By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Frank Seddio and the Kings County Democratic Committee hosted Celebrate Brooklyn, an annual Democratic Party dinner at El Caribe Country Club Thursday to honor those who work to improve the borough.
Melissa Mark-Viverito, speaker of the city council, was honored at the dinner along with Bertha M. Lewis, president and founder of The Black Institute, and Gina Argento and Anthony Argento, the sister and brother duo that serve as presidents of Broadway Stages. Some of the speakers also thanked Seddio for his service as chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Committee.
“What a great year it's been,” former borough president Marty Markowitz said. “Thanks to Frank Seddio. He’s the best leader that we've had in generations. I really mean that. The Kings County Democratic Party leads the way and I think everyone knows that Frank is out every night of the week in different parts of Brooklyn. You'd think he wants to be borough president as well.”
The Argentos were commended for their work with Broadway Stages, which has become one of the premier television and movie studios in the country and has provided the borough with many jobs.
“Brooklyn is now known as Hollywood East. But because of Broadway Stages, along with Steiner and others, that Hollywood may become known as Brooklyn West in the days to come,” Markowitz said. “Headquartered in Greenpoint, they have brought us over 1,000 union employees that produce some of the greatest TV and movies right here with 28 studios, three more under construction and five more planned.”
Seddio introduced Mark-Viverito and spoke about meeting her in Puerto Rico along with approximately 100 others that thought they were qualified to be city council speaker. Seddio said he was impressed.
“It was her sincerity and the kind of ideas that she had I thought would make a difference,” Seddio said. “For the first time in history, the entire city council delegation, all 60 of us, united behind one candidate and that candidate was Melissa Mark-Viverito.”
Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson, who is also the co-chair of the party, was brought on stage to present Lewis with her award. She spoke about the work she has done to help everyone in Brooklyn and especially the black community.
“When Bertha first came to my office we started to rumble and tumble in there because she was with ACORN at the time,” Robinson recalled. “Since then she has moved on and founded The Black Institute. She has a great determination and presence. She can do anything she sets her mind to.”
The event concluded up with Seddio thanking Diana Carone for putting the party together and her husband, Frank Carone, for being vital to the committee.
“He really is the wind beneath my wings,” Seddio said of Frank Carone. “There is so much work to be done that it can't be done by one person. Day in and day out, this and all of the things that we have to do to make the party a success is something that can't be measured and I want to thank Frank for all of his hard work.”