BY John Bayles
Catherine McVay Hughes is vice chair of Community Board 1; however she was absent from Tuesday’s full board meeting, and for good reason. She was in Albany, being honored at the recommendation of State Senator Daniel Squadron for her role as a community leader in Lower Manhattan, the senator’s district.
“The idea is really to focus on someone whose community activism has made a significant contribution - politics aside,” said Squadron.
The senate’s annual Women of Distinction program, created as part of the senate’s celebration of Women’s History Month, gives each senator the chance to select a woman who has made important contributions to her community.
“It was very exciting to have been acknowledged in such a public way,” said Hughes.
She then humbly added, “But nothing is done alone. It’s always a group effort.”
She continued and said that she indeed felt as if she was accepting the honor on behalf of many people and not just herself.
Squadron pointed to numerous reasons why he selected Hughes, including her role as an advocate for all of Lower Manhattan. But he focused on her leadership in rebuilding after 9/11.
“She has contributed in a lot of ways – but none more significant than ensuring the focus remains on the quality of life for [Lower Manhattan] residents, the actual physical rebuilding and what gets rebuilt, and her extraordinary contributions on health issues,” said Squadron. “She has really, since 9/11, brought unique skills to the discussion of how we rebuild and she is the perfect example of how community issues can become statewide and national issues when it comes to Lower Manhattan.”...
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