HON. GARY L. ACKERMAN
(Extension of Remarks)


in the House of Representatives

THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 1989

Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of the most successful and long lasting civil associations in the entire New York City area. On May 3, 1989, during its annual meeting, the Kew Gardens Civic Association will be celebrating its 75th year of community service.

Since its inception in 1914, the Kew Gardens Civic Association has been actively displaying a progressive spirit while helping the neighborhood maintain the character and charm of a smalltown atmosphere within the New York City boundaries.

Neighborhood groups are as important today as they were 75 years ago. They serve many functions that are necessary for the everyday maintenance of a thriving city. The Kew Gardens Civic Association, with over 400 members, provides force to resolve problems that its members may experience with both governmental and private agencies and actions. Their meetings more closely resemble the New England town meeting, where every point of view can be discussed, than a scene of what one would expect from New York City. The suggestions that evolve from these meetings often get incorporated into the plans of government for the area, providing for a continuation of the serene, village-like atmosphere of the community.

The stable leadership of the organization is, at least in part, responsible for the continuation of a concept that has worked for over seven decades. The past three presidents of the association, George Gross, Sylvia Howard-Fuhrman, and the current president, Murray Berger have served for a total of over half a century, with the results of that dedication being the Kew Gardens of today.

Beyond the standard types of problems this group helps resolve on a day-to-day basis, their innovative thinking helped created a plan where a private developer built new, much needed housing, and provided funds to upgrade and renovate the local public school.

Mr. Speaker, it is especially heartwarming to witness such a successful neighborhood group operate within such a large metropolitan area. These days many large city neighborhoods are under siege from several fronts--drugs, crime, vandalism, racism, eroding infrastructuring--and are unable to cope with the changes. The vigilance of the Kew Gardens Civic Association has helped keep these intrusions at bay. That is precisely why the Kew Gardens Civic Association should be applauded by all of my colleagues for its lasting impact within Queens County and demonstrating that a proud neighborhood is a successful neighborhood.

I ask all my colleagues in the House of Representatives to join me now in paying tribute to President Murray Berger and all the other members of the Kew Gardens Civic Association on its 75th anniversary.

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