This spring, Alberto Valentin became Graham Avenue BID’s new Executive Director after Betty Cooney, who had led this BID for nearly two decades, retired. Valentin was previously an educational facilitator at Boricua College where he mentored young adults in their development as business professionals. In addition, he has over two decades of experience as an employee benefits advisor and a business development professional.
What’s new? A new logo was recently unveiled. Also, to help beautify the district the BID partnered with City Cleanup Corps interns assigned to the BID, NYPD 90th Precinct Community Affairs officers, and parent and teacher volunteers from P.S. 257 to clean up, paint, and mulch the tree pits along Graham Avenue.
“This is an example of how merchants in our commercial district actively work together with community partners to take care of our neighborhood. In line, with the BID’s motto to ‘grow businesses and community together in new directions’,” said Valentin. Then on October 26th thanks to Principal Idalys Camacho, forty to fifty students from P.S. 257, led by their student council, helped to spruce up the tree beds. They planted wooden flowers and placed plaques on trees indicating that they have adopted the trees in the district and will be working with the BID to maintain them. “For the kids this was a real lesson in being responsible and caring for their neighborhood,” said Valentin. Currently the BID is promoting holiday shopping in the district. New holiday lights and banners will be going up shortly after Thanksgiving.
The Graham Avenue BID held their annual dinner on November 18. Evelyn Cruz represented U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez, also representatives from Eric Adams, and Scott Stringer were also in attendance at the event that was held in-person and on Zoom. The BID gave Paul Goodman, the owner of the McDonald’s on Broadway, special recognition.
The Santa Bus, an old favorite and what has become a local tradition, will return on December 18 from 12 p.m.–4 p.m. at Graham Avenue near Cook Street. There will be free goodies for children under twelve and free selfies with Santa (bring a camera) for all ages. For more information go to: grahamavenuebid.org