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Office of the Mayor
In Long Beach, the title of Mayor had its inception in 1908 with the completion of the new City Charter. Previously, the position equivalent to Mayor was referred to as President of the Board of Trustees. From approximately 1888 to 1908 Long Beach had 11 Presidents including:
|1888 - 1890||John Roberts|
|1890 - 1894||Thomas Stovall|
|1894 - 1895||I.G. Groucher|
|1895 - 1896||W.H. Mintzner|
|1896 - 1897||Elon C. Denio|
|1897 - 1900||C.A.F. Johnson|
|1900 - 1903||C.J. Walker|
|1903 - 1905||Stephen Townsend|
|1905 - 1906||Rufus A. Eno|
|(1906)||Samuel Merrill (appointed after Eno resigned)|
|1906 - 1908||Frank H. Downes|
The City of Long Beach was disincorporated on May 28, 1897 and then reincorporated on December 14, 1897.
In 1908, the title of Mayor was established and continues today. However, until 1988, City Councilmembers voted the position of Mayor from amongst themselves. In 1986, a Charter measure under Proposition R passed to create a full-time, citywide elected Mayor.
In 1988, the first citywide election for the position of Mayor was held. Ernie Kell won in a run-off against fellow Councilmember Jan Hall. This first term was an interim one of 2 years, with the next election in 1990, where the term from that point on would be 4 years. In 1990, Mayor Ernie Kell ran against Councilman Tom Clark for Mayor and Kell was once again victorious.
In 1994, Mayor Beverly O'Neill was first elected as Mayor. In 1998, Mayor O'Neill won the Mayoral seat for her second term with nearly 80 percent of the vote. She then won an unprecedented third term as a write-in candidate in 2002. The dates that you see below represent the time that the individual actually served as Mayor.
|1908 - 1912||Charles H. Windham|
|1912 - 1914||Ira S. Hatch|
|1914 - 1915||Louis N. Whealton|
|1915 - 1921||William T. Lisenby|
|1921 - 1924||Charles A. Buffum|
|1924 - 1926||Ray R. Clark|
|1926 - 1927||Fillmore Condit|
|1927 - 1930||Oscar Hauge|
|1930 - 1933||Asa E. Fickling|
|1933 - 1934||M.E. Paddock|
|1934 - 1936||Carl Fletcher|
|1936 - 1938||Thomas M. Eaton|
|1938 - 1939||Clarence E. Wagner|
|1939 - 1942||Francis H. Gentry|
|1942 - 1945||Clarence E. Wagner|
|1945 - 1947||Herbert E. Lewis|
|1947 - 1953||Burton W. Chace|
|1953 - 1954||Lyman B. Sutter|
|1954 - 1957||George Vermillion|
|1957 - 1960||Ray C. Kealer|
|1960 - 1975||Edwin W. Wade|
|1975 - 1980||Thomas Clark|
|1980 - 1982||Eunice Sato|
|1982 - 1984||Thomas Clark|
|1984 - 1994||Ernie Kell|
|1994 - 2006||Beverly O'Neill|
|2006 - 2014||Bob Foster|
|2014 -||Robert Garcia|
Charles Henderson Windham (1908 - 1912)
Charles Windham was born on a ranch in 1871 near McMinnville, Tennessee. He began his young career working as a blacksmith helper and bridge carpenter's assistant on the old California and Oregon Railroad. Over the next several years, Mr. Windham worked on several railroads in many different capacities. He eventually went to work on the Nicaragua Canal, which the United States proposed to build. However, when the U.S. purchased the Panama Canal, work on the Nicaragua Canal ceased. Gradually, Mr. Windham worked his way up the ranks at the Costa Rica Railway, Ltd. as conductor, chief dispatcher, and finally trainmaster. After seven years, he resigned and purchased a coffee and sugar plantation in Costa Rica. He operated the plantation for seven years and then sold it to move to California to better educate his children. Upon arriving in California, Mr. Windham chose Long Beach, recognizing its great potential. Over a 20-year period Charles Windham served not only as Mayor for 2 terms from 1908 to 1912, but also as City Manager and Postmaster. He was responsible for conceiving the Long Beach breakwater, which opened up the Long Beach harbor as a world-shipping destination. For these efforts, and many others, he came to be known as the "Father of Long Beach Harbor" as a commemoration to his outstanding commitment to Port development. Charles H. Windham died on April 11, 1932 from complications associated with an influenza type illness. His wife of 40 years, his 2 sons, and 3 daughters survived him.
Ira S. Hatch (1912 - 1914)
Mayor Hatch was born April 4, 1869, at Harmony, Somerset County, ME. He attended grade and grammar school there and at the age of 21 began a career of railroading. He studied at Southwestern University and USC after coming to California in 1905. Most of his career in Long Beach was in public service. He was elected City Auditor in 1907 and remained in that post until he became Mayor in 1912, serving two years. Under his leadership the government approved the consolidation of Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors by way of the Cerritos Channel. He was a member of the City Planning Commission, serving as president for many years. He was Seventieth District Assemblyman from Long Beach in the 1932 and the 1934 sessions of the State Legislature. Mayor Hatch died at 71 years of age, after suffering a heart attack
Louis N. Whealton (1914 - 1915)
Louis N. Whealton was an attorney and served as Mayor for two terms. He was a native of Virginia. He received his law degree from the University of Maryland and went on to practice law in New York State before coming to Long Beach in 1910. He died in December of 1951 at the age of 79 after battling a long illness. He left behind one son. His wife died one year prior to his death.
William T. Lisenby (1915 - 1921)
William T. Lisenby served as Commissioner of Public Property and Mayor of Long Beach from 1915 to 1921. He was known as the father of the city water system, serving in the water department from 1911 to 1921. As head of that department he saw the system grow from 200 meters to 15,000. Mayor Lisenby appointed the city's first Harbor Commission and was closely associated with C. H. Windham in harbor development and other civic progress. Mr. Lisenby was born August 14, 1865 at Panola, IL. He came to Long Beach in 1903. He died at the age of 79 in June of 1944.
Charles A. Buffum (1921 - 1924)
Charles A. Buffum was born in Lafayette, Illinois on January 30, 1870. Upon completing his education, he engaged in the mercantile business for 10 years. He moved to California in 1904 with his brother Edwin E. Buffum. After moving to Long Beach, Charles and his brother formed the Mercantile Company and purchased the retail business of Schilling Brothers. This business expanded through the years and eventually came to be known as Buffum's Department Store, which was one of the finest in the Southland. Charles Buffum became well known in the community for his civic duties and eventually became a member of the Board of Education where he served for 6 years. In 1920 he was chosen as President of the Chamber of Commerce and then served as Mayor from 1921 to 1924. He was known for being a staunch supporter of the development of the Long Beach Harbor and was a member of the "Committee of 200" for twenty years which was charged with furthering port improvement. He was also Director of the State Chamber of Commerce. He was married in 1893 and had 3 children. He was a very religious man and supported his church throughout his life. He died in October of 1936 from a long illness associated with a heart ailment.
