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PR- 040-06
February 6, 2006


Six City Employees Honored for Outstanding Public Service

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hosted today a reception at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in honor of Black History Month.  The location of this year’s reception is particularly significant as the building, once the Audubon Ballroom, prepares to reopen its doors as an educational center that will host films, concerts, photo exhibits and conferences that will focus on the issues of leadership and social justice that were so important to Malcolm X and his wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz.  Mayor Bloomberg was joined in honoring Black History Month at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center by Malaak Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz and Gamilah Shabazz - daughters of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, and Deputy Mayors Dennis Walcott and Kevin Sheekey. 
“One of the great beauties of Malcolm X’s life was that his mind was continually open and that he came to conceive of a future built on a foundation of universal respect for the values of each individual’s life,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Tonight, as we celebrate Black History Month, we pay tribute to that vision and to one of America’s most important civil rights leaders by placing the spotlight on six outstanding African Americans in City government.  There is no better way to acknowledge these unsung heroes who really keep our City running.”

Six Commissioners of New York City agencies were asked to nominate employees in their respective agencies to be recognized for outstanding public service. The agencies are: Department of City Planning, Department of Education, New York City Fire Department, Health and Hospitals Corporation, Department of Small Business Services, and the Taxi & Limousine Commission.  At the reception, Mayor Bloomberg presented awards to the six City employees in recognition of their outstanding public service.  They are:

Dr. Donna Copper is a well-respected pediatrician who has been part of the fabric of the southeastern Queens community for twenty years.  She began her career as an Assistant Attending Physician in Pediatrics with Queens Hospital Center in 1986 and has remained an integral member of HHC’s Queens Health Network by devoting her practice to patients in the South Queens Community Health Center and more recently the Springfield Gardens Family Health Center, two of Queens Hospital’s offsite facilities.  Her unusual dedication and demonstrated compassion for the children in her care have led many parents to retain her services long after their children reach adolescence, often following her from one location to another.

Martin Grindley is the Deputy Director of the Safety & Emissions Division at the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. He has worked at the TLC for 17 years in various posts, rising from Inspector to Chief to his current position as Deputy Director, where he supervises the safety and emissions inspections of over 12,000 taxis.  Martin is a natural leader and a friend to anyone in need, whether at work or in his personal life.  He is well respected and liked by his co-workers and employees and always gives of himself more than is asked. 

Kathleen Hauges is a certified librarian with more than 25 years experience with the Department of Education.  For the past 2 years, she has been a staff member at PS 196 in the Bronx. In that short time she has made a significant impact on the literacy/library program and has been the driving force behind the Robin Hood Library Grant at the PS 195, 196, and 197 educational complex. Additionally, during the past academic year, she was an integral member of the team that brought home the Ezra Jack Keats Book Making Award to two students from the educational complex. She continues to use her years of experience with the Department of Education to elicit the very best from all students with whom she comes in contact.

Donald Jackson is the Executive Director of Human Resources at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). With over 20 years of human resources experience as a public servant, he has thrived in building and invigorating one of the most comprehensive agency development units in the City. Through a multi-pronged focus on training and skills growth, leadership development and recognition, team-building, cultural awareness and internship programs, Donald has created a program fully dedicated to supporting and challenging SBS employees. In the past year alone, the SBS training courses have enrolled 239 staff members in topics ranging from Building Rapport to Time Management to tutorials in various software programs.  In addition, nearly 90 employees have taken seminars on issues ranging from financial planning to healthy eating that can enrich their lives beyond the workplace. 

Paulette Lundy is the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the New York City Fire Department’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), a post she has held since 2001.  During her tenure as the head of the EEO Office, she has established a truly effective EEO program by conducting complex investigations, establishing training for the entire Department and counseling agency staff.  Given the size of the Fire Department, (over 16,000 employees) and its unique workforce, Ms. Lundy's accomplishments were no easy feat.  Ms. Lundy, a former Assistant District Attorney in King's County, is known for her candor and can do attitude. 

Edwin Marshall a native New Yorker, is the team leader for the Manhattan Office in the Department of City Planning. He has been an employee of the City for 26 years, 20 of which have been with City Planning. He has been in his current post since 1993 and is responsible for planning for all of upper Manhattan. In this capacity he has helped facilitate with HPD close to 15,000 affordable housing units through the development and implementation of the Bradhurst Urban Renewal Plan and other projects involving City-owned land. He also oversaw the Department-initiated East Harlem and Frederick Douglass Boulevard neighborhood
rezonings - the first comprehensive neighborhood re-zonings in Upper Manhattan in over 40 years. Throughout his career, one of his greatest strengths has been his commitment to consensus building and public outreach, critical ingredients for successful planning. 

Sponsors of this evening’s reception included: Carver Federal Savings Bank. 

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, a scholar and historian, organized the first “Negro History Week” in the second week of February as a means of highlighting the contributions of Black Americans. Woodson chose this week out of deference for Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two Americans who were born in the month of February and who dramatically affected the lives of Black Americans. 

The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center is located at the former Audubon Ballroom which is also the site of the assassination of Malcolm X, a black civil rights activist and Muslim minister. The Center commemorates the lives and works of Malcolm X and his wife Dr. Betty Shabazz through archival materials and multi-media presentations. Scheduled to open to the public in May 2006, the Center will provide educational and public programs and serve as a cultural resource for the Harlem and Washington Heights communities.


Stu Loeser/Paul Elliott   (212) 788-2958

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