President of College Point Civic/Taxpayers Association
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: According to its website, the purpose of the College Point Civic/Taxpayers Association is to “improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.” Rocco contributes to this effort by helping to handle issues addressed at Community Board 7 meetings. Among these include advocating for small business owners, handling busing issues, promoting English language lessons, encouraging voter registration and bringing everyone together for community events.
PERSONAL: “That is my spare time,” Rocco said with a laugh, referring to his responsibilities when asked how he spends his spare time. “I’m always trying to help somebody.”
While he finds it difficult to fit in recreational activities for himself, when it’s possible he likes to visit upstate, New York, and be healthy and exercise. His favorite sports team is the Mets and his favorite movie is “Good Will Hunting.”
FAVORITE MEMORY: Last year, yellow school bus services for seventh and eighth graders was cut in Staten Island and parts of Queens. To make up for the inconvenience, the city issued MetroCards for the affected students.
“There’s no access to public transportation in College Point,” Rocco said.
Rocco decided to help organize a protest that ended up bringing in around 50 people to a bus stop in College Point. Similar protests were held in other parts of Queens as well as Staten Island. In April, school bus services were restored.
“When the community comes together, advocates an issue and changes state law, it’s great,” Rocco said.
INSPIRATION: Rocco said he’s motivated by seeing the effects good leadership and a strong work ethic can have. He praises the book As a Man Thinketh by James Allen for reminding him that with enough hard work, anything can be achieved.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: As president of College Point Civic/Taxpayers Association and a member of Community Board 7, Rocco said the biggest challenge facing his neighborhood is managing overdevelopment in a productive way. While he doesn’t find overdevelopment to necessarily be a bad thing, he maintains that all the issues affecting an evolving neighborhood like new houses, rising property values and good roads need to be handled carefully.