Ray R. Clark (1924 - 1926)
Mayor Clark was born in Bardon, Wisconsin on September 8, 1872. He moved to Iowa with his family when he was 3 years old. In 1884 the family came to California, to settle in San Bernardino. Mayor Clark's father later moved to Anaheim, where he lived as a rancher. When Mayor Clark turned 17, he decided "to make his own way in the world." He took a position as a drug clerk in Pasadena. He liked the profession so much, that he decided to study and make it his life work. Mayor Clark came to Long Beach in 1907. He started his own business in San Pedro and later opened stores in Long Beach. In 1924 - Mayor Clark became a public servant, polling the largest vote ever given to anyone at the time. After the election, his peers unanimously appointed him Mayor. Mayor Clark's death was caused by an embolus.
Fillmore Condit (1926 - 1927)
Fillmore Condit is most widely known for not only being the Mayor of Long Beach, but for also being the founder of Community Hospital. Throughout his life he donated more than $100,000 to Community Hospital and visited the hospital almost daily for more than 10 years.
Dr. Oscar Hauge (1927 - 1930)
Dr. Hauge was born on a farm in Minnesota on September 17, 1868. His parents were natives of Norway and came to the United States in 1854. He went to school for Dentistry at the American College of Dental Surgery and began his practice in 1894 in Montana. He married Lulu Cree in 1898 and became associated with her family's livestock and ranching business in St. Paul Park, Minnesota. While in Minnesota, he served on the Board of Education and the Board of Supervisors and became a member of the Minnesota Legislature. After selling the family livestock business, Dr. Hauge and his family moved to Long Beach in 1913. During his time in Long Beach, Dr. Hauge was elected to the City Council in 1927 and was then unanimously elected as Mayor by the City Council. In 1934, Governor Frank F. Merriam appointed Dr. Hauge as Chief Deputy of the Department of Finance, where he served until 1938 when he was appointed as Supervisor of the 4th Supervisorial District. Dr. Hauge passed away on May 25, 1943 survived by 3 daughters and a son.
Asa E. Fickling (1930 - 1933)
Asa Ellison Fickling was born in Cambridge, Illinois on July 12, 1877. He was the founder of the Fickling Lumber Company in Long Beach and was the President of the Southern California Lumber Dealers for 3 terms. The years of Fickling's administration were difficult. It was the time of the Depression and high unemployment. Then came the earthquake of March 10, 1933, which left Long Beach in ruins and gave Fickling the nickname "Earthquake Mayor." At various times in his long career, Fickling taught school, studied law, served as a justice of the peace, and was involved in more than 6 business ventures. Fickling died on November 14, 1963 survived by his wife, daughter, 3 sons, several stepchildren, and 5 grandchildren.
Merritt E. Paddock (1933 - 1934)
Merritt Paddock was born on June 3, 1867 in Prophetstown, Illinois. He started out studying mining engineering and for 35 years followed this profession. He came to Long Beach from Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1903, when Long Beach had less than 5,000 residents. During his time in Long Beach, he was frequently called on to undertake mining investigations in Mexico and throughout the West. Mr. Paddock also worked as a supervisor on the census in 1920. For 29 years he was a member of the Elks Lodge and was an avid football fan, enjoying both the USC Trojans and Poly High School teams. He passed away in May of 1937.
Carl Fletcher (1934 - 1936)
Carl Fletcher entered public office in 1934 when he was elected to the Long Beach City Council. His fellow Councilmembers appointed him as Mayor shortly afterward. Mr. Fletcher served three terms on the City Council up until 1941. In 1944 he was elected to the State Assembly. Carl Fletcher served as a State Assemblyman until 1951 until he resumed his office as a Long Beach City Councilmember. During his time in Long Beach he served in several different capacities. He was the editor of the Long Beach Labor News, president of the Central Labor Council for 7 years, and in 1933 was appointed as a member of the Harbor Commission. Carl Fletcher was a native of California, born in Hollister and relocating to Long Beach in 1918. He died at the age of 72, survived by his wife, stepdaughter and stepson.
Thomas M. Eaton (1936 - 1938)
Tom Eaton, as he was called, was born on August 3, 1896, on a farm in Illinois. His youth was spent working on the farm and studying in a country school. He lived on the farm until he was 15 years old, when he began high school. He attended and graduated from Illinois Normal State University and was immediately appointed as Principal of Lincoln High School in Illinois. He held this position until World War I broke out. He immediately enlisted in the Navy and served until the end of the war. After the war, Mayor Eaton served as an accountant in the Navy Department in Providence, Rhode Island. His understanding of naval affairs flourished and continued throughout his life. Upon returning to civilian life, he moved to Indiana taking various jobs to support himself. He eventually saved enough money to invest in an oil refinery in Wilmington, California where he eventually moved with his new wife. Upon arriving in California in August 1921, Mayor Eaton found that the promise of a job with the oil refinery and his investment had disappeared. In 1925, after working more odd jobs, he bought his own car dealership, which he ran until 1935. In 1936, Eaton was elected to the City Council and then unanimously chosen as Mayor by his fellow Councilmembers.
Clarence E. Wagner (1938 - 1939) and (1942 - 1945)
Clarence Wagner was born on September 6, 1896 in Antigo, Wisconsin. He taught high school for 2 years and then went on to study pharmacy. Upon arriving in Long Beach in 1921, he opened Wagner Drug Store on the corner of Redondo and 7th Street, which is still there today. He was elected to the City Council three times and served as Mayor twice. He also served as the President of the Los Angeles Division of the California League of Cities.
Francis H. Gentry (1939 - 1942)
Francis Gentry was a registered civil and structural engineer who moved to Long Beach in 1917. He served on the Los Angeles County Grand Jury in 1927 and was a member of the Long Beach Civil Service Commission and the County Sanitation District Board. He was a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and was the Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. His political platforms included efforts to protect the tidelands, curtailment of tax limits, investigation of transportation systems, and the Alamitos Bay project of the day. He also favored the expansion of recreational areas.
Herbert E. Lewis (1945 - 1947)
A veteran of both the Spanish-American War and World War I, he was elected to the Long Beach City Council during World War II, serving from 1942 to 1947. He was Mayor during the last two years of his term. Lewis was known as a member of the "solid five," a group of councilmen that often voted as a bloc and later became the target of a successful recall election in 1947. Following the group's defeat, Lewis said he was happy to have been a member of the bloc, asserting that it was a force for progress during its five-year tenure. The special recall election apparently ended Lewis' political career because he never sought political office again. Lewis came to Long Beach in 1924 from Davenport, Iowa and was in the automobile painting business until 1928 when he moved to Denver. He eventually returned to Long Beach in 1934. Lewis, who was born in Ontario, Canada, was survived by his wife at the time of his death in 1972.
Burton W. Chace (1947 - 1953)
Burton Chace was born in 1900 in Stanton, Nebraska. He went through the Stanton school system and eventually graduated from the University of Nebraska. He drove all the way to Long Beach in 1923 with a college friend. After a few months, Chace's father came to California and together they engaged in a lumber business. After many years and several expansions, Burton Chace became the sole owner of the Chace Lumber Company. Throughout this time, he became heavily involved in civic affairs and served on the Board of Education from 1933 to 1941. In 1938 he was elected President of the Board of Education. Chace was elected to the City Council in 1945 and reelected in 1948.
