March 16, 2011 Staff Report
On March 4, State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan presented a flower and an award to newly elected women of New York City and state. The ceremony and buffet luncheon, occasioned by March as Women’s History Month, was called “New Women Leaders of Queens” and was held at LaGuardia Community College near the newly installed fifth floor hall gallery of photographs, “Wall of Fame.”
Most guests and those officially introducing and remarking on the honored women were women also, except for City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, his community liaison Joe Kenton, Nolan aide Eddie Cadiz, and former State Senator Serphin Maltese. Gail Mellon, President of LaGuardia Community College, spoke and also introduced Richard Lieberman, the college’s new full-time Director of La Guardia and Wagner Archives. Others of the many women from Sunnyside who attended were Diane Ballek, Connie Stamatiadis and Claudia Chan of Nolan’s office, Lily Gavin and Rebecca Barker of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Monica Guzman of Sunnyside Community Services, and Kathy Giaimo of the Thalia Spanish Theatre.
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, a cousin of US Congressman Joe Crowley, spoke of running for office twice and losing before she finally won, from a family where political candidates were supposed to be men, and her mother struggled to raise 13 children.
Cathy Nolan was praised by all the awardees as someone who actively helps other women get a foothold. Nolan brought down the house when she told of the contribution of elected women sometimes stemming from their unique point of view. She mentioned that a bill which included insurance coverage for formula for allergic babies was struggling for passage in committee debate until an assemblywoman stood up and pointed out, “some insurers cover Viagra” which instantly stopped debate in the measure’s favor.
Note: The image that was previously here indicated the individuals as such: State Assemblywoman Grace Meng, only Asian-American in the State legislature, State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, the only Greek American woman to be elected to legislature, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the first woman to win the 7th District, where she was the first to give birth while in office, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, LaGuardia Community College President Gail Mellow, US Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the US House, and State Assemblywoman Michelle Titus, and City Council Member Diana Reyna (Edit: May 28, 2020)