CRDC Awards Brunch Celebrates Exceptional Progressive Activists

Celebrants at the Awards Brunch included, L to R: Lee Nelson, District Leaders David Warren and Layla Law-Gisiko, CRDC President Roberta Gelb, Francine Haselkorn, and Dani Noble. | Photo by Rita Weinstein
Photo of the CRDC award by John Mudd.

BY CRDC PRESIDENT ROBERTA GELB | In 1997 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned what it was like to face a potential life-threatening illness. I went through surgery, six months of chemotherapy, and other treatment. Once I knew I would survive, I started working with other newly diagnosed patients. It has been very challenging and rewarding.

So when it seemed like the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club (CRDC) was facing a life-threatening illness, I just had to jump in and be an advocate for my favorite club. We were in bad shape—but I’m happy to report that we are back and stronger than ever. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am living proof of that, and so is the club.

We have passed resolutions—one in support of the 250,000 New York City retirees who were being forced into Medicare Advantage. In addition to supporting the retirees, we are involved with NYCHA tenants (a very complex issue). Our latest resolution is in support of Community Land Trust. We were part of the 150,000 door-knocks for Tom Suozzi (and you know what it takes to get someone from Manhattan out to Long Island). And the icing on the cake was the 1,700 signatures we got during petitioning.

We have two strong and hard-working District Leaders: Layla Law-Gisiko and David Warren. They keep us in contact with all the elected officials and worked tirelessly to get those petitions signed, sealed, and delivered to the Board of Elections. Our State Committee Woman, Francine Haselkorn, keeps us up-to-date on our State Democratic Party and also is responsible for all of the behind the scenes efforts to make our annual CRDC Awards Brunch a success. We have a wonderful and strong executive committee working hard and planning for the national election. You will see us phone banking; on buses; writing postcards. We are back and happy to be here!

As for where we’ve been recently: Our annual CRDC Awards Brunch was held on Saturday, May 4 at Bocca di Bacco (169 Ninth Ave.). We proudly honored three outstanding members of the community.

—Norman Seigel received the Doris Corrigan Award for outstanding and unstinting legal work for Progressive people, issues, and the underserved (presented by our District Leaders, Layla Law-Gisiko and David Warren).

Award recipient Norman Siegel, foreground, standing. | Rita Weinstein

—John Mudd received the CRDC Special Recognition Award for outstanding dedication for work on homelessness, healthcare, and quality of life (presented by Roberta Gelb).

Award recipient John Mudd (at right, standing), listens to award presenter–and CRDC president–Roberta Gelb (second from left). | Photo courtesy of Mudd

—Marianne Pizzitola received the Thomas K. Duane Award for outstanding dedication to the health and welfare of 250,00 New York City retirees (Francine Haselkorn read Duane’s presenter speech).

Francine Haselkorn giving Marianne Pizzitola the Thomas K. Duane Award. | Photo by Roberta Gelb

Our Guest Speakers were NYS Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, NYC Assembly Member Tony Simone, NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher, and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

NYS Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal (standing on the left). | Photo by Rita Weinstein
NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher, Chelsea’s Council District 3 rep, stands second from the right. | Photo by Rita Weinstein

Surprise Awards Went To:

—Our State Committee Woman, Francine Hazelkorn for her dedication, tireless efforts, and lifelong support of progressive ideals and causes.

—Joanne Sinovoi and Richard Persky were honored for being champion petitioners during the 2024 Petitioning Season.

L to R: Roberta Gelb (CRDC’s President), CRDC District Leaders David Warren and Layla Law-Gisiko, and surprise award recipient Joanne Sinovoi.| Photo by Rita Weinstein

As you can see from the photos above and below, we had a great time—and by the next time we get together (at summertime’s annual BBQ), I hope you’ll join us. Click here to visit the CRDC website, find out what we’re all about, and learn how to become a member.


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