Lyman B. Sutter (1953 - 1954)
Judge Sutter served the city as Mayor, Vice-Mayor and City Prosecutor. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, on June 14, 1906. He came to Long Beach after graduating from Monmouth College and Harvard Law School. In 1932, he was admitted to the State Bar and practiced law for seven years. He was elected to City Prosecutor, and remained until he resigned to enter the military service after war broke out. After returning to Long Beach, he resumed his private practice until 1950, when he was elected to the City Council. He succeeded Burton Chace as mayor in 1953 when Chace was appointed to the County Board of Supervisors. In 1953, Sutter decided to run for the municipal court bench when Judge Charles D. Wallace announced he would not seek re-election. Sutter won the election, and was appointed to the bench by Governor Goodwin Knight when Wallace retired before his term expired. Judge Sutter also served as President of the Long Beach Area Council of the Boy Scouts in 1956 and 1957. Judge Sutter died from cancer at the age of 57 his wife, and son survived him.
George M. Vermillion (1954 - 1957)
George M. Vermillion started out in Long Beach in 1923 as an oil worker, he later established a chain of drugstores in the city and served prominently in civic affairs. He was a member of the Board of Education from 1941 to 1954, serving as president for two terms in that interval. He was elected to the City Council in 1954 and was appointed mayor. Mayor Vermillion had also served in other civic capacities. He was chairman of the Heart Fund Campaign in 1958 and, at one time, administered the March of Dimes Campaign. He was also president of the Long Beach Boy's Club, president of the Long Beach Area Council of the Boy Scouts in 1958 and 1959, a board member of the Children's Hospital Clinic, a member of Kiwanis and president of the Long Beach Pharmaceutical Association. Mayor Vermillion passed away at the age of 61 his death was attributed to a heart attack. He was survived by his wife, and two sons.
Ray C. Kealer (1957 - 1960)
Mayor Kealer is the second person to serve on the City Council longer than any other member. Mayor Tom Clark served as a Councilmember from 1965 to 1996. Mayor Kealer represented the First District from 1947 to 1972. In 1954, he was the only one among nine incumbents who was re-elected. He served as mayor from 1957 - 1960. He was born in New Mexico and moved to Long Beach in 1919. As a councilman, he lobbied in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Tidelands Quitclaim Bill, which established city and state ownership of tideland oil. He was chairman of the council's Oil and Harbor Committee for seventeen years. Mayor Kealer was also instrumental in bringing decorative drilling islands to the harbor instead of stark oil platforms. As a boy, he lived at the edge of an Indian Reservation in New Mexico and he was an avid lifelong collector of Indian artifacts. As an adult, Mayor Kealer was a great champion for the welfare and betterment of the Navajo Indians. Mayor Kealer passed away in 1978, after suffering a massive heart attack he was 78.
Edwin W. Wade (1960 - 1975)
Mayor Wade was elected to the City Council in 1960 and re-elected in 1963, 1966, 1969 and 1972. He was elected mayor by his council colleagues in 1960 and re-elected to that post four times, serving as the city's chief executive longer than any other person. He retired from office June 30, 1975. Mayor Wade was born in Jamestown, N.D. He lived in California since 1908 and moved to Long Beach in 1933. He was active in Masonic organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, the Navy League, Elks Lodge 888 and numerous other local organizations. Mayor Wade died at the age of 72. He served as Mayor for 15 years.
Thomas J. Clark (1975 - 1980 & 1982 - 1984)
Mayor Clark holds the title for longest-serving councilman in Long Beach history. He served on the City Council from 1965 to 1996. He rode in on the Queen Mary when it arrived in Long Beach in 1967. He sponsored legislation that led construction of the Main Library and El Dorado Park. Since 1966, Mayor Clark represented the Fourth District for eight consecutive terms. Prior to the referendum, which resulted in the election of a full-time mayor, Tom Clark was elected by his fellow Councilmembers to the position of mayor three times - from 1975 to 1978, 1978 to 1980 and 1982 to 1984. His guidance was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the revitalization and redevelopment that has been taken place in Downtown Long Beach.
Eunice Sato (1980 - 1982)
Mayor Sato made history when she was elected Mayor in 1980. She was the first woman ever elected as a Long Beach Mayor. Being first elected to the City Council in 1975 as the 7th district representative, she served on the City Council for a total of eleven and a half years. Mayor Sato has been in Long Beach since 1956, when she moved here with her husband Thomas and her three children: Daniel, Douglas and Charlotte. Before being elected to the City Council, Mayor Sato was active in many volunteer programs for 17 years. Before her life as a public official, she worked with the PTA, the Council of Churches, United Way, the Red Cross, St. Mary's Hospital, Memorial Hospital, and at least twenty-six other community organizations.
Ernie Kell (1984 - 1994)
Mayor Kell is originally from North Dakota. He lived in North Dakota until the age of 15. In 1943, the Kell family moved to Wilmington, California. After graduation from high school, Mayor Kell decided to seek his fortune and discover the world. He sailed on merchant ships and had sailed the world by the time he was 19. In 1950, Mayor Kell was drafted into the Army. He spent nine months in Korea with the 151st Combat Engineers in the Korean combat zone. After returning to the U.S., he returned to school while working full time at U.S. Steel. He opened a drafting company in 1958. The company, Western Detailing, grew and eventually the operation was moved to Orange County. In 1971 Mayor Kell sold his business and obtained his contractor's license. Mayor Ernie Kell served as a councilman for thirteen years. He was the first person to serve as a full-time Mayor since 1908. Mayor Kell represented the 5th District since being elected in 1975. His wife, Jackie served as the council representative of the 5th District from 1998 through 2006. Mayor Kell was appointed mayor on July 19,1988, and left office in 1994.
Beverly O'Neill (1994 - 2006)
Mayor Beverly O'Neill is Long Beach's only three-term, citywide elected Mayor. Initially elected in 1994, she was re-elected in 1998 with almost 80% of the vote, and was re-elected to a third term as a write-in candidate, the nation's only large city Mayor to accomplish such an historic feat. Mayor O'Neill was a major force in changing the Long Beach economy into a diversified mix of international trade, tourism, emerging technologies, and expanding retail. A product of the Long Beach public school system, starting with the Long Beach Day Nursery up to her graduation from California State University, Long Beach, Dr. O'Neill pursued her post-graduate studies at the University of Vienna, and received her doctorate from the University of Southern California. Prior to becoming mayor, Dr. O'Neill spent a 31-year career at Long Beach City College beginning as a music instructor and women's advisor. In the succeeding years she advanced to Campus Dean, Dean of Student Affairs, Vice President of Student Services and spent her last five years as Superintendent-President.
Civic Definitions- What is a Mayor - History
Exhibition and Design Prototyping at the Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum seeks to provide an even deeper and more enjoyable visitor experience through prototyping exhibition elements and inviting visitor feedback as part of our exhibition interpretation planning and design process.
Energy Benchmarking of San Francisco Municipal Buildings
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is the municipal water, power and sewer services provider for the City and County of San Francisco. We generate and deliver power to hundreds of municipal buildings in San Francisco, including libraries, schools, fire stations, recreation centers, and office buildings. While this power is 100% greenhouse gas-free, the City’s large facility inventory brings with it a responsibility to use this energy as efficiently as possible. San Francisco has invested for many years in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in these public buildings, and the City is saving over $5 million each year in energy costs as a result.
