The 26th Annual Meeting of the Village Alliance took place on June 24th at St. Johns University Manhattan Campus, in the spectacular, award winning 101 Astor Place building designed by Fumihiko Maki.
Following opening remarks by Village Alliance President Martin Dresner and Paul Lazauskas of St. Johns University, the meeting heard from special-guest speaker, Michael Venturiello of Christopher Street Walking Tours. In the lead-up to the WorldPride celebrations and commemoration of Stonewall50, Michael gave a compelling talk charting Greenwich Village LGBTQ history in the 1950s & 1960s, the Stonewall Uprising, the emergence of the Pride movement and what it all means fifty years later.
Village Alliance Executive Director, William Kelley presented the Alliances key achievements over the past year and priorities for the coming twelve months. 2018/19 was a period of change and technological advance for the Village Alliance. This included digitizing the hugely popular Village Access program by launching a new App, and equipping our street teams with handheld devices enabling live reporting of street condition and maintenance issues with street assets and infrastructure, all enabling a faster resolution of defects.
Throughout the past twelve months our core programs of Quality of Life, Small Business Advocacy, Streetscape Enhancement, and Community Events once again logged some impressive accomplishments, including removing over 1,095 tons of trash, painting over 6,885 street fixtures, addressing 2,860 public safety issues, and beautifying the streets with nearly 250 tree pits, hanging baskets, and planters.
At each Annual Meeting the Village Alliance presents the Norman Buchbinder award to the property or business owner that most embodies the pride in community, and robust attention to neighborhood advocacy that was the hallmark of Mr. Buchbinder, founding President of the Village Alliance. This years award honors Murry’s Bagels, on Sixth Avenue.
Since opening in 1996, Murray's Bagels has consistently served as a daytime dining destination and impromptu community center for our little corner of the city. Now a Village mainstay, Murry’s Bagels success as a thriving small business and its place in the hearts of surrounding community are reminiscent of the values eschewed by Mr. Buchbinder, and we enthusiastically honor Murray’s Bagels this year with the 2019 Buchbinder Award.
The meeting also included a presentation of the annual accounts and votes to elect new officers, for the first time on staggered terms, following last years by-law amendment.
To read our 26th annual report click here. To learn more about the work of the Village Alliance, click here.