Early History of the R.H.B.A.
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Richmond Hill Block Association
Newspaper articles from the
L.I. Daily Press and the Daily News reporting on the beginning of the Richmond
Hill Block Association in 1973-74.
Articles courtesy from Richard Galvani, first acting president
Published Newspaper Article from 1973
New Block Association wins praise
"The middle-income families today are in deep trouble unless they can
organize," City Councilman Walter Ward said Saturday night.
Addressing 500 members of the newly-formed Richmond Hill Block Association.
Ward said the group had done an amazing job of organizing, coming up with
a membership of over 1,000 in the first month of its existence.
The immediate problem, said Councilman Arthur Katzman, is survival
- or, more specifically, the threat that unscrupulous real estate agents
(blockbusters) pose to many middle-income families today. The next problem,
he said, is getting the city to deliver services.
Both problems, Katzman said, could be better handled by organized civic
and block associations. A lot of people seem to have realized of late,
Katzman said, pointing out that "these organizations seem to be shooting
up all over east and south Queens."
They were addressing a standing-room-only crowd at the South Queens
Boys Club on Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.
State Sen. Martin J. Knorr of Ridgewood sounded similar sentiments
when he told the overflow crowd that "blockbusting is a threat which hangs
over every Queens community today - and certainly it hangs over Richmond
"We must also be aware of the threat of the selling of Aqueduct Raceway,"
Knorr said, "and you can be assured there will be many selfish builders
who will be looking to make a quick buck, and put high risers there in
the middle of a fine residential community."
Assemblyman Alfred DelliBovi of Richmond Hill told the group he is
introducing in the next session of the legislature a bill which would,
hopefully, help alleviate the problem caused by the manipulation of welfare
families to cause panic selling. His bill will set a maximum that welfare
officials can pay for housing.
DelliBovi warned, however, that homeowners should not be too optimistic
about any state legislation taking care of this problem completely. "We
have certain federal regulations," he said, "because so much of the welfare
payments come from federal funds."
There are, nevertheless, a number of effective measures which can be
taken by legislators, city councilmen... and homeowners, DelliBovi said.
"If somebody on Jamaica Avenue takes an apartment house and suddenly converts
it into a boarding house, let us know about it," he said. "Let's get the
goods on these guys," he continued. "If you will let us know about these
things, maybe we can nip it in the bud. Maybe we can find some building
violations if we send the building inspector down. Or maybe we can find
some fire or health violations.
"We fixed a guy like this last month. He's doing a lot of renovating
- he has to. He's going to get hit with a big bill, and I'll guarantee
that it will be a long time before he tries that kind of stuff again.
"You let us know when you spot these things, and we'll take it from
there. But we need some eyes and ears. We need people to tell us what is
going on. And maybe this organization _ and others like it _ can provide
the information that we need."
The acting president of the Richmond Hill Block Association is Richard
Galvani, the vice-president is Donald DeLoca. In response to their questions,
Katzman said the city is still dragging its feet in the matter of a city
takeover of the local waterworks (a bill pushed through the last legislature
by DelliBovi gives the city the power to take over by condemnation the
water works from the private utility company that now owns it).
Published Newspaper Article from December 1973
Residents happy over cooperation with precincts
The newly formed Richmond Hill Block Association is pleased with a
new line of communication it has developed with its two neighborhood police
precincts. The organization, representing some 30 blocks and more than
1,500 residents throughout Richmond Hill, was formed three months ago.
It is headed by Richard L. Galvani of Richmond Hill.
Meeting in Richmond Hill High School last night, police officials from
both the Richmond Hill (102) and Ozone Park (106) Precincts said they were
doing their utmost to cooperate with the fledgling organization. Galvani
said the new line of communication with the police is proving successful
at this point.
Published Newspaper Article from 1974
Bid To Beame: Open Local Office
The Richmond Hill Block Association has called on Mayor Beame to establish
a local mayors office in its community. According to Richard J. Galvani,
block association chairman, a local mayor's office is desperately needed
in the Richmond Hill area to help centralize and disseminate city information
to area residents. Galvani expressed concern over apparent neglect by the
city to establish a neighborhood government office in Richmond Hill, as
well as in Woodhaven and Ozone Park.
"The situation is ludicrous," said Galvani. "This area is a middle
income tax base area which for many years, has been paying much more than
its fair share of taxes."
The association represents about 1,500 residents from some 30 separate