History of Meriden
Over 300 years have passed since 1661 when Jonathan Gilbert was granted a land settlement for a farm near Cold Spring in what later became the City of Meriden. For thousands of years prior, native Americans camped here and used the land for hunting and fishing. Although they never had a permanent settlement within the boundaries of the town, evidence in the form of arrowheads and artifacts are at times still unearthed as reminders of the Quinnipiac and Mattabasset tribal presence in the area.
In the 1600s and 1700s Meriden was a rural or suburban sector of the town of Wallingford. Situated halfway between the Connecticut Colony on the north (Hartford - Wethersfield) and the New Haven Colony on the south, it became a stopping place for colonists who traveled by horse or by foot. Belcher Tavern was one of its well known resting places. At that time, wolves still roamed the woods in the north of town. The first wagon did not make its appearance here until 1789. The oldest house in town still standing, built by Solomon Goffe in 1711, is now a museum located on North Colony Road.
By 1724 there were approximately 35 families living in this North Farms area of Wallingford. Because it was so difficult for them to get to religious services from their scattered farms, they petitioned to have a separate meetinghouse closer to their homes. In 1727 this structure was raised on Meeting House Hill (now the corner of Ann Street and Dryden Drive), with the first burying ground set to the east. By 1728 the parish was known by the name Meriden. In 1806 the parish was recognized as the town of Meriden. When the railroad arrived in 1839 it helped change the center of town from the hill to the Pilgrim Harbor sector (near what is now downtown). In 1867 Meriden was incorporated as a city.
The 1800's saw the beginning trickle of what would become a flood of manufacturing in the city. Belts, hoops, pewter, guns, cutlery, nails, buttons, lamps, ivory combs, tin ware, organs, coffee grinders, and silver, the product that would lend its luster as Meriden became the “Silver City,” were all manufactured here. Stately mansions were built as manufacturers became prosperous. Wilcox and White produced the first mechanical piano. The Northern Literary Messenger, Meriden’s first newspaper, was published. Hotels, banks and businesses grew, electric lights arrived, schools were built, parks were added, more churches and a synagogue were built. The city thrived -- with a population of over 24,000 by 1900, the year Castle Craig was dedicated in Hubbard Park. The Curtis Memorial Library opened in 1903. In 1897 the German author Gerhart Hauptmann was so impressed with the scenery around Merimere reservoir that it provided the background for his romantic drama "The Sunken Bell."
In the 1920s the airport was built and the downtown traffic tower erected. The world wars and the depression brought hardships to the city as to the rest of the country. Yet in March 1944, Meriden was proud to be honored as “The Nation’s Ideal War Community” for its industrial and patriotic contributions to the nation. Monument Boulevard on Broad Street honors those Meridenites who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces during various wars.
During the mid 1900s, some of the older businesses, including International Silver moved or closed. Urban redevelopment changed the look of some areas, but the “pleasant valley” (possibly the ancient meaning of the name Meriden) remained. Newly arrived immigrants added their energy to the growing town. A shopping mall was built, as were three high schools. Civic groups grew in numbers and service and Meriden became home to the first steamed cheeseburger. Daffodils, long planted at Hubbard Park, became the city's official flower with the inaugural Daffodil Festival celebrated in April, 1978.
Starting with Charles Parker as the first mayor in 1867, Meriden’s city government was run by the mayor and city council until 1980 when the new city manager-city council form of government was implemented and Dana Miller was appointed the first city manager.
In the past few years, Meriden's downtown has undergone a facelift, a new hospital has been erected, and many corporate headquarters have located to the east side of town on Research Parkway. City manufacturing firms produce electronics, nuclear instruments, automotive devices, plastics, gaskets, communications equipment, filters, vaccines, jewelry, food, candy, pewter, tools and machines. A new interdistrict magnet school is under construction and a barbershop museum is in the works on West Main Street. The City is proud of its past and yet looks eagerly towards its future.
Meriden landmarks included on the National Register of Historic Places are Hubbard Park, The Andrews Moses Homestead, The Curtis Memorial Building, The Charter Oak Firehouse (King Travelways), The West Main Historic District, The Solomon Goffe House, The Meriden Curtain Fixture Company Factory (Charles Street Apartments), The Red Bridge near Oregon Road, and the U.S. Post Office on Colony St.
Some things remain the same, some disappear and some improve, but the words Rev. J. T. Pettee wrote about Meriden in 1890 still ring true:
“Of all the towns that round me rise, of all the cities that I greet, there’s none seems fairer to my eyes than that which slumbers at my feet.”
Meriden City Hall is located at
142 East Main Street, Meriden, CT 06450
Civic Definitions- What is a Mayor - History
- Two furnaces, which are estimated to make 20 or 25 tons of pig-iron, per week.
- One rolling and slitting mill, where they sometimes roll boiler-plates.
- Three forge-hammers.
- One slitting-mill, worked by water, with two under-shot wheels to which is now added a steam-engine and one of the water-wheels is a substitute for a fly-wheel, and does very well.
1. The Dudleys of Tipton had (as above shown) a house on the borders of Tipton parish, adjoining to Sedgley, which was taken down, and the middle part of the present house built of the materials so that Erdefwick might easily suppose it to be in the same lordship.
|1855||Rev. William Kerr|
|1856||Rev. William Kerr|
|1857||Rev. William Kerr|
|1870||W L Underhill|
|1871||W L Underhill|
|1872||W L Underhill|
|1873||W L Underhill|
|1874||W L Underhill|
|1898||Clement H Barrows|
|1903||George S Peake|
|1904||James W Dudley|
|1909||Thomas E Salter|
|1910||William A Robbins|
|1912||John A Shephard|
|1913||William J W George|
|1914||Thomas E Salter|
|1915||George S Peake|
|1916||George S Peake|
|1917||William Woolley Doughty|
|1918||William Woolley Doughty|
|1919||William Woolley Doughty|
|1920||William Woolley Doughty|
|1921||William Woolley Doughty|
|1922||Thomas E Salter|
|1923||William Woolley Doughty|
|1924||William Woolley Doughty|
|1925||William H Powis|
|1926||William H Powis|
|1927||William H Powis|
|1928||John W Bourne|
|1929||John W Bourne|
|1930||John W Bourne|
|1931||Arthur E Bannister|
|1932||Joseph R Baker|
|1933||William J W George|
|1936||Arthur Frederick Welch|
|1938||Arthur Frederick Welch|
|1939||Arthur Frederick Welch|
|1940||William Henry Powis|
|1941||Arthur Edwin Bolton|
|1942||Arthur Edwin Bolton|
|1943||Arthur Edwin Bolton|
|1947||William Edward Hampton|
|1948||William Edward Hampton|
|1949||William Edward Hampton|
|1950||William Edward Hampton|
|1951||Arthur Edwin Bolton|
|1952||Arthur Edwin Bolton|
|1953||Arthur Edwin Bolton|
|1954||Hannah Geneva Cox|
|1957||William Horace Hirons|
|1958||John William Walters|
|1959||John William Walters|
|1962||John William Walters|
|1963||Frank Austin Chamberlain|
|1964||William Eric Drew|
I am looking for the family/descendants of mary Quinsey Born 1796 in Staffordshire, Dudley, Tipton, She married Benjamin Warren and they had 10 children. Mary Quinsey Warren died circa 1873 in Junetown Ontario. One of their sons was Benjamin B. Warren circa 1816/23 to 1894. and he married Martha Graham Born 1820. One of their granddaughters was Charlotte Ann Warren My grandmother who married William McConnell Jr. of Lansdowne Ontario.
