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Remembering two who mattered
Remembering two who mattered
72 days ago 16 comments Categories: Lifestyle Tags: Archie Spigner, Bob Harris

As time goes on we periodically face loss. Over the last several weeks, I (and many others) experienced the loss of two special people. One a long-time civic leader in my home borough of Queens; the other a major political figure in the life of New York City and state.

This past week, we lost Bob Harris who was one of two “Founders” – a designation in the founding by-laws I drafted to serve for life on the board – of the boroughwide Queens Civic Congress. Bob who held that position since 1997, was previously the President of the United Civic Council (UCC) of Queens; it was one of the two remaining regional civic coalitions which we merged into the Congress to create an umbrella organizations that included civics from parts of the borough not covered by a regional council. My friend Sean Walsh who chaired the UCC was a good friend of Bob and served as first president of the Congress (I succeeded Sean as President serving into 2010.); he first alerted me to Bob’s home hospice and later his passing. Bob was also active in the Jewish community in Queens and for many years we served together on the board of the borough-wide organization providing social services to its Jewish community. I always remember Bob first as a dedicated educator who mentored student journalists at a number of high schools. Condolences to his wife Edna and their family.


At the very end of last month, I received a text from my friend Joe Goldbloom who served as Chief of Staff to my good friend Archie Spigner, that the former New York City Council Member was not at all well. Joe started texting me language to work up for a possible obituary and I worked up a document that I emailed Joe and later, at Joe’s request, passed on to my friend and current holder of “Archie’s seat” in the Council. The next evening Archie passed. I tweeted

Tweet on the loss of Archie Spigner

a brief memory and photo that remains among the few my wife “allows” me to post in my home office.


The family asked me to share remarks at a service last Monday. I was honored to be included among a group of elected officials, judges, colleagues, labor leader and friends who spoke at either of two services over two days. I share my remarks.

I came to know Archie Spigner well when I joined the staff of one of his colleagues in a neighboring district.


Our offices often collaborated on projects and legislation.

In my files are a slew of joint news releases.


Archie Spigner made a difference for many.


Everyday in part of my home office, I view a picture of Archie sitting to the right of then Mayor Koch smiling as I stand to the mayor’s left. (See pic above.)


Archie is smiling as I watch the mayor sign a law I devised that required working smoke detectors in All one, two and three family homes.


As chair of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, Archie made this law happen; to this day it saved many lives – that would have been lost to fire – in Southeast Queens and elsewhere in the City.


All because of Archie Spigner.


Archie was always there for so many of us throughout our careers. In the late summer of 1998, he made a call that took me to my last stop in City government. When I started my own practice as a government and pubic affairs counselor, Archie would call me to chat or to meet for breakfast.


I’ll miss those calls and chats. Archie Spigner – A special person, A real mensch.


My sincerest condolences and deepest sympathies to his wife Leslie and family.

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  •  Fred wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    Great photo! Sorry for your loss!
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  •  MarilynGenoa wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    Corey, my condolences on the loss of your friend. We are fortunate to have people like that in our lives. And you, my friend, never cease to amaze.
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  •  Daniel_Schwartz wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    Some really great people. I like the picture as well and glad you can see it everyday as a memory of your friend and colleague. Life is short and we have to value what we have before it's too late.
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  •  Odey_Raviv wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    You were very lucky to work with two great men who worked for the People.
    I send my condolences.
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  •  ShelleySimpson wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 

    Grateful for leaders like these who had a positive impact and inspired others, including you, to do the same. May their memories be a blessing and their good work continue.
    0 points
  •  Paula wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    Condolences, Corey! It's always tough to lose friends you were so close to. You are continuing the good work!
    0 points
  •  Steven_Lichtenstein wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    Great photo and memorial from the archives Corey. Sorry for the loss of your mentor and friend.
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  •  Kelly_Welles wrote 72 Days Ago (neutral) 
    Thanks for sharing this moving tribute of a leader who made a difference and inspired legions who followed. Thanks too for your tremendous and selfless contribution to a better world. Condolences.
    0 points
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