The Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award acknowledges the hardworking leaders of grassroots community-based planning. This award was created in 2006 to honor the work of the late Yolanda Garcia, a community activist from the South Bronx. Under Ms. Garcia’s leadership, the residents of Melrose founded Nos Quedamos and transformed a neighborhood by successfully creating its own vision and alternative to the city’s urban renewal plan. Each year the Municipal Art Society presents the award to an individual who embodies the spirit of Ms. Garcia—overcoming the many obstacles to grassroots, community-led planning and succeeding in bringing neighborhood need and vision into New York City’s planning process.
Laurie Beckelman, founding partner of the project management firm Beckelman+Capalino, LLC, will open this segment of the program. Yolanda Gonzalez, CEO of Nos Quedamos and daughter of Yolanda Garcia, will present the award to Kelley Williams, executive director of the Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council.