BY YVETTE BROWN
Over the course of the new few weeks, the Queens Tribune will be profiling new members of the borough’s community boards and introduce these civic leaders to their constituents. We are kicking off the series this week with three freshman members.
Edwin G. Cadiz of Community Board 1, which covers Astoria, Queensbridge and parts of Woodside
Michael Cheng of Community Board 7, which covers Downtown Flushing, Broadway-Flushing, Bowne Park, Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Beechurst, Whitestone, Malba and College Point
Mohinder Singh of Community Board 9, which covers Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Kew Gardens
Late last month, Borough President Melinda Katz announced the appointment of 318 new community board members and 56 of them are first-time members including Edwin G. Cadiz, who is now serving Community Board 1.
“I applied [to serve the board] four times and I was denied even though I have over a thousand awards in community service and for some reason I kept getting rejected and this year I said ‘you know what I’m going to put [the application] in one more time,” said Cadiz. “I thought I was going to be serving George and George was a board member, but the board president didn’t approve him, so he didn’t get approved and I was kind of disappointed because I really wanted to work close with him because I wanted to make sure I represented [Ravenswood, Queensbridge and Astoria properly because] a lot of them don’t get represented properly so I felt that I needed to be their voice.”
Cadiz has served the community since as far back as the the late 1980’s where he worked as a teacher while helping out in a senior center. He taught for 22 years in the area and ran the HANAC Ravenswood Senior Center for 13 years,
“I taught at PS 112, I taught at 35 in the Bronx, I taught at the Greek-American Institute, I taught at Louis Armstrong,” said Cadiz. “I was also teaching at LaGuardia College for Children in their Saturday program, that was the only other class I took besides running the senior center. I taught art and science.”
Cadiz said that he ended up leaving teaching after 22 years because, “the system doesn’t work half of the time, the teaching is a joke, I hate to say it, but [it’s like that] even with the teachers because I really felt like they criticized the students. We’re working for the students, we shouldn’t be criticizing them, but I lost my case after Louis Armstrong.”
After leaving teaching, he stayed with the senior center where he met up with Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and eventually became her Community Liaison in 2002 after leaving the senior center.
“I ran the senior center there and Cathy gave me some capital funds, so I [had] the whole center renovated really nice because it was a real mess and the I worked close and invited them to all of our functions, I had all kinds of activities for the seniors [and I’d send] them on trips, way beyond what the job called for, then one day I said, ‘you know 13 years is enough with seniors,’” said Cadiz. “I really wanted to do my photography and my art and then Cathy comes up to me and says, ‘well do you want to work over in our office?’ and ever since then I’ve been with the Assemblywoman.”
He continues to attend 114th Precinct meetings, Ravenswood meetings, Queensbridge meetings and Astoria Houses meetings, but said that every now and again he misses his old jobs.
“I miss my Pre-K class and I sometimes miss my seniors because they acted sort of like the Pre-K children,” he laughed. “I’m getting a little tired of going to meetings and hearing the same stories over and over again.”
Cadiz said that as part of Community Board 1, he hopes to give those a voice who don’t already have one.
“Basically I want to be a voice for [the] three developments. We need a voice too,” said Cadiz.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext.128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.