Bette Stoltz (left) during one of Smith Street Soup Festivals she organized
***Reminder***Please join family and friends of activist and neighborhood champion Bette Stoltz tonight at 6:30pm at the Carroll Gardens Library to celebrate what would have been her 75th birthday. The film "A 1000 Individual Conversations: The Life And Work Of Bette Stoltz", made by Erica Stoltz, Sabine Aronowsky and Steve De Seve about this extraordinary woman will be screened for the occasion.
Tonight's get-together will give the community an opportunity to begin the conversation about how best to honor and remember Bette. Perhaps, together, we can carry on some of her work.
Bette, who passed away this past November, was behind the revitalization of Smith Street in the 1990s. Through her non-for-profit organization South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation (SBLDC) she organized the much loved Smith Street Soup Festival in the fall and Smith Street Funfair in the summer. She helped put together the the incredibly popular Bastille Day Pétanque Tournament. She also made sure that Smith Street was decorated for the Holidays in December.
In addition, Bette served for years as a member of Community Board 6, was involved in the creation of the beautiful Transit Garden at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place.
I had the great pleasure of serving with Bette on the EPA Gowanus Canal Superfund Community Advisory Board. More importantly, in 2010, Bette and I both helped to represent the community as part of the "South Brooklyn Coalition." The Coalition was made up of grass roots organizations lead by activists who worked tirelessly for a clean Gowanus Canal and for the placement of the polluted waterway on the list of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund sites.
Together, South Brooklyn Coalition members reached out to all of our representatives to urge them to support the nomination of the canal during the EPA's public comment period. Our perseverance, our determination and our united voices contributed in part to the Gowanus being listed, despite the powerful political forces of then-Mayor Bloomberg and then-Councilman DeBlasio.
Of that, I know, Bette was very proud.
Below is a little clip featuring Bette with some of the other Coalition members during Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats 41st Anniversary dinner, where she and the other activists were honored.
sitting from l. to r. :Katia Kelly, Bette Stoltz, Rita Miller, Gerry Miller
standing l. to r. :State Senator Daniel Squadron, Betty Lester, Steven Miller, Gary Reilly,
Roy Sloane and Glenn Kelly
To read more on Bette and her achievements here.