My friend and colleague Patty Katz is running for re-election as Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Commissioner. As she has proven during her first term and before, if ever there was a job and a candidate so perfectly matched, I have not heard of her.
Patty is a lifelong Great Neck resident and through word and deed has shown a selfless and fired up commitment to her community.
She was a member of the Town of North Hempstead Environment Legacy Fund for Land Preservation and the town’s Ecological Commission. She was outreach coordinator for Guilt-Free Green, an educational program helmed by state Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.
She raised money for a mission to Africa that brought potable water to villages in Kenya. And she was the worthy recipient of the May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor.
But my connection to Patty is personal; we met around the time we joined Reach Out America, a local 15-year-old grassroots progressive organization that is dedicated to meaningful, doable, measurable change through the actions of five committees.
My issue was and is the first amendment and so I joined the Separation of Church and State Committee, which I ultimately helmed. Patty too had her passion, which always was the environment. She created the ROA’s Green Committee and chaired it for over 9 years.
We at ROA are dedicated to working for a better America however some of our committees see more success than others; our agenda issues have enjoyed some progress but mostly our goals are works in progress.
But Patty’s committee, due in very large part to her energy, enthusiasm and dedication, has actually been part of some groundbreaking change.
She helped anti-fracking legislation to be enacted, agitated successfully to promote wind farms, and testified and protested to stop the proposal to develop the Port Ambrose LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) facility off the shore of Long Beach.
For the past three years she has spearheaded the local “Shed the Meds” event, a wildly successful daylong action that gives residents the opportunity to get rid of their unused medicines safely.
And she has just begun presenting petitions with nearly a thousand signatures to local elected officials as part of a campaign to push for green initiatives on the town, county, and state level.
Now Patty heads Reach Out America with me. I am president and she is vice president and working closely with her I have not only come to see for myself how ethical and hardworking she is, but I have also learned what a generous colleague and friend she can be.
She is a self-starting organizer and tireless once she begins a project which she always sees to a conclusion. Her contribution as Vice President has, despite the very short time she has held office, reaped measurable progress. That cannot help but be true when as she continues as Commissioner.
president, Reach Out America