Holly-Anne Devlin of Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Action Committee and Joe Restuccia of Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Coalition were honored as Most Valuable Partners this morning at the Annual Meeting of Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance (HYHK) for their services to the community during the pandemic.
“Holly-Anne is the woman who produced our way out of COVID,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman during the ceremony — referring to Devlin’s work to bring entertainment to the west side during the pandemic. She was also credited by HYHK Vice President of Operations, Dan Scorse, for putting her talents to work to create events that brought joy to residents and encouraged people to come out and support local businesses, as well as putting much-needed cash into the pockets of out of work musicians and actors. “Then when the city of New York mismanaged the necessary relocation of thousands of homeless individuals, Holly-Anne became a tenacious activist,” said Scorse before presenting the award.
The Alliance also honored Restuccia, the Executive Director of Clinton Housing Development Corporation, at the event. “Joe is a fearless fighter for the community. He supports this neighborhood. He is a wonderful human being. When you’re on the other side, negotiating with him, you’ll wish you were on his side because he’s going to win,” said Michelle Adams from Tishman Speyer before presenting the award. “Everybody here adores you, and your energy and your willingness to fight and stick up for everyone who can’t stick up for themselves.”
After receiving her award in Bella Abzug Park, Devlin said: “I’ve been in this neighborhood for 20 years, but I’ve never seen the community come together in the way that they did. We need to continue to support each other and the most vulnerable. I think that art is an important part of that.”
Restuccia was surprised by the honor but told attendees: “This has been a pretty bad 2020 and 2021. This is my 41st year in the neighborhood. I never thought that I’d be involved in working to deal with daily assaults, people getting hurt, stuff happening on the street and open drug use.” At the end of his speech, he drew laughter from the crowd as he affirmed his reputation as a tough negotiator. “I will continue to give you my opinion on a regular basis,” he said.