Lawrence Civic Association has a new leader


When Lawrence village mayor, Alex Edelman, and Village Administrator Ron Goldman sought a new leader for the Lawrence Civic Association, they approached Judi Bernstein to consider taking leadership.

Bernstein instead suggested that they have a meeting hosted by the civic association and call it its “revival” to discuss overdevelopment in the area. Both of them agreed with her idea. That meeting will take place on Feb. 1.

“It lost its way,” Bernstein said on the association suddenly phasing out. “The neighborhood has changed.”

The association was founded over 90 years ago to represent the people who live in the community. A Lawrence resident for more than 20 years, Bernstein has become  an active member of the association, advocating against overdevelopment across the Five Towns, including the Pearsall Project in Cedarhurst and the transit-oriented development near the Inwood Long Island Rail Road station that would add apartment housing near the train station.

“The people in the area are upset about the thoughts of more construction for apartment housing,” past president, Jacqueline Handel, said. “Which will bring in more people, more cars and more congestion in the area.”

Handel, a Lawrence resident for more than 70 years, served as president after succeeding Paris Popack, who is now a village trustee. The civic association has long considered itself an advocate for the village residents and Lawrence.

The Town of Hempstead halted development of the transit development unanimously approving a six-month moratorium on the development. The moratorium expires in April.

Another concern is the recent push by Gov. Kathy Hochul to have 800,000 home built statewide over the next decade and her fight against what she called restrictive land policies; policies that many local Long Island leaders support. Under Hochul’s proposal 14,340 new homes would be required to be built in three years.

Bernstein was responsible for encouraging residents to voice their views on projects in the area at a meeting held last August at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club. More than 500 community members were in attendance.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Handel said about Bernstein taking leadership. “She is a wonderful person to follow me.”

To publicize the Feb. 1 meeting at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club, Bernstein is using flyers and social media. The meeting will focus on an update on overdevelopment in the Five Towns.

Representatives from Hempstead Town Supervisor’s Donald Clavin’s office are expected to attend the February meeting.

“It’s important that the Town of Hempstead know we mean business,” Bernstein said on the importance of the continuation of the association. “That’s with the job of the Lawrence Civic Association to speak for the people who live in the village, although we have a mayor who speaks for us as well but the people themselves have us as well.”

Future meetings will focus on safety, meeting the mayor and village employees.

“We’ll come up with other topics along the way,” Bernstein said.