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 eleven members: five officers and the chairs of the six standing committees. The Executive Board 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) nonprofit status. Darien became chair of the Economic Development Committee in 2014, and then was elected president in 2018.
Vice President Kimberly Malone: Kim has lived in Baldwin with her husband and two children for over 15 years. Both children attend Baldwin Senior High School. Kim has an MBA from Columbia University and is passionate about business and financial literacy. Her experience includes a total of 23 years in financial services (including 10 years as a licensed insurance agent), 13 years as a local Realtor, and 10 years in marketing and management positions within higher education.
Treasurer 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."
Recording Secretary Marguerite Keller: A Baldwin resident since 1969, Marguerite Grasing Keller married the boy around the block, Glenn, who is also a lifelong resident of Baldwin, in 1997. Glenn and Marguerite bought a house on Parkview Place in 1998 and have raised their son William and daughter Maggie along with a few beloved dogs. Marguerite got her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Molloy College and is currently the co-director of a nonprofit organization in Rockville Centre. Marguerite cherishes her life in the Silver Lake area and has many friends and family living nearby. It is her hope to get more people to recognize the value and potential of this area of Baldwin.
Corresponding Secretary Samantha Cools: As a fifth-generation Baldwinite, Samantha was born and raised in the home her family has owned since 1926. She has been active in the community from her youth, including being Baldwin High School cheerleader, an AIDS peer educator, a diehard Sports Week (Blue Team) participant, and an officer in the Baldwin Fire Department Juniors program. After graduating high school in 2004, she attended SUNY Oswego and then lived upstate for many years until the call of home brought her back to Baldwin. Since moving home she earned her real estate license now works as a team with her mother Sue showcasing real estate in the Baldwin community. Wanting to be more active in the community, she joined the BCA and was excited to become Corresponding Secretary, as she believes communication and messaging plays a huge role in getting residents to be active in their community. She feels that by using tools such as social media platforms, the BCA can highlight the wonderful things happening in Baldwin, reach more residents, and get more people involved in what is going on within the community.
Standing Committee Chairs
Fundraising Committee: Jessenia Velazquez
Government Liaison: Karen Montalbano
Membership Committee: Rob Weisser
Quality of Life Committee: Rodney Levy
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.
Click here for a copy of the general membership meeting minutes for 2020.
Click here for a copy of the general membership meeting minutes for February 2021.
Click here for a copy of the general membership meeting minutes for March 2021.