Ms. Alida Palma, a Cuban immigrant, has lived in her Hamilton Heights apartment on 136th Street for more than 49 years. After raising her family, Ms. Palma became preoccupied with the quality of life in Hamilton Heights after seeing the area decline precipitately into one of the City’s underserved neighborhoods.
In 1994, she organized her fellow neighbors, local businesses and community leaders, and scheduled meetings with the Police Chief of Manhattan North, the 30th Precinct Commander and the Mayor’s Office to discuss ways to improve conditions in the area. As a result of these meetings, Ms. Palma became the first leader of The Montefiore Park Neighborhood Association, focusing on quality of life issues in and around Montefiore Park. Her heroic and passionate activism at the height of the City’s drug epidemic continues to inspire and motivate local residents today.