North Shore Action, a Great Neck-based political activist group, began with a handful of women coming together around a table following the election of President Donald Trump to decide whether to go to the first Women’s March in 2017.
Now, group founder Veronica Lurvey said, it has become more than she could have ever imagined.
“I never would have thought that we would get so much done,” Lurvey said on Monday. “I was hopeful, but didn’t realized we would attract such a group of doers.”
“There’s an enormous strength in our group that I didn’t know was going to become this force,” she added.
North Shore Action members celebrated the progressive grassroots organization’s first birthday on Sunday with cake, highlights of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget and an outline of their first-year accomplishments and their plans.
Among some of the people present at the Sunday meeting were representatives of Reach Out America, a local progressive organization, the Great Neck Chinese Association, Korean American Civic Association, SHAI Inc., Great Neck-Manhasset EOC and the Interfaith Community Action Committee of Eastern Queens/Western Nassau.
“We’ve been meeting so many different people and so many leaders in their respective communities in the area that it’s been so rewarding,” Lurvey said.
The group has been involved in community events like a rally featuring Rep. Tom Suozzi, the League of Women Voters, NAMI and other groups, as well as the “Not My Child” forum in October, which focused on drug abuse and prevention, mental health and the opioid crisis.
“We would like to do another forum like that on a topic yet to be determined, but that was definitely a highlight,” Lurvey said.
The group also worked in the Great Full program, Lurvey said, which aimed to feed local families who are suffering from food shortages, and with the Multicultural Club of Great Neck North High School.
Additionally, North Shore Action has been involved in a handful of demonstrations, like a vigil for victims in Charlottesville held over the summer and a protest against Trump’s reported remarks about “shithole” countries.
Going forward, Lurvey said the group hopes to improve participation and create committees to focus on topics like politics, community service, village matters, gun control and the environment.
The political/legislative committee will keep track of upcoming elections, which would likely be “taking up a lot of time,” Lurvey said.
The group also intends to create local village liaisons to attend meetings in Great Neck and advocate on behalf of its interests, Lurvey said.
“Some of the things we hope to accomplish would go so much easier with concerted local action,” Lurvey said.
But, Lurvey also noted, the group intends to remain flexible.
“We hope to stay nimble and be able to react to things as they arise,” Lurvey said.