Chair of Queens Community Board 5
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: For nearly 35 years, Vincent Arcuri has been involved in Community Board 5, which serves areas of western Queens including Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood and Middle Village. He has served two stints as Chair of Community Board 5 - the first from 1985 to 1995. He returned to the Board as Chair in 2000, and he has remained in that position since then. In addition, Arcuri is also one of the founding members of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol (G-COP) and Vice President of the Queens Library Foundation. He also serves on the board of Caritas and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and the Queens Council for the Boy Scouts of America.
PERSONAL: Arcuri and his wife of 46 years, Lois, have lived in Glendale together for the past 43 years.
JOB: Arcuri worked in the construction industry for 40 years, starting out as an apprentice and working his way up to construction manager and company executive before retiring in December of 2001.
PROUDEST MOMENT: “I think it’s just the total involvement of being able to help the community survive and improve over the years,” Arcuri said.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: While some of the challenges have changed throughout his years of community involvement, a number of them have remained the same. He mentioned budget constraints and a feeling of apathy as two challenges that have arisen during his tenure. “We are fortunate in Glendale, Ridgewood, Juniper Park, we have very active civic associations,” Arcuri said.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Arcuri said that his favorite memory was when the city was going through very difficult times in the 1970s, and the role that the community boards played to help turn around the city around. “If it wasn’t for the community boards, everything would have gone down,” Arcuri said. “We’re the only voice that some people see or hear representing them in the city in their lifetimes.”
INSPIRATION: When asked about his inspiration for getting involved in so many community initiatives and for remaining around for so long - Arcuri said the community itself that inspires him. He said meeting people who want to make a difference and encouraging others to become more active is something that happens frequently in the communities he represents. He wants to continue to get younger people to play a more active role in the community. “Definitely, that’s what needed,” he said. “If they stay involved in the community, they will be around for a long time.”