Harry Bubbins joins us today as GVSHP’s new East Village and Special Projects Director. I hope you’ll join us in welcoming Harry to the GVSHP team.
Harry comes to us from serving as the founding Director of Friends of Brook Park, a leading environmental and community advocacy organization based in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx. He has had a direct hand in helping to preserve affordable housing, in jumpstarting a number of green spaces in the South Bronx, and in helping to spearhead successful grassroots campaigns, from preserving over one hundred community gardens from the auction block to protecting public parkland on Randall’s Island. Most recently he helped form the South Bronx Unite coalition, which fought proposed public subsidies for a business that would increase truck traffic and pollution, block waterfront access, and unfairly compete with smaller local businesses. Working to preserve the rich nautical shoreline history of our City, Harry led the application process for the Port Morris Gantries to be selected by the Historic Districts Council for their prestigious Six to Celebrate initiative.
A native New Yorker, during high school Harry attended many a concert in the East Village and later worked as a bar-back at The Palladium, now the site of NYU dorms. Harry was exposed to the urban homesteading movement and the many community gardens that are part of what make the East Village such a unique and wonderful community. “The East Village and the downtown scene were instrumental in shaping my awareness of the importance and power and joy of community organizing,” Harry shared. He volunteered at the seminal Blackout Books on Avenue B, and practiced yoga at the 6th Street Community Center. He was inspired by the verve and energy of the East Village to practice that same level of engagement in his home borough of the Bronx. “I am honored to be the latest addition to GVSHP, a premiere advocacy organization working to preserve the vital character of our communities in the face of an array of challenges.” he added.
Harry has a degree in Urban & Regional Studies from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. Upon graduation he returned to teach at the public junior high school he attended to start his career in public service. He has served on numerous civic organizations, including six years on Community Board #1 in the Bronx, so he knows and understands the importance of widespread engagement and public participation in decision-making.
Among his many honors, Harry was selected as Bronx Community Advocate of the Year by Patterson Volunteer Committee, received a Certificate of Recognition for the Municipal Art Society Community Planner Award, subsequently serving on MAS’ judge’s panel, and has also received the Annual Environmental Justice Award from the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY. He has spoken and presented at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, The New School, CUNY Grad Center, Lehman College, Pratt Institute, and at his alma mater the Bronx High School of Science.
At GVSHP, Harry will not only be coordinating our East Village work — advocating for expanded landmark and zoning protections, and working with our allies and colleagues to protect small businesses, promote the arts, and advance all things that make the East Village unique and wonderful — but will be in charge of many “special projects,” ranging from responding to attacks on landmarking by REBNY, to increasing GVSHP’s media presence and outreach in the community.