These are the official statements from candidates endorsed by Cooperatively Yours.
If you would like to vote for our endorsed candidates, please sign a proxy.
For board of directors:
Mary Jo Burke
During my almost ten years of living in East River – a short time compared with many of my fellow residents – I have made many good friends and have enjoyed living here. I love our beautiful property, our diverse community and being so close to the East River Park. I have been a member of both the House Committee and Cooperatively Yours. In both positions, I worked to address cooperator concerns and worked on projects, such as the community garden, to enhance the lives of cooperators.
I am an Architect and recently graduated from Columbia University’s Sustainability Management program. As a member of your board of directors, I will work for the following:
- Long-term financial planning to ensure our financial stability.
- Improved communication and feedback between the board, management and shareholders.
- Long-term planning for our buildings and property to prepare for capital improvements and emergency repairs.
- A sustainability plan to reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint.
- Participation in the NYC Zero Waste Compost Project.
I encourage everyone to vote in our election. Thank you very much for your consideration.
I live in the B section and am the husband of an award-winning public school guidance counselor and the father of a sweet six-year-old girl who is in first grade at NEST+M. I was born into poverty in Detroit but worked tirelessly to graduate from the University of Michigan (B.A. in Economics) with honors, where I also played football and won the 1993 Rose Bowl. I then earned a law degree with honors and from there a Masters of Business Administration, also with honors, from the Harvard Business School.
Professionally, I have spent twenty years working for some of the world’s largest and most prestigious banks and law firms, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Sullivan & Cromwell, with a primary focus on litigation and risk management. My current practice consists of helping sophisticated, shareholder-owned businesses prepare for and prevent significant business challenges. This is a skill set that East River’s all-volunteer Board truly needs.
I also serve on and have regularly provided legal advice to boards of directors, including the Board of the newly-formed Friends of Corlears Hook Park non-profit, and I have also served as a law professor at New York Law School. I am an expert on ethics and conflicts of interest and drafted my firm’s Code of Ethics, a simple, but critically-important document that detects and prevents conflicts of interest. Unfortunately, East River’s Board has never elected to adopt a Code of Ethics, either to govern itself or the management office.
All of my academic and professional experience is directly applicable to serving as a highly-effective member of the Board of Directors. My aim is for the Board to transparently and professionally manage its finances and the management company, and to develop a long-term planning and financial management process that will ensure that the value of your investment in this cooperative is preserved and enhanced.
Preserving this unique, historic community is deeply important to our family. My wife Laurie’s great grandfather Schmulka Bernstein owned a popular butcher shop on Rivington Street many years ago, and her family also owned the classic LES deli “Bernstein’s on Essex.” Laurie’s sister and parents are also long-time East River cooperators.
In sum, after a productive prior tenure on the House Committee, including drafting the East River News and Cooperator’s Guide, I am as qualified as anyone who has ever served on the Board of Directors, and as a Board member I will ensure that:
- Your maintenance dollars are spent wisely and transparently;
- Your right to be heard on important issues extends well beyond Election Day; and
- The Board includes professionals who possess the relevant academic and professional credentials that are critical to effective service on the Board.