As many of you know, Carroll Gardens Association recently lost its Acting Executive Director, Ms. Jeanne DiLascio, last June 25, 2010. We will always remember Jeanne for her selfless commitment to the community and those who are disadvantaged. Jeanne was born, raised and ultimately worked in all areas of Brooklyn. Jeanne’s loyal service to Brooklyn communities began when she was Director of Food Services at Kings County Hospital. Jeanne was the Founder and Director of the Anna Colucci Community Organization (ACCO) which had a pre-school and after-school program that serviced approximately 300 children a year. Jeanne also became the Executive Director of the Council of Neighborhood Organizations (CONO). As CONO’s executive director she spearheaded the revitalization of the 8th Avenue shopping strip.
After a ten year run at CONO, Jeanne took on a new challenge as the Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp. (GCCDC). During her stewardship the flushing tunnel was reactivated, four street end parks were created, the first public walkway along the canal was established, the Gowanus Canal and the Public Place site have undergone environmental investigation and consultants have laid out options for development. The Court Street merchants know Jeanne so well that she was known as the “Mayor of Court Street”.
In the last 3 years, Jeanne was the Acting Executive Director at the Carroll Gardens Association, Inc. She was proud of the progress the Columbia Street Waterfront District was experiencing. Local bands and merchants were participating (and still will participate) in the Annual Waterfront District Fall Festival. The affordable housing that was managed by the Carroll Gardens Association, Inc. allowed for very-low and low income residents to enjoy what the entire market-rent neighborhood had to offer. She had a passion to make this neighborhood part of the Brooklyn map. She was fair, thoughtful and determined to make any and all efforts to sustain a high-quality of living for everyone in the neighborhood.
It is particularly her work in South Brooklyn that we will remember. She worked on commercial revitalization at the lower end of Court Street as well as along Columbia and Union Streets. She has also led tenant advocacy, social service assistance programs and numerous city-funded community development programs to promote economic development with pride and satisfaction.
This all means that retirement held no meaning with Jeanne Dawn Di Lascio. It meant being a consultant working long hours for little pay which translated into mounds of success and satisfaction. Jeanne loved her family and work. She was committed to spending heartwarming hours with her grandchildren. She knew that life consisted of hard work. Unconditional love was the driving force. Until her last day, she worked incessantly. Devoted until the very end, giving up was not an option regardless of her health.
We acknowledge and thank Jeanne for what she has accomplished and keep memories of her and her hard work in our hearts now and forever.