Star of Brooklyn: Ronnie Pawson

RONNIE PAWSONCOMMUNITY ACTIVISTCOMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: For years, Ronnie Pawson – who currently serves as Republican district leader in the 64th Assembly District — has engaged in political and community activism to ensure a better quality of life for the betterment of her neighborhood, Bay Ridge.She’s spent countless hours to educate voters on how to use the new voting machines, as well as attending meetings and neighborhood events to help get things done in Bay Ridge. “It is important for people to be involved in their community so that they can share their ideas and be part of the joint planning for the future,” said Pawson.Pawson a former teacher also has designed a free coloring book for children, so they would able to learn about the various resources they had at their disposal in their communities.

ROLE MODELS: “Ronald Reagan was one of my greatest inspirations for political activism who through charisma and knowledge was always able to unite people and communicate his ideas,” noted Pawson.Pawson also credits her long-time friend the late Rosemarie O’Keefe – who spent years on quality-of-life issues as a Bay Ridge activist before heading up Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Community Assistance Unit — for helping her see how much community activism could lead to positive changes in neighborhoods.“She had a way of making things fun, so that you didn’t mind doing them,” said Pawson. “She would talk to people with diverse opinions, and get them working together.”

WORDS OF WISDOM: Pawson feels that apathy on the part of many young people about the communities they live in is a problem these days, and fears that no one will bother to listen to them when making decisions about their lives. “We need the younger generation’s enthusiasm and fresh ideas, and if they do get involved, they may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome,” Pawson said.

PERSONAL LIFE: Pawson is a former P.T.A President at P.S. 102, and taught special ed, math and kindergarten for 26 years. A long-time Bay Ridge resident, she was in the first graduating class at Bishop Kearney High School, and received her Bachelor’s in math and child psychology at St. Joseph’s College. In addition, she went to L.I.U. and received her Master’s in special ed. She has been married to her husband, John Pawson, for 45 years, and they have four children and five grandchildren.

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