airport expansion.


Photos Vinny DuPre (L. to r.); Council Member Costa Constantinides, UCCA President Rose Marie Poveromo, state Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas. Photos Vinny DuPre (L. to r.); Council Member Costa Constantinides, UCCA President Rose Marie Poveromo, state Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas. Caryn Schwab, Executive Director of Mount Sinai Queens presented the massive redevelopment of the new Mount Sinai Queens.

Elected officials spoke about some of their upcoming projects, and answered questions from those gathered.

The elected representatives at the event were state Senators Michael Gianaris and Jose Peralta, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Council Member Costa Constantinides and City Comptroller Scott Stringer. The following officials could not attend the event due to the snowstorm postponed date, and sent personal representatives to attend and participate: Congress Members Carolyn Maloney and Joseph Crowley, Assembly Member Michael DenDekker and Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.


Caryn Schwab gave the Mount Sinai presentation. Caryn Schwab gave the Mount Sinai presentation. The Executive Breakfast Committee consisted of Mary Damakos, Donald Lizzul, Kathryn Lizzul, Carol Scarano and Irene Vasiliakos.

—Tony Barsamian

Rose Marie Poveromo led the breakfast with a detailed speech welcoming the attendees:

Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning.

A very happy 2017, healthy and peaceful New Year and warm welcome, though belated, to this, the United Community Civic Association’s Annual Legislative/Executive Breakfast.

For those of you joining us for the first time, my name is Rose Marie Poveromo. I am the President of UCCA, a non-partisan civic association that has, and will continue to, publicly and candidly address serious quality of life assaults and major issues and concerns unique to “environmentally sensitive” northwest Queens, save for this morning, given the daily dramatic happenings and unsettling decisions being made on the national level that has and will affect everyone, of every race, religion or sexual orientation, irrespective of party affiliation or land of one’s birth.


State Senator Jose Peralta addressed the gathering. State Senator Jose Peralta addressed the gathering. Looking back, the year 2016 surely will be remembered, and possibly regarded by future historians, as the most divisive presidential election preceded by a campaign layered with the most uncalled-for, unnecessarily harsh, uncivil, indelicate rhetorical remarks in the history of this proud nation of immigrants.

But…Donald J. Trump won the election, and is the 45th President of the United States of America.

Consequently, we the American people, are obligated to accept and respect the results of the election and the President now seated in the oval office.


Richard Smyth, giving the LaGuardia Airport presentation. Richard Smyth, giving the LaGuardia Airport presentation. However, we civic leaders and activists are obligated, and have chosen to verbalize, rather than protest and disrupt, the national concerns of the “voiceless,” respectfully cautioning the new administration in Washington – Republican Congressional Leaders House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price – to exclude from consideration, their oft repeated intent to privatize, overhaul (if you will) not only Social Security and Medicare benefits – sacrosanct, promised and protected by law, and a lifeline to millions of people who’ve worked and paid into both, but Medicaid as well humanitarian program, providing health coverage for the chronically sick with low or no income.

Moreover, repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” without simultaneous replacement would be irresponsible, unjust and life-threatening. Rather, tweak, fine-tune and upgrade, make affordable and accessible to multiple insurance companies, plans and doctors before unintended, devastating consequences visit the 99% less powerful or influential.


City Comptroller Scott Stringer at the mic, joined by Maureen Allen, Rose and Marie Poveromo. City Comptroller Scott Stringer at the mic, joined by Maureen Allen, Rose and Marie Poveromo. Lastly, we urge the Trump administration’s new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, to accept and heed the scientific community’s dire warning, that community’s “global warming”, is not only factual, but already happening. That our world, planet Earth, is at the crossroads, and that industry pollution, the burning of fossil fuels, is a pervading influence on world-wide warming from numberless tons of carbon, aviation and HFCs into the atmosphere and must, if our planet is to survive, be mitigated and capped by responsible federal officials in the administration by mandate, if necessary, to prepare for climate change before it’s too late to reverse the ever-ensuing catastrophe.

Additionally, arbitrarily nullifying existing and legally binding climate agreements reached by hundreds of world leaders, stakeholders and signatories, united to combat climate change and reduce global warming would be an unwise miscarriage of environmental justice and a grave mistake to be suffered by future generations.

That said, let us keep a sense of perspective, hoping that all those elected by “We the People” operate altruistically, “Keep Calm and Carry On” as our friends, the Brits, say, praying that no one’s finger slips on the red button and blows us all to smithereens.

We’ve chosen to hold in reserve comments on the de Blasio administration for a later moment.

I’ll now turn the meeting over to Maureen Allen, Chair of today’s breakfast.

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