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Community leader Ilene Sacco: the strength behind the stroll

Ilene Sacco has been a civic leader in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights for nearly three decades. Her good works and deeds have impacted almost every local organization imaginable.

The former president of the 68th Precinct Community Council and the Bay Ridge Community Council, and board member of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, the Bay Ridge Lions Club and Reaching-Out Community Services, is also the force behind the popular Bay Ridge Third Avenue Summer Stroll series that runs for four weeks during the summer months.

Throughout her career, she has continuously helped foster strong relations within the south Brooklyn neighborhoods, most notably between residents and the police, especially during her tenure working with the 68th Precinct.

Thanks to her leadership skills, coupled with the help of various board members through the years, the 68th Precinct Community Council became one of the more prominent and active organizations in the community. 

Sacco was born and raised in Queens but fell in love with Brooklyn, especially Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, in the early ‘90s when she started working for the Kings County DA’s Office as director of special projects. 

Sacco earned her law degree from New York Law School in 1994 and both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay College.

She is an attorney and currently works for the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.  As director of this unit, she manages almost $1 billion worth of services that help those with developmental disabilities.

Prior to that she was the deputy of community relations in the New York City Comptroller’s Office, counsel and director of the Brooklyn Office for City Councilman James Oddo, and also served as counsel to Primary Land Title Company. 

Sacco has received numerous awards and citations for her service including being honored by the NIA, one of the largest service organizations in the community.

She was also recognized in a Unit Citation that was given to the 68th Precinct from the NYPD.  

Sacco was instrumental in that organization’s annual National Night Out Against Crime that ultimately became one of the largest Night Out events in the entire city, with attendance going over 5,000 people yearly.

Currently, she is a board member of the Dyker Heights Civic Association and of the Resource Training Center, a co-administrator of the Kassenbrock Brothers Memorial Scholarship Fund, a longstanding member and current treasurer of the Ragamuffin Parade committee and a board member on the 68th Precinct Community Council.  She also works closely with the Merchants of Third Avenue with whom she is coordinating Summer Stroll for the fourth year.

She currently resides in Dyker Heights with her husband John Walsh, an accountant, and they are currently working on adopting their first child.

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