Any help with photos, or more information would be greatly appreciated.
My email is [email protected]
This blog so much and I would like to thank to the blogger..
Thank you so much for this history. Love it. My grandparents lived in Horseley Road from early 1900s. Unfortunately the house where they lived 82 Horsely Road no longer exists. I really would love a pic of the house as it was demolished in the late 1960s. My grandparents then had to go in a high rise flat in Ocker Hill. Can anyone give me any history of, I believe, a public house, that became two houses, 20a and 20b Horsely Road, before it became No 82. I always thought it was a Coach House but I have found out that it was an early tavern. It stood next to what is now, The Shrubberies, and where the house stood are two new houses. Would love some history.
Myself and my family recently spent a weekend in Glasgow. As fans of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald. We were surprised to discover that Margaret was in fact born in Tipton on Nov 5th 1864,such a talented artist should definitely be included in the Tipton history and role of honor
I had the same experience in 2016 after visiting Kelvingrove Art Gallery. I am trying to get an image of the blue plaque included on the Open Plaque website. Will keep this site up to date with developments.
My husbands grandmother Thirza Granados nee George was baptised at the Primitive methodist church Toll end Tipton. We have a photo of thanks to Smethick library.
Can anyone give me any information about how many mines was in Tipton princes End area please.
What a wonderful resource, thank you. I’d love to find out more about the soap making industry in Tipton
The borax factory in union street Tipton , made soap flakes and borax for over 50 years.
Staffed by 8 ladies all white haired all with flowered aprons
Not one under the age of 70.
The place smelt gorgeous
Of soap and disinfectant
This comment has been removed by the author.
On the subject of the 1916 zeppelin attack on tipton and Wednesbury. .
It was zeppelin L19
Commanded by Kapitanleutnant odo loewe
At 12.20 am the night of jan 31 Feb 1
L19 dropped a bomb which destroyed the
Pub in park Lane. ..50 yards from my nans bungalow. right up until the 1980s a picture of the zeppelin was on the pubs sign and another indoors.
A few minutes later L19 killed 3 members of the same family including a young girl in bloom field tipton.
It's sister ship L21 bombed Walsall where it killed 35 including the wife of the mayor of Walsall.
Loewe headed for home and eventually
Crossed the channel for its Base in Holland. it did not make it.
L19 came down in the north sea in bitter winter driving rain and freezing winds. All members of its crew ditched safely and awaited rescue.
First on the scene was a British fishing trawler. Which was out of its legal fishing area.
The King William commanded by Martin mackenzie spotted the earlier distress flares and had pushed his 162 ton vessel hard in their direction.
On the morning of Feb 1. McKenzie
Spotted the L19s wreckage and it's 16
Man crew clinging to it.
Fearing his 6 man trawler crew might be overpowered by the Germans McKenzie refused to rescue them.
It is said loewe pleaded with McKenzie
Giving him his word of honour and even offering to pay him a great deal of money to save his crew.
McKenzie turned his ship around and headed home. the Germans. .all 16 of them slowly froze and drowned.
A Seaman on board reported to the authorities the incident having been disgusted by McKenzie lack of humanity.
The authorities held a much publicised inquiry in which McKenzies captains license was revoked. his ship then commandeered by the royal navy.
The inquiry was news in Germany where there was outrage.
The new navy vessel was a short time later captured by the Germans. ..
Who. on recognizing the name.
Gathered the royal navy crew together
Where they were to be executed in revenge. The captain spoke at length with the german captain who realised
This was not the same crew.
They were then sent to prison camps in Germany.
McKenzie was vilified and died a year later in 1917.
Odo loewes son 2 at the time and also called odo. became a u-boat commander
In ww2. he was also killed in action in 1941.
As a footnote. had the bomb that destroyed the Pub in park Lane been released a split second later
In all probability my grandmother would have been killed. my father not borne
And I would not be writing this.
Researching our family history turned up a surprise.
In the mid to late 1500s john de wall
Came to England from belgium and settled a portion of land within sight of dudley castle at a place called tipton. His trade was raising horses.
By the time of the English civil war
His decendants had carried on the business to such a successful level
That family legend has it,Cromwells army commandered allmost 100 horses
With a promissory note that parliament would honour. apparantly they never did.
On the subject of the ancient church at
Upper church Lane. ..just past the old police station. near the gasworks.
In 1983 or 1984 the churchyard was disinterred by council workmen.
It was a warm sunny day. around 3pm
When the children were coming out of school. many of them stood watching
Like me. transfixed.
Coffins of oak . lead. and even stone
Were removed. gasps as one coffin slipped and broke open . what remained of a shroud held its bones well. but the skull had white hair
Attached almost to its chest
It's hands mostly missing except for two fingers both of which had nails over two inches in length.
Some of those graves were ancient
And the small cemetary. bounded by a low Stone wall of 3 feet high .
Allways had straw coloured grass as high as the headstones which at night made it look quite creepy.
The Civic 50 honorees are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more. Selection is based on four dimensions of U.S. community engagement and social impact programs:
- Investment : How the company strategically invests its resources in community engagement and social impact, including employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and public leadership.
- Integration : How the company integrates its community engagement and social impact programs throughout its business functions and interests (i.e., “does well by doing good”).
- Institutionalization : How the company institutionalizes its community engagement and social impact programs through organizational policies, systems, and incentives.
- Impact : How the company measures the social and business impact outcomes of its community engagement and social impact programs.
History of City Symbols
Learn about the City of Toronto flag, the city’s Coat of Arms and motto and the Mayor’s Chain of Office.
Toronto flag competition winner Renato De Santis’ design entry
Elements of the Flag
- the twin towers of City Hall on a blue background
- the red maple leaf of the Flag of Canada represents the Council Chamber at the base of the towers
The City Hall symbol is incorporated in the flag design as an abstracted white linear graphic against a predominant blue (Pantone 287) background. A red (Pantone 186) maple leaf visually links Toronto to Canada and Ontario’s heritage, flag and symbols.
The flag dimensions are based upon a 2:1 horizontal proportion.
On August 28, 1974, City Council appointed a committee to help design a new Toronto flag. The existing flag, designed by art advisory committee chairman Professor Eric Arthur and his son Paul, featured the city crest on a white and blue background. The art advisory committee recommended Council adopt the flag as the official city banner. But Mayor William Dennison disagreed, saying, “It’s not really a flag at all. It’s just another good way of displaying the city’s coat of arms.”
And so, the City of Toronto Flag Design Committee was created. The committee was made up of Aldermen Paul B. Pickett, Q.C. and Reid Scott, Q.C. as co-chairs and Aldermen Edward Negridge, Colin Vaughan and Anne Johnston as members.
Samples of the designs submitted for the 1974 flag competition:
A competition to find a new flag was launched, open to residents of all ages in Metropolitan Toronto. On September 4, 1974, Council approved a $500 Canada Savings Bond to be awarded to the winning designer. Throughout the rest of the month, entry kits were distributed to the City Clerk’s Office, Toronto and Metropolitan Toronto Libraries, the Toronto Board of Education and the Metropolitan Toronto Separate School Board. The deadline for receiving entries was October 18, 1974.
