History of the Baldwin Civic Association
It was social media that revived the BCA.
While the Baldwin Civic Association dates back to August 1945, it was the launching of the Baldwin Needs Revitalization Facebook page in 2011 that sparked it back to Life. David Viana started the page as a way to “get everyone to start talking with each other and to get everyone to start thinking what we can do to fix Baldwin.” As the number of “likes” continued to grow, another Baldwin resident, Linda Degen, reached out with the idea of bringing back the Baldwin Civic Association.
The first informational meeting was held
October 22, 2011 at the Baldwin Public
Library with the hope that 50 people
might attend. Instead, nearly 200
residents showed up.
Other meetings followed at Baldwin
High School. Committees were formed:
Beautification, Potential New Business
(now Economic Development), Violations
(now Quality of Life), Membership, Fundraising, and Empty Storefronts. Officers were elected, including Viana and Degen as co-presidents, and an Executive Board was convened.
Since then, the BCA has continued to grow in membership and activities. Beautification Committee projects include plantings around town, the Baldwin Community Garden, banners along
Grand Avenue and Merrick Road, and
the new Baldwin sign on the train
trestle at Sunrise Highway. The Quality
of Life Committee went beyond just
reporting violations to bringing events
like the summer Music Series to Baldwin.
The Economic Development Committee
has reached out to and supported local
businesses, and has an active voice in
the Town of Hempstead project to redevelop the northwest corner of Grand Avenue and Merrick Road. As part of the committee drive to bring technology businesses to Baldwin, it brokered a partnership between Hofstra and the Baldwin School District to bring a computer coding program to Baldwin Middle School—the first of its kind in a Long Island public school.
The BCA has become an advocate for Baldwin. One of the earliest projects the BCA supported was the LIRR Infill Redevelopment study, which led to the Grand Avenue Traffic Study and recommendations to improve traffic on our main North-South thoroughfare. After Superstorm Sandy, BCA members were tabbed to help represent Baldwin in the New York Rising Program. BCA board members regularly meet with elected representatives as well as attend meetings of the Nassau County Legislature and the Hempstead Town Council. BCA representatives even journey to Albany to make sure Baldwin’s concerns are heard by government.
The Baldwin Civic Association is once again a vibrant organization that is working to fulfill its mission to “foster our wonderfully diverse community and maintain the quality of life in Beautiful Baldwin.”
The BCA Executive Board is comprised of nine members: five officers and the chairs of the four standing committees. The Executive Boards meets once a month.
President Darien Ward: Darien and his family moved to Baldwin in 2005. He joined the Association in 2011 and became Membership Chair. As chair, Darien helped provide the membership with an online newsletter, create a membership database, and organize Association events. He also helped author the Association by-laws and promoted attainment of 501-(c)(3) non profit status. Darien became chair of the Economic Development Committee in 2014, and then was elected president in 2018.
Vice President Steven Greenfield: Steve and his wife, Mary, have lived in Baldwin since 2000. Steven is a retired Executive Director for not-for-profit organizations, most recently the Mental Health Association of Nassau County. He is also an adjunct faculty member teaching social policy at Long Island University. Steven says, "The BCA has really been moving forward. I hope to see the Association increase in numbers and continue to press for needed changes. Baldwin is on the cusp of great things."
Treasurer Constance Pittas: Constance lives in Baldwin with her husband and son. She joined the BCA in 2011 at Baldwin Day. Knowing she wanted to do something positive for our hamlet, she joined the Potential Business Committee (now the Economic Development Committee). She has volunteered at the Eggstravaganza and the Oktoberfest. Constance believes that as residents, involvement in an organization such as the BCA can bring the community together.
Recording Secretary Ashley Davis: Ashley graduated from Baldwin High School and has lived in the district since 1991. She is grateful to Baldwin for the education she received and the community she had the privilege to be a part of growing up, and sees her role with the BCA as an opportunity to give back to the community that gave her so much. Ashley is an educational psychology doctoral candidate at City University of New York Graduate Center and an adjunct professor in the Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department at Queens College.
Corresponding Secretary Samantha Cools
Standing Committee Chairs
Fundraising Committee: Jessenia Velazquez
Government Liaison: Karen Montalbano
Membership Committee: Rob Weisser
Quality of Life Committee:
Click here for a copy of the Association's by-laws.
General Membership Meeting Minutes
Click here for a copy of the general membership meeting minutes for 2019.