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2009 Citizens Union Awards Dinner

The 2009 Citizens Union Awards Dinner was held on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at The Pierre. We honored four outstanding New Yorkers:

Peter J. Beshar

Richard J. Davis

Honorable Edward Koch

Lisa M. Quiroz


“We need to end the responsibility-ducking, ethically challenged, campaign cash-influenced, closed door deliberations, special interests-driven decision making process that passes for democracy in Albany. And we need to do it within the next two years.”-Dick Dadey, Executive Director, Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation
“Citizens Union evaluated over 100 candidates for citywide and within the city races. Notably, four of the challengers we supported [prevailed] against incumbents that we thought were no longer doing, or for that matter ever did, a good job in City Council-they were booted out. That is the highest number in the history of New York for many, many decades.”-Peter Sherwin, Chair, Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation
“Even after 112 years there’s still plenty of work for Citizens Union to do and plenty for all of us to do. You [Citizens Union] have been a very important partner with our administration. We’ve worked together to craft the most comprehensive pay-to-play campaign finance reform in the country. This law is now a model for the country.”-Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“I’m someone who is so indebted to this city, to this country, for all that it has given to me. I’m so grateful. And those who don’t understand how lucky they are to live in this city, in this state, and in this country, I pity you. But I know that no one in this room feels that way and that you’re all as exuberant on that issue as I am.”-Ed Koch
“What’s so important in this city is for us to give voice to everyone, to find talent in all of our communities. And I hope that that is an effort that we will all continue to make, because that is the story of New York.”-Lisa Quiroz
“Citizens Union recognizes how important it is to the stability of our society that people have confidence in our government. . . . It is important that people believe, particularly in hard times, that the difficult decisions that are being made that will affect them in so many critical ways are being made in an open and understandable way.”-Richard J. Davis
“It’s really incumbent upon the business community to now actually get engaged and step into the fray and help find a solution to the state government crisis. . . . I think it will only credibly change if the illustrious corporations and firms that are represented here engage in a more meaningful way in Albany.”-Peter Beshar

Photo credit Julienne Shaer

Honorary Chairs:
Diane M. Coffey, Alexandra Lebenthal, Janno Lieber, George S. Kaufman, Ogden N. Lewis, Hon. Basil A. Paterson.
Dinner Chairs:
Hon. Robert Abrams, George Arzt, John P. Avlon, Barry Berke, Judi Rappoport Blitzer, Gerrard P. Bushell, James Capalino, David Caplan, Stephen J. Dannhauser, Christina R. Davis, Brian Duperreault, Michelle Ebanks, Gail H. Hilson, Patricia Hynes, Leah C. Johnson, Robert M. Kaufman, Peter M. Lehrer, Nathan Leventhal, John LoCicero, Lillian Rodriquez Lopez, Gena Lovett, Grace Lyu-Volckhausen, Randy Mastro, Gary P. Naftalis, Kevin M. Rampe, Peter J.W. Sherwin, Alair A. Townsend, Dennison Young, Jr.
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