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Politics

Maloney & Simotas Host Annual Women’s History Luncheon, Awards Presented

May 13, 2018

ASTORIA – U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, 12th Congressional District, and New York State Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, 36th Assembly District, Astoria, hosted the Annual Women’s History Luncheon at George’s Restaurant, Kaufman-Astoria Studios on May 11 with approximately 50 invited guests. The event honored three Queens women for their dedication to community service. The honorees:

Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, founder and Executive Director of Hour Children; Sadete Mujovic, public school teacher and Public Relations Coordinator for the Muslim American Society of Queens; and Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Central Astoria LDC and Chairperson of Community Board 1, Queens.

Assemblymember Simotas gave the welcoming remarks noting that this is one her favorite events of the year. She said that the event honors the “remarkable leaders in the community who demonstrate the tremendous strides that we as women can make when we work together.”

“This event,” Simotas continued, “is also an opportunity to celebrate all that women have achieved but also to recognize the need to continue the fight for gender equality, that need motivated me to enter public office and to focus on crafting and supporting legislation to help women, whether it’s fighting to expand access to critical healthcare, close the wage gap, eliminate workplace harassment, ensure justice for survivors of sexual violence or increase financial and educational opportunities for women and girls, we must all do our part to ensure that we improve the lives of all women.”

She then introduced the honorees, noting that “each of these women have made a very meaningful impact on our community. In their own ways, each advances the causes that are important to women each and every day. I have been hosting this event since my first term in office along with one of my mentors in government Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney who is one of the strongest and most effective supporters of women’s rights in the country. Carolyn, thank you for all you do.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz noted the importance of educating our children “that right or wrong doesn’t depend on the audience, what’s right or wrong on the outside is also what’s right or wrong inside the home, kids have to know that.” She then introduced Rep. Maloney saying “there is no greater fighter than Carolyn Maloney in Congress” and “she is an amazing legislator and an amazing person.”

Rep. Maloney in her speech noted the contributions of the honorees and their selfless dedication to improving the lives of others and the entire community of Astoria. She said, “It’s wonderful to be here to honor three pillars of our community that help make this wonderful neighborhood what it is,” and mentioned that she already put tributes into the Congressional record for the honorees.

Maloney also acknowledged the contributions of the late George Kaufman, Chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios, who passed away on February 20 at the age of 89, but left his mark on Astoria with the impressive studio that bears his name.

She highlighted the need for a stop in the Sunnyside yards on the new Long Island Railroad connection to Grand Central for the economic development of the district, adding that the community must speak out about the issue.

The achievements of the honorees were then noted by Maloney who concluded by saying “thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you and don’t forget the primary on June 26, I need your help.”

Hour Children’s mission “is to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunify with their families, and build healthy, independent, and secure lives.”

Sister Tesa said, “Let’s all keep up the good work for the well-being of the poor and needy in our midst.”

Among those present were Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris, family and friends of the honorees, and local community members.

Simotas thanked all those present, including Kaufman Astoria Studios and George’s Restaurant manager John Nikach, and wished all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day in advance.

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