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PEP Feb 2004
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Public Employee Press

Three members get public service awards

   
 

HONOREES, from left, Elaine Sánchez, Juan Fernández and Ted Finkelstein with prestigious Liberman Public Service Awards, which they got Jan. 16.

 

By JANE LaTOUR

DC 37 members Juan Fernández, Elaine Sánchez and Ted Finkelstein were among the 18 civil servants who received the prestigious Isaac Liberman Public Service Award. The three were honored Jan. 16 for extraordinary efforts on behalf of immigrants, hospital patients and disabled people.

Martha K. Hirst, commissioner of the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services presided over the ceremony at One Police Plaza. “These awards honor essential values like service and commitment,” she said. “These remarkable individuals embody those values.”

Juan Fernández, president of Local 154, was cited for his many years of advocacy for immigrant workers. As director of the Immigrant Employment Rights Project at the Commission on Human Rights, he developed a public education campaign to prevent illegal discrimination and abuses against immigrant workers. The program paired the commission with the New York Immigration Coalition, which represents 150 organizations.

“It’s a great honor,” said Mr. Fernández, who received the top award and a check for $6,000 from The Hundred Year Association of New York, which was founded by Isaac Liberman.

Elaine Sánchez, a Patient Care Technician and member of Local 420, was also honored. She works at the Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and is also a licensed beautician. She provides low cost grooming and make-up services to the staff and clients and then donates the money to Sea View for the adult day programs. Ms. Sánchez was awarded $1,500.

Also honored was Ted Finkelstein, a member of Local 154. As director of Disability Access for the Commission on Human Rights Mr. Finkelstein makes sure public places are accessible to disabled people.

His efforts have resulted in accessibility improvements in over 200 buildings. “I accept this award on behalf of all city employees,” said Mr. Finkelstein, who received a check for $1,000.

“You represent the very best of New York City government,” said Richard A. Cook, president of The Hundred Year Association of New York. During the ceremony, 23 college students whose parents work for the city received scholarships.

 
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