Astoria Houses Resident Association
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: For the past three years, Claudia Coger has acted as the President of Astoria Houses Resident Association. An advocate for the residents of the Astoria Houses projects, Coger is responsible for speaking on behalf of members of her community. She takes care of everything from registering residents to vote to dealing with maintenance issues. “I do whatever I see fit to empower the community,” said Coger.
PERSONAL: Coger was born in Sumter County, Florida. She moved to Astoria in 1955, and has been a resident of Astoria Houses for 56 years. She raised seven children in Astoria Houses, and has been volunteering in her community since first arriving in New York.
OCCUPATION: In 1993, Coger retired from her job as an assistant train dispatcher with the New York City Transit Authority – a position she held for 25 years. Since retiring, she has spent most of her free time giving back to the community.
CHALLENGE: “Getting the community to stay focused on values and keeping a safe and healthy environment in the community is the biggest challenge,” said Coger. She also mentioned the difficulty she faces in getting attention from service providers, local government and police. “It takes a lot of active people to keep everything together,” she said.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Community members recognizing her hard work is what makes Coger happy. She said she remembers every “challenge we faced and overcame.” She also finds joy in bettering the lives of her neighbors. “I’m glad I made a difference in someone’s life,” she said.
INSPIRATION: Coger’s inspiration comes from her spirituality. “It comes from God,” she said. She is also driven by a desire to help mankind. “It’s from a love of people and a love of life,” said Coger.
— BY ALEXA ALTMAN