More than 700 submissions were received from children and adults from across Toronto, ranging in age from six to ninety years old. The designs were varied in colour and theme – some included Toronto landmarks like the CN Tower and City Hall. Almost half of the designs incorporated the maple leaf while others focused on friendship and unity.
City Archivist Robert Woadden led the competition and was committed to maintaining a level playing field. He assigned each entry a number and locked all of them in the City Hall basement vault. The Flag Design Committee did not see any of the designs until judging took place on October 28 – 29, 1974.
On November 6, 1974, the Flag Design Committee submitted its selection to Council. With a unanimous vote, Council selected the design of 21 year-old George Brown College graphic design student, Renato De Santis. De Santis’ design included the letter ‘T’ for Toronto, the outline of City Hall on a blue background and a red maple leaf representing the Council Chamber at the base of the towers. The flag was proportioned 4′ x 6′.
An official flag raising ceremony was held in Nathan Phillips Square on November 7, 1974, where De Santis received his $500 prize. Letters from the Flag Design Committee were sent to residents who submitted a design for the competition, thanking them for their participation.
The first copy of the new flag was stolen from the flagpole where it flew outside of City Hall and had to be replaced.
With the amalgamation of the former cities of Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, York and Toronto, the Borough of East York and the Metro level of government taking effect on January 1, 1998, a second competition was launched in 1997 to find a flag for the new City of Toronto. The public was invited to submit designs for a new flag but had to follow more specific criteria such as limiting designs to three colours and proportioned 3′ x 6′. The prize for the winning design of the new Toronto flag was a $3000 honorarium.
Council did not approve any of the 161 design submissions received from the public so asked City design staff to submit proposals.
Samples of the designs submitted for the 1999 Toronto flag competition
During the Council review of staff designs, the designer of the original Toronto flag, Renato De Santis, suggested his design be approved with minor modifications to fit the 3′ x 6′ format. De Santis was now the head of an advertising firm specializing in logos and designs.
At a council meeting in November 1999, after months of heated debate, Deputy Mayor Case Ootes decided to let the public have a say in the flag design they preferred. Deputy Mayor Ootes, who was chairing the meeting, polled the audience in the Council Chambers as to what design they liked best – the slightly modified original flag designed by Renato De Santis or a design recommended by Councillor Brad Duguid. Councillor Duguid’s design received polite applause while the former Toronto flag evoked cheers and whistles from the audience, clearly the favourite.
Council adopted the modified old design with a vote of 31-14. The City of Toronto had its new flag.
The Toronto Coat of Arms is an official symbol of the City of Toronto.Use of the Coat of Arms on stationery and other items is restricted to the Mayor and Members of Council and as authorized by Strategic Protocol & External Relations.
The arms were officially granted by the Chief Herald of Canada on January 11, 1999. City Council petitioned the Canadian Heraldic Authority for arms during their meeting that took place October 28 – 30, 1998 after a public consultation process.
The Arms are shown in Volume 3 of the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. The official announcement was made by Letters Patent on July 22, 2000 as seen in Volume 134 of the Canada Gazette.
The Coat of Arms was created after the amalgamation of the former cities of Etobicoke, York, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, the Borough of East York and the Metro level of government.
How it was created
- Members of the public were asked which symbols they would like to have included in the City of Toronto’s new Coat of Arms
- A questionnaire was distributed at the City’s Civic Centres, to Members of Council, libraries, community centres and posted on the City website during July 1998
- More than 1,100 responses were received
- The Chief Herald of Canada created a design
- Council approved the new design on October 30, 1998 and the Arms were officially granted to the City on the authority of the Governor General of Canada
Meaning of each symbol:
Diversity Our Strength: This phrase refers to the multicultural dimension of the city and the seven municipal governments that now form the City of Toronto.
For over a thousand years, originating with the Dukes of Normandy, civic authorities have borne an official seal incorporating the arms of the authority. This seal was originally worn on a gold chain around the neck of the chief official. This “decoration” has evolved into the modern Chain of Office. Although decorative, the practice of wearing a Chain of Office has become steeped in historic tradition, and is one that is followed not only by elected officials, but by the executives of civic organizations as well.
A modern Chain of Office is composed of several elements joined together with pieces of chain, from which hangs a medallion. Chains of Office are almost always sewn onto a velvet collar, which is not only decorative, but makes the chain much more comfortable to wear.
Upon inauguration of a new Mayor of Toronto, the Chain of Office is symbolically placed around the Mayor’s neck and traditionally worn throughout the inauguration ceremony at the First Meeting of Toronto City Council.
When the City of Toronto was amalgamated in 1998, the new Chain of Office utilized gold medallions to incorporate elements from the five former Cities and the Borough of East York, and the Municipality of Metro Toronto. The City of Toronto Chain of Office includes, clockwise from top:
- The Shield of Canada on a gold medallion
- Two golden maple leaves and the Canadian Flag
- The Civic Coat of Arms of the former City of York with a beaver on the left-hand side of the shield, a symbol of the city’s history for industry and activity
- The Civic Coat of Arms of the former City of Etobicoke featuring Etobicoke’s symbol, an alder tree, in the centre of the shield
- The Civic Shield of the former City of North York featuring North York’s motto, “Progress With Economy”
- The Civic Shield of the former Municipality of Metro Toronto featuring eagle wings in the top of the shield, a symbol of our city’s native background
- The Civic Coat of Arms of the former City of Toronto incorporated in 1834
- The Civic Coat of Arms of the former City of Scarborough featuring Scarborough’s symbol, the columbine flower, in the centre of the shield
- The Civic Coat of Arms of the former Borough of East York formerly Canada’s only Borough, featuring a Bulldog, East York’s mascot
- The Provincial Shield of Ontario and two golden maple leaves
- Hanging from the bottom of the Chain of Office, and worn in front, is a golden medallion with the amalgamated City of Toronto’s Coat of Arms.
The Mayor wears the Chain of Office on ceremonial occasions when he appears in his official capacity, as a mark of pride in the city in which we live. It also acknowledges the responsibilities, authority and dignity which are attached to the office of the Chief Magistrate of the city of Toronto.
Ceremonial events where the Chain of Office would be worn: First Meeting of Council, Mayor’s Levee and Official visits.
When not in use, the Chain of Office may be viewed in the display case located inside the reception area of the Mayor’s office.
How Bryant Became the Youngest Black Mayor in Illinois
Bryant has been actively involved in public service since he was a child. He says that both of his parents were elected officials, giving him exposure to local elections at an early age.
Bryant kicked off his political ambitions while at Kentucky State University. He served as Junior Class President for the Student Government Association. After graduation, Bryant returned to Robbins to serve as Commissioner and Vice President at Robbins Park District. At the age of 25, he was elected as Village Trustee of Robbins.
Now, Bryant will be the youngest Black mayor in Illinois. Incorporated in 1917, Robbins is one of the oldest Black communities in the United States.
