|Written by Fred Scaglione|
|Saturday, 26 June 2010 20:12|
Judy Pannullo will be leaving her post as Executive Director of the Suffolk Community Council. Pannullo joined the Council as its Executive Director in 2004.
During her tenure, Pannullo oversaw a significant expansion of programs. These include the Network of Women with Disabilities – addressing the barriers to access to healthcare; Accessible Long Island, addressing the issue of aging in place; and the Unity project addressing the unmet needs of the Latino population in Brentwood – offering English and computer classes as well as working in close cooperation in with the Suffolk County Police.
Pannullo came to SCC after serving for 14 years as Director of The Long Island Progressive Coalition, where she managed the expansion of their programs and outreach which include the Brookhaven Lab Advisory Committee – addressing the needs of the local community and their concern about the safety and health of the Lab; Long Island Jobs with Justice – addressing the need for labor and community to work together; and the Environmental Leaders Network – addressing environmental concerns in Brentwood and ending the mosquito spraying in Babylon Village.
“It has been a distinct honor and pleasure to work with so many wonderful people who care so deeply about social issues” said Pannullo.
“Judy’s departure will be a great loss for the Suffolk Community Council and for the people we serve,” said Michael McClain, the Council’s Board President. “Her work with the Council during the past eight years has made a positive difference in the lives of many people and many organizations.”
The Suffolk Community Council’s board is currently conducting a search for Pannullo’s replacement and hopes to name a successor shortly.
During her career, Pannullo has been honored with the Suffolk County Human Rights Lawrence Timpa Award for Professionalism, United Auto Workers Community Service Award, LI Jobs with Justice Community Award, the LI Progressive Coalition Long Islander Who Has Made A Difference Award, Yaphank Civic Association Environmental Activism Award and the Town of Babylon Women’s Award.
She currently serves on the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, the Suffolk County 10- year Plan to End Homelessness Committee, Suffolk County Health Care Task Force, Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, is Co-Founder and Vice President of Long Island Jobs With Justice, Department of Social Services Community Advisory Committee, United Way’s Executive Advisory Committee, and HELP Suffolk,.
And she has served on the Suffolk County Commission on Creative Retirement, Newsday’s Everyday Hero committee, Intergenerational Strategies, Long Island North Shore Heritage Area Commissioner, LI Progressive Coalition,, Long Island Health and Welfare Council., Brookhaven National Laboratory Community Advisory Council, Research and Education Project of Long Island, Suffolk County Department of Labor Lead Prevention Advisory Board, LI Occupational and Environmental Health Clinic Board, Town of Babylon Board of Ethics and Chairperson of the Babylon Environmental Conservation Commission.
by Patricia Perry
The quiet rural community of Massapequa was transformed when an energetic young Katharine Smith and her husband Warren moved to 90 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1919. This small unassuming woman would greatly influence her community and inspire friends and family throughout Long Island and far beyond. Katharine’s convictions for basic human rights were molded by her father who championed the rights for laborers and workers of the fishing and lumbering industries of Washington State. Both Katharine’s parents encouraged reading and expected her to work on the farm which supported the family. Katharine financed her college education by teaching 18 students in a poor lumber community, married Warren and lived in mining camps in Canada and West Virginia before they moved Massapequa.
While her geologist husband traveled around the world, Katharine raised seven children, without automatic washer, dryer, dishwasher, television and with a coal burning furnace, and organized the Massapequa Mother’s Club, led 4-H activities, and participated in a book club and the local chapter of AAUW. She rode the train to New York City and met leaders of new progressive organizations, the ACLU, NAACP, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and invited her City friends to Long Island and attend backyard picnics at her home.
She also joined the Socialist Party and was designated a candidate for the NYS Assembly in 1931. As she campaigned door-to-door she was saddened that so few Massapequans shared her concerns for the “poor and downtrodden.” But she was not discouraged and continued to campaign for social causes. During the Depression she applied to work for the new county department for home relief which became the Department of Social Services, retiring in 1962. While she worked, her home continued as a headquarters for meetings and guests. In the 40’s she attended services at the Bethpage Quaker Meeting House and became active in that congregation. Whenever possible she and children would travel to West Coast relatives by train and later by car and camping, never at a motel! She taught her children the names of plants and birds and maintained a concern for protecting the environment.
Most of Katharine’s present day admirers remember her as a gracious hostess who was knowledgeable about current events. She read magazines, newspapers, books and all mail requesting donations. She responded with a contribution to most, as well as long hand written letters of support and encouragement. She also wrote frequently to legislators with praise or criticism as she felt was deserved.
It is well known that she deeded part of her property for the Massapequa Central Branch Library. She was an early supporter of a 60’s civil rights group, the Massapequa Committee for Inter-group Relations. After the death of Warren in 1965, Katharine explored opportunities for her home to be a permanent peace center. In 1971, she gathered friends around her dining room table to form Peacesmiths, Inc., to promote civil liberties, civil rights, peace and the environment, and allowed space in her basement and home for meetings. Still searching for a permanent occupant for her house she formed The Katharine Smith Fund in 1987 to make the decision in case of her demise. Fortunately, Katharine lived to find her own solution. The Long Island Progressive Coalition accepted her property around the time of her 100th birthday and Katharine was most pleased that the home that had sheltered her family and guests and activities would continue to shelter those seeking to improve society and that she lived to attend the dedication of The Katharine Smith House in 1994.
Katharine’s legacy will continue as long as others share her concerns. In her own words delivered at the 100th birthday celebration, “There is so much to be done. My message to you younger people: keep courage; keep yourself ready to do what has to be done… Use your intellect to work… to find the directions in which our solutions will come. Support to the extent of your ability the agencies and fellowships which help to build a better world.