Gateway tenants honor Schumer

Photo by Tequila Minsky Several local pols were on hand — including, left to right, Borough President Gail Brewer, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Public Advocate Letitia James, and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, joining Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glen Plaskin. But sadly, the night’s honoree, Sen. Charles Schumer, was too ill to attend.

Photo by Tequila Minsky
Several local pols were on hand — including, left to right, Borough President Gale Brewer, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Public Advocate Letitia James, and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, joining Gateway Plaza Tenants Association president Glen Plaskin. But sadly, the night’s honoree, Sen. Charles Schumer, was too ill to attend.

BY COLIN MIXSON

Sen. Chuck Schumer missed out on an evening of flattery from Battery Park City residents and a small army of political big wigs on Sept. 9, when he called out sick from a ceremony organized by the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association to honor Downtown’s most powerful advocate in Washington with a lifetime achievement award.

And while many Gateway residents were disappointed that the senator couldn’t attend his own party, there were no hard feelings, according to the president of the association.

“Obviously we were disappointed, but we understood — and, as they say, the show must go on,” said GPTA honcho Glenn Plaskin.

Photo by Tequila Minsky GPTA honcho Glenn Plaskin is ready for his close up with Commissioner of Media and Entertainment — and former Community Board 1 chairwoman — Julie Menin.

Photo by Tequila Minsky
GPTA honcho Glenn Plaskin is ready for his close up with Commissioner of Media and Entertainment — and former Community Board 1 chairwoman — Julie Menin.

The riverside ceremony was held at North Cove Marina, which was filled to bursting with local legislators and city honchos, including Rep. Jerry Nadler, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Borough President Gale Brewer, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin, and Councilwoman Margaret Chin, along with former Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVeigh Hughes, local District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar, and former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The local politicos took turns praising Schumer on stage, before breaking to hobnob and pose for pictures with locals, while snacking on a nearly endless supply of ritzy hors d’oeuvres.

Hillary Clinton, while not on hand to praise the senator in person, sent her accolades on official Hillary for America stationary, which Plaskin read for the big-name crowd.

“Throughout his more than four decades in public service, Chuck has been a powerful champion for New Yorkers and for working-class families across the country,” he read on Clinton’s behalf.

Photo by Tequila Minsky GPTA president Glenn Plaskin, far left, and treasurer Karlene Wiese hang out with Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

Photo by Tequila Minsky
GPTA president Glenn Plaskin, far left, and treasurer Karlene Wiese hang out with Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

Schumer’s acceptance speech was read by Squadron, with the state senator thanking the association and discussing the challenges the community has faced since 9/11, on behalf of his federal counterpart.

“I am so grateful to be honored by the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association and would have loved to attend in person,” said Squardon, reading off a speech prepared by Schumer. “From 9/11 to Sandy, we’ve had our share of tough times. But this community and GPTA has always weathered the storm and come back stronger.”

Schumer was awarded on behalf of Gateway tenants in large part for his strong support of Lower Manhattan following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Gateway complex was devastated in the wake of the destruction of the neighboring World Trade Center towers, with residents displaced for months and forced to return to homes covered in toxic dust.

Photo by Tequila Minsky A good time was had by all.

Photo by Tequila Minsky
A good time was had by all.

Schumer, along with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, were responsible for securing billions of dollars in redevelopment money from the federal government.  He later helped push through the Zadroga Bill, which provides free healthcare for ailing 9/11 survivors, and was instrumental in getting the law extended late last year.

“We’re all here to honor a great American, who has worked tirelessly in the Senate for 18 years,” Plaskin said at the award ceremony. “He helped us recover and rebuild after the events of 9/11. He passionately advocated for the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and its renewal. He is someone who has integrity and great warmth and he is the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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