By Kristy O’Connell
North Shore Action, a Great Neck-based political activist group, held its first community event at the Grace Avenue Park on Sunday, giving local residents an opportunity to learn more about the newly formed group and engage with local politicians.
The group formed following President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory with about eight women at the start, said Veronica Lurvey, a group member and Great Neck resident.
In working together to find a way to turn ideas in the realm of human rights, women’s rights and environmentalism into action, the group’s goal is to deliver information to people in a nonconfrontational way with the hope of engaging the community and empowering action, Lurvey said.
Lurvey said the group is made up of individuals with varying backgrounds, some with a history in protesting, some with political backgrounds and others from the religious community. While the group began with eight Jewish women, she said, North Shore Action welcomes all like-minded men and women to join.
“There are so many grassroots events going on right now,” she said. “And we all need to figure out how we are going to take this momentum and go forward.”
Attendees at Sunday’s event could visit various tables with representatives from organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women, as well as information tables on hate crime, immigration and health care.
Live music was performed by the musical trio Mountain Maidens and solo singer Daniel Rose, who sang songs including Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, (D-Glen Cove) attended the event as a guest speaker, offering advice for those who are disgruntled about the current political climate.
“With all the things that people are dreading about our current political environment, the great thing is, more people are paying attention than have in a long time,” Suozzi said.
While the country is working as it’s supposed to with respect to checking and balancing the president’s actions, it is important that people continue to convert their outrage, fear and anxiety into organized action, Suozzi said.
Suozzi is a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees and four subcommittees covering tactical air and land forces as well as global health and human rights. Suozzi is also the vice chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
Suozzi said he is also focusing on local issues and hopes to develop a suicide prevention program for veterans in his district in addition to working on the Bethpage plume of contaminated groundwater.
Police Officer Henry Krukowski of the Nassau County Police Department’s Problem-Oriented Police Unit also attended the event, along with North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck), who expressed enthusiasm for the North Shore Action group, offering her services where needed.
“If I can give back in the smallest way, it is truly my honor,” Kaplan said.