The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) is a community organization whose
members are volunteers (not paid) and elected by Roosevelt Island residents.
RIRA’s mission is to promote and defend the interests of the residents for a better
quality of life on Roosevelt Island. RIRA advocates for the community and organizes seasonal events.
The next election of RIRA officers and representatives is on Tuesday, November 6, the same day as the general election. Your participation will keep RIRA a viable organization in three ways:
You can nominate yourself to represent your building or neighborhood.
You can vote for the candidates that present themselves as effective representatives.
You can share your perspectives on what works and does not work on the Island with the representatives.
Why YOU Should Serve on RIRA
There are 44 seats on the RIRA Common Council, allocated by the population of the
residential buildings, as follows: Southtown (405-480): 11; Rivercross: 3; 546 Main
Street: 2; Roosevelt Landings: 7; Island House: 3; Westview: 3; 2 River Road: 1; 4
River Road: 1; Manhattan Park: 8; Octagon: 5.
RIRA representatives are charged with:
Speaking up for their neighbors, fellow residents and tenants;
Strengthening the community
Making a difference.
Your must meet only two requirements to SERVE as a representative and to VOTE in the RIRA elections; you must be a resident of Roosevelt Island and you must be at least 18 years of age. (Your country of origin, immigration status and citizenship do not matter.)
What Does a RIRA Representative Do?
RIRA meets at 8:00 pm the first Wednesday of the month, for about two hours. Each
representative must serve on at least one committee. Current committees include
Children, Youth and Education; Communications; Constitution and By-Laws; Island Services; Planning; Public Purpose Funds; Social, Cultural and Education; and, of course, Nomination and Elections. Committees present reports on projects and activities underway at RIRA monthly meetings.
One recent success is how RIRA worked with the Roosevelt Island Operating
Corporation (RIOC) to better manage the road races held on weekends. There was an
incident when the race organizers turned on the loudspeakers at Firefighters Field to
excessively high volume before the permitted hour. Representatives of RIRA secured
an agreement with RIOC to shift the races to start at Southpoint Park, where the
loudspeaker volume would not affect residents.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney signs the petition to turn the water back on at the Southpoint Park cat sanctuary
RIRA’s members helped mobilize support of the Cat Sanctuary operated by the
Wildlife Freedom Foundation by obtaining more than 4,000 signatures to advocate for RIOC to
turn the water back on, to care for the cats. In collaboration with community groups, the PayItForward program has supplied needy residents with holiday food and gifts.The concert, Music is All Inclusive, featured moving performances by student musicians in May.
A student performs at the Music is All Inclusive concert sponsored by RIRA
Through a RIRA-led team, more than 1200 residents have been trained in Hands-Only
CPR, an initiative of the American Heart Association. RIRA also organizes events, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, featuring performances of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, dance and music every spring.
RIRA also collaborates with other local organizations and city agencies on health, financial and emergency education events open to all residents of the Island. One example is the annual Blood Drive held on Roosevelt Island Day in June. Other initiatives include programs for students to develop leadership skills through diverse activities, as well as building connections with seniors on the Island.
With a new slate of officers about to be elected, now is the time for YOU to contribute
your ideas of activities and programs.
A Meet the Candidates Night will be held on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 pm in
the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, 543 Main Street.
For more information, and to nominate yourself as a candidate, please visit the RIRA
website www.RIRAonline.com or speak with Janet Falk at 212-677-5770.
Whether you nominate yourself or encourage a neighbor to serve on RIRA,
REMEMBER TO VOTE on Tuesday, November 6 at PS/IS 217.
Janet Falk and Rossana Ceruzzi, co-chairs, Nominations Committee
Lydia Tang and Sharon Williams, co-chairs, Election Committee