History of Dutch Kills
In 1642, licenses were granted to some Dutch citizens to settle in Queens. “Kill” is a Dutch word meaning “little stream.” Since Dutch men settled around the “Kill,” (in Long Island City) the name Dutch Kills was adopted. The “Kill” (or stream) is a tributary of Newtown Creek, which divides Queens from Brooklyn.
During the Revolutionary War, British troops were billeted in a series of farmhouses on 39th Avenue (Beebe Avenue). These houses stood until 1903 when they were torn down to make way for the railroad. In the early 1900’s the Queensborough Bridge was opened. Proximity to Manhattan, presence of railroads, and Long Island all contributed to the importance of Dutch Kills.
Still, as “important” or “industrialized” as the community of Dutch Kills has become, its residents have never forgotten their history. So in 1979, when the Dutch Kills Civic Association was revitalized, organizers of the group adopted the Windmill as part of their logo, in tribute to those Dutch farmers who planted the seeds, thus establishing the future of a community. The Dutch Kills Civic Association logo was designed by Tina Maounis in 1980.
Mayor de Blasio Appoints Commissioners to The Civic Engagement Commission
NEW YORK&ndash&ndashMayor Bill de Blasio today appointed eight commissioners to the New York City Civic Engagement Commission and named Dr. Sarah Sayeed as Chair and Executive Director of the Commission. Collectively, the newly appointed commissioners represent every borough and have a range of experience engaging and advocating for New Yorkers from all walks of life, including people with disabilities and immigrants. In addition to promoting civic trust and strengthening our democracy, the commissioners will be responsible for establishing a citywide participatory budgeting program, providing language interpretation services at poll sites and supporting community boards to help them be more effective and more representative of the communities they represent.
New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted to establish the Civic Engagement Commission in November of 2018. After a robust call to encourage New Yorkers to apply to the Commission, the City received more than 300 applications through the City&rsquos open application process. Six of the eight Mayoral appointees were chosen through this process. The Commission will hold its first public meeting within the next 30 days and launch a listening tour across the five boroughs to hear directly from New Yorkers. The Commission also launched a new website where more information on their work, including the schedule of public meetings, will be available. The website can be accessed here.
&ldquoOur democracy begins in communities large and small, where people come together to tackle important issues in our city,&rdquo said Mayor Bill de Blasio. &ldquoThe Civic Engagement Commission will play a crucial role in strengthening this democracy, which is why our appointees have decades of experience elevating the voices of New Yorkers from all walks of life. I want to thank the Chair and Executive Director of the Civic Engagement Commission Dr. Sarah Sayeed and all commissioners for serving their fellow New Yorkers in their new role. I look forward to working with everyone to continue building a democracy that works for all.&rdquo
&ldquoNew York City&rsquos diversity is what makes this city a beacon of democracy and we must continue embracing that so everyone has a seat at the table,&rdquo said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phillip Thompson. &ldquoThe Civic Engagement Commission will help ensure that all New Yorkers are more involved in their communities and can play an active role in shaping the future of our city. I congratulate the distinguished commissioners on their appointments and look forward to partnering with them on this important work.&rdquo
&ldquoThe work of democracy is our collective responsibility,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Chair and Executive Director Dr. Sarah Sayeed. &ldquoI am truly honored to work with Civic Engagement Commissioners, City agencies, and civic and community partners to build a more robust and vibrant civic life. The launch of this Commission represents an exciting opportunity for New York City to lead by example and become a national model of civic revival.&rdquo
&ldquoIt is with great pleasure that I accept the appointment to serve on the Civic Engagement Commission to ensure the inclusion of immigrant New Yorkers and communities of color across the five boroughs,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Murad Awawdeh. &ldquoThe Commission is a great first step to enhance civic trust and engagement among New York's diverse communities, and I look forward to working with fellow members of the Commission to strengthen democracy in New York City.&rdquo
&ldquoCivic engagement allows each of us to build a bridge that will help strengthen the democratic process in New York City,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Holly Bonner. &ldquoI am honored to serve as a mayoral appointee to this Commission. I look forward to working with the other members, non-profits and various agencies to help enhance civic participation amongst New Yorkers of all cultures and abilities.&rdquo
&ldquoI am excited by the Commission&rsquos mandate and am eager to help shape its work,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Amy Breedlove. &ldquoGiven the times in which we live, and the size and diversity of our City, it is crucial that everyone be encouraged to engage in civic life. I am honored to serve the people and communities of New York City as a member of the Civic Engagement Commission.&rdquo
&ldquoI envision this Commission as a catalyst to ignite community awareness and involvement in ensuring New York City&rsquos social equality,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Donna Veronica Gill.
&ldquoI am so thankful to have been chosen to serve on the Civic Engagement Commission. I understand how important it is for individuals with disabilities to be engaged in their community whether it be through their local community boards or simply the process of voting,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Jose Hernandez. &ldquoI hope through the Commission we will increase the civic engagement of the disabled population in New York City.&rdquo
&ldquoWe need public participation in order to create policies and legislation that impact people living in this City, whether it&rsquos related to our schools, social services, transportation services or other areas affecting our daily quality of life,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Linda Lee. &ldquoI look forward to working with our local communities to help them see how they can collectively and individually make their voices heard.&rdquo
&ldquoEvery New Yorker should know how, when and where she can influence the decisions that impact her life and her community,&rdquo said Civic Engagement Commissioner Annetta Seecharran. &ldquoI'm deeply committed to ensuring that this Commission builds pathways and removes barriers to increase the civic participation of all New Yorkers. I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners to ensure this becomes a reality.&rdquo
ABOUT THE COMMISSIONERS:
Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair and Executive Director of the Civic Engagement Commission, is a Bronx resident and has been dedicated to building an inclusive public square for almost two decades. For the past three and a half years, Sayeed has been a Senior Advisor in the Mayor&rsquos Community Affairs Unit, where she has strengthened the civic engagement of a diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual Muslim constituency. Prior to this, she worked for over seven years at the Interfaith Center of New York, bringing together New York&rsquos diverse grassroots religious leaders with secular and city agencies, and implementing an extended collaboration between Catholic and Muslim social service providers. Sayeed also taught Communications to graduates and undergraduates at Baruch&rsquos School of Public Affairs for five years. Through her years of volunteer work with diverse Muslim organizations, including Women in Islam, Inc., she has been an avid promoter of interfaith relations and Muslim women&rsquos public engagement. Sarah holds a B.A. in Sociology and Near East Studies from Princeton University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a certificate in Reconciliation Leadership through the Institute for Global Leadership and is an alumna of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) Fellows program.
Murad Awawdeh is a Brooklyn resident and Muslim-American son of immigrants. He is the Vice President of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition where he oversees the community, member, civic and political engagement departments. In addition, Awawdeh also serves as the Political Director for the New York State Immigrant Action Fund. Awawdeh is the President of Yalla Brooklyn, which is an organization committed in engaging Arabs and Muslims in the electoral process. He also is the President Emeritus of the Muslim Democratic Club of NY, the Chair of the Immigration Committee for Justice 2020 Initiative, and is a board trustee of New York University Family Health Centers.
