Contact: Robert F. Holden, President, Juniper Park Civic Association, (718) 651-5865


The Juniper Park Civic Association is proud to announce that Councilman Tony Avella has been selected as our 2006 Man of the Year, an honor that historically is awarded to the most outstanding leaders in the City of New York.

Throughout 2006, the Juniper Park Civic Association fought battles in favor of historic preservation and against over-development. These issues are integral to our ongoing mission of protecting the quality of life of the residents of Maspeth and Middle Village.

“In standing our ground on these issues, the JPCA lost the support of several local elected officials, who have decided to fight against their constituents instead of fighting for them,” said JPCA President Robert Holden. “Councilman Avella has been strongly supportive of the goals of this organization as well as of the communities we serve.”

In addition to holding press conferences and attending rallies with JPCA, Mr. Avella has waged war on abusive building practices by sponsoring legislation to make demolition without a permit a crime, and to require the Buildings Department and NYPD to enforce stop work orders by arresting violators. He is sponsoring legislation to require the city to enforce deed restrictions, a tool that homeowners and civic groups use to ensure that the character of a neighborhood is preserved.

Avella is also sponsoring several pieces of legislation to overhaul the Board of Standards and Appeals, which at this time has the final word on zoning variances and special permits. Furthermore, he is seeking to grant the City Council review power over the city’s sale of its own land to developers through the Economic Development Corporation.

Tony was first elected to the City Council in 2001, and took office in January 2002. He was re-elected by an overwhelming majority in both the 2003 and 2005 elections. He currently serves as the chair of the Zoning and Franchises committees. He is also a member of the committees on Higher Education, Housing and Buildings, Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Land Use and Veterans. Tony founded the first Italian-American Caucus of the City Council, and currently serves as chair. Tony was one of only two council members to refuse a controversial pay raise, and has also refused to accept “lulus,” the extra pay to which a councilmember is awarded as compensation for chairing committees.

The Juniper Park Civic Association is proud to name Councilman Tony Avella our 2006 Man of the Year. Previous awardees have included Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, Community Board 5 Chairman Frank Principe and State Senator Serf Maltese.

Councilman Avella will receive the Man of the Year award at the Juniper Park Civic Association meeting on Thursday, June 21st, 2007, at 7:45pm at Our Lady of Hope School Auditorium, Eliot Avenue and 71st Street in Middle Village.