Committee for Effective Leadership honors activists and youth

(l-r) Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, honoree Joan Millman, Councilman Andy King, honoree Joe McManus, Neva Schillingford-King, event host Lewis Goldstein, honorees Eunic Ortiz and Patrick Devine stand outside Villa Barone Restuarant, the location of the event.
Photo by Laura Stone

The Committee for Effective Leadership’s annual luncheon brought a who’s who in borough, state and national politics to Pelham Bay in support of the progressive organization.

The annual event, held this year on Sunday, April 28, included a keynote address by Public Advocate Letitia James and speeches by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and remarks by a host of borough elected officials.

Activist and political maven Lewis Goldstein hosts the fundraiser every year.

This year’s event emcee was John Doyle. The proceeds go to benefit progressive causes, political groups and candidates on the state level.

“The turnout by other leaders, friends and colleagues of the honorees and elected officials demonstrated the leadership qualities of the four honorees: Eunic Ortiz, Patrick Devine, Joan Millman and Joe McManus,” said Goldstein. “It also demonstrated that we have a progressive and inclusive borough regardless of political party affiliation; I was thrilled that both Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Public Advocate Tish James attended and participated.”

The organization has been active since the mid-1980s, said Goldstein, who added that in addition to the four honorees, a group of youth honorees should signify the torch being passed to a new generation.

Devine, a member of Community Board 10 for 40 years and an advocate for the construction of Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, said that it was humbling to be recognized because people like him serve their community for service’s sake, not for the recognition.

“It was an honor to be recognized by your peers and fellow community leaders,” he said, adding that there is much more work he has to do, and he will continue as long as he is healthy.

Devine recognized Tony and Eileen Salimbene, who secured a color guard from the Theodore Korony Post #253 and filled two tables with veterans at the event.

Among the local elected officials making remarks were the leader of the Bronx Democratic Party Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, and Councilman Andy King.

Rising young leaders who were honored were: Joel Bhuiyan, Kathleen Conzoniero, Michael Czaczkes, John Doyle, Bryan Elliott, Elvin Garcia, Saul Glist, David Karopkin, Justin Lowery, Zellnor Myrie, Jon-Michael Provetto and Jennifer Rivera.

Assemblyman Benedetto applauded Goldstein’s activism.

“He is one of the true, honest and pure political activists we have in this area,” said the assemblyman. “He runs the event every single year so he can support the causes that are so near and dear to his heart.”

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Public Advocate Letitia ‘Tish’ James and event organizer Lewis Goldstein at the event.
Photo by Laura Stone

More from Around NYC