Holly Bonner is a Staten Island resident who is legally blind and the founder of Blind Motherhood. Bonner founded an online blog, Blind Motherhood, which is dedicated to proving that blind and visually impaired parents execute their parental duties independently, effectively and safely. In addition to her online blog, Bonner also is a contributor to NBC&rsquos TODAY Show as a Parenting Columnist, Coordinator of the American Foundation for the Blind&rsquos &lsquoBlind Parenting Series&rsquo, an Adjunct Psychology Professor at Metropolitan College of New York, and the Staten Island Borough Coordinator for VISIONS Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Bonner received a Master&rsquos of Social Work from Colombia University School of Social Work and is a candidate for a Doctorate in Ministry at New York Theological Seminary.
Amy Breedlove is a Brooklyn resident, self-identifying member of the LGBTQ community and a Business Strategist at Urban Quotient. She&rsquos a consultant to various architectural and design firms and also serves as the President of the Cobble Hill Association. Breedlove is a board member, treasurer and Chair of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of Stonewall Community Development Corporation, an organization focused on developing affordable and supportive housing for LGBTQ seniors. She received degrees from the University of the Arts in Pennsylvania, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and ESSEC Business School in France.
Donna Veronica Gill is a resident of Manhattan and a Higher Education Officer at Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing. Gill also advises the New York State Youth Leadership Council, which works with immigrant youth through various programs including leadership development and educational advancement, on Higher Education and educational funding. Gill is lifelong resident of Harlem, a member of Community Board 10, and volunteers with CUNY&rsquos Citizenship Now program, which helps immigrants complete applications for citizenship, DACA, TPS and other programs. Gill received her Degree in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College.
José Hernandez is a Bronx resident, paraplegic and is the President of United Spinal Association&rsquos New York City chapter. Hernandez became paralyzed when he was a teenager and works closely with disability rights groups. He volunteered with the Wheels of Progress Inc., served on the organization&rsquos advisory board and helped them redesign and maintain both their website and social media. Hernandez previously worked as the Communications Coordinator for Concepts of Independence. He received his bachelor&rsquos degree from St. John&rsquos University.
Linda Lee is a Queens resident and the Executive Director of the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS). Linda started at KCS in 2009, is a member of Community Board 11 in Queens, was a recent board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, is part of the leadership team at New Vision Covenant Church, and is a National Advisory Committee member of NYU's Center for the Study of Asian American Health. Linda has been recognized as a recipient of the Stars Under 40 Award from Schneps Communications and 40Under40 Award as a rising star from NY Nonprofit Media. She received her Bachelor&rsquos Degree from Barnard College, and Master&rsquos Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Annetta Seecharran is a Queens resident, non-profit leader and is the Executive Director of Chhaya CDC. Before joining Chhaya CDC, Seecharran was the Director for Policy and Advocacy for United Neighborhood Houses, a Program Director for International Youth Foundation, and Executive Director of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!). She is a current and former member of several local and national boards, including Chayya CDC, and a founding member of New York State Immigration Action Fund. Seecharran received degrees in non-profit management from both Harvard Business School and Colombia Business School.
ABOUT THE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT COMMISSION:
In November 2018, New York City voters overwhelmingly approved three ballot initiatives proposed by the 2018 Charter Revision Commission, which included campaign finance reform, community board term limits and the establishment of the Civic Engagement Commission. The Commission will be responsible for enhancing civic participation, promoting civic trust and strengthening democracy in New York City. The Commission will have 15 commissioners. Eight are appoint by the Mayor, two by the City Council and one by each Borough President. Initially, three Mayoral appointees (Gill, Breedlove and Lee) will serve two-year terms four Mayoral appointees (Awawdeh, Bonner, Hernandez and Seecharran) will serve four-year terms Borough President appointees will serve three-year terms one City Council appointee will serve a two-year term and one will serve a four-year term. After the initial terms, all future appointments to the Commission will be for four-year terms.
Brett Eisenberg, the Executive Director at the Bronx Independent Living Services, said, &ldquoThe Civic Engagement Commission is vital to all New York City residents to have our voices heard. We believe firmly that individuals with disabilities need to be involved in all facets of government and it is the only way to ensure the rights and issues we hold dear as individuals with disabilities are heard. We commend everyone involved in ensuring that individuals with disabilities will be involved in this important work and as an agency we look forward to assisting in any way that we can.&rdquo
"YVote and Next Generation Politics are thrilled to welcome incoming members of NYC'S ground-breaking Civic Engagement Commission. We were heartened by the passage of the ballot proposal in November, demonstrating the depth of civic appetite in our city and desire for a citywide body committed to developing strategies for improving civic life. As the leader of youth civic engagement initiatives that support diverse groups of teens in participating in civil discourse across various divides and in promoting youth voting and engagement with electoral politics, we look forward to partnering with this extraordinary group of civic-minded leaders to expand opportunities for young people in our city,&rdquo said Sanda Balaban, Director of YVote and Next Generation Politics.
&ldquoOur democracy only functions if regular people are able to meaningfully participate in civic life. NYC&rsquos civic engagement commission is a crucial step in ensuring that New Yorkers, and especially historically marginalized New Yorkers, have a voice in our City. We look forward to working with the commission to put regular New Yorkers at the forefront of our democracy,&rdquo said Theo Oshiro, Deputy Director of Make the Road NY.
"We are thrilled to see that The Civic Engagement Commission will become a reality this year. At a time when public trust in government institutions, especially amongst our immigrant communities, may be at an all-time low, the Commission promises a way to increase civic trust and strengthen democracy in New York City," said Steve Choi, Executive Director of New York Immigration Coalition.
&ldquoWe are thrilled to work with the newly appointed Commissioners of the New York City Civic Engagement Commission, especially to expand democracy for young people in New York City. From the New York City Young Women&rsquos Initiative to supporting the New York City Council in their most recent cycle of participatory budgeting, we continue to work with our partners in government to ensure that young people of color in particular are substantively shaping the future of our city,&rdquo said Joanne N. Smith, President & CEO of Girls for Gender Equity.
&ldquoPeople with disabilities had to sue to win access to polling sites in New York City, but the decision to name three people from our community on the 15-member Civic Engagement Commission shows that the Mayor and Council are serious about increasing our participation in the civic life of our city,&rdquo said Joe Rappaport, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Center for Independent Living.
"Congratulations Chair Dr. Sayeed and fellow commissioners for being appointed to NYC's inaugural Civic Engagement Commission," said Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director of BetaNYC. "For the last few years, we have documented digital and data opportunities within the city's community boards and civic engagement practices. We are exponentially excited to see this commission's wisdom, and look forward to supporting its efforts in enchaining our municipal democracy. Together, pa'lante!"
"Participatory Budgeting proves that you&rsquore never too young for democracy and civic engagement. I&rsquom excited to see PB empower even more people residents of all ages in making the decisions that directly impact their lives, as it expands to a citywide process through the new Civic Engagement Commission. We look forward to seeing the Civic Engagement Commission strengthen real democracy in NYC beyond elections,&rdquo said Josh Lerner, Co-Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project.
&ldquoCongratulations to all the commissioners, many who are tried-and-true advocates for our city and have worked alongside the Asian American Federation to protect the most vulnerable in our community. They have an exciting mandate to engage our city&rsquos residents to become more civically engaged. From the native-born to newcomers among us, we are all vested in the success of New York City, and by creating processes to give voice to everyday residents, we will create more avenues for New Yorkers to shape and influence the policies and programs that impact them,&rdquo said Jo-ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation.