North Oak NRZ Elects 2018 Officers Amid Growing Neighborhood Activism

Based on reporting by Antonio C. Lavoy, Sr.

The North Oak NRZ met on February 26th to elect its officers for 2018, with new leaders joining existing leaders in the work that the NRZ does to advocate for the neighborhood.

The North Oak Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) a community organization, formed under state law, that is committed to the social and economic progress in the North Oak region of the city.

Residents in the NRZ have been active in pressing for action from the city in addressing blighted buildings and other problems in the neighborhood. A number of people who have been actively involved in pressing for change were elected to leadership positions in the NRZ.

People elected include:

  • Marie Bachand, who was re-elected as NRZ President.
  • Pablo Rodriguez, who was elected as Vice-President.
  • Longtime North Oak community leader, Cathy Spano, is the Vice-President Emeritus.
  • Yvette Ghannam was elected as Secretary.
  • Manuel Sandovar was elected as Chair of the Housing Committee
  • Vicky Ramos was elected as the Chair of the Human Resources Committee.
  • Edgar Lopez was elected as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee.
  • Lawrence Sanchez was elected as Chair of the Economic Development Committee.
  • Friends of Willow Street Park are represented by Co-Presidents Elena Trueworthy and Pastor Dana Smith.
  • Joe Gergenti, Jeffrey Gumps, Briggitte Brown, Maria Glowicki and Edna Colon are ex-officio members.
  • The City of New Britain is represented by Margaret Malinowski.
  • Advisors and strong supporters include Pat Wallace from Neighborhood Housing Services, Jessica Hernandez from Central Connecticut State University and Police Chief James Wardwell.

The North Oak NRZ is located in the city’s Third Ward, which is represented on the City Council by Ald. Iris Sanchez (D-3), whose email address is, and Ald. Aram Ayalon (D-3), whose email address is Activists encourage neighborhood residents to get involved by contacting NRZ leaders and their City Council members.

The election meeting was held at Right Now Ministries at the Four Star Plaza at 224 Allen Street.

Editor’s Note (3/2/2018): The article was corrected to reflect that Lawrence Sanchez was elected as Chair of the Economic Development Committee.