Community leaders and elected officials came together for the Conservative Parties of Kings and Queens Counties’ American Heritage Dinner on Tuesday, July 23, at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach.
This year’s recipient of the Thaddeus S. Dabrowski American Heritage Award was attorney Mike Connors of Connors & Sullivan Attorneys at Law, host of the popular “Ask the Lawyer” radio show on AM970.
Connors is a community leader who has been honored by numerous civic organizations in the borough, including the Bay Ridge Community Council, the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, the Bay Ridge Center and the American Legion.
The entire evening was a heartfelt tribute to Connors, who was born in Manhattan and moved to Bay Ridge when he was four years old. After graduating from Pace University, he served in the Army. Upon his return from service, he enrolled in Brooklyn Law School and graduated in 1979 as a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity.
Connors opened his private practice in Bay Ridge in 1981 and formed Connors & Sullivan, an elder law firm that specializes in trusts and estates and estate planning.
He resides in Bay Ridge with his wife Beth and son Michael and is an active member of the Brooklyn Conservative Party.
Brooklyn Conservative Party Vice Chair David Ryan hosted the event. Among the elected officials in attendance were Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, New York State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran Vella-Marrone, Queens County Conservative Party Chair Thomas Long, Queens City Councilmembers Eric Ulrich and Robert Holden, Brooklyn Councilmember Kalman Yeger and New York State Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein.
Also attending were former State Sen. Marty Golden and former New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long. Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, delivered the invocation. Dozier Hasty, publisher and owner of daily and weekly newspapers including the Brooklyn Eagle, Home Reporter and Spectator, was also in attendance.
Comedian, singer, radio talk show host and former star of “Saturday Night Live” Joe Piscopo was at the event to salute his friend Connors. Piscopo said that it was an honor to be at the dinner and credited Connors with helping him straighten out his life. Piscopo introduced Connors, saying, “It is with great pride and great respect that I introduce a great New Yorker who doesn’t forget about his religion, his family or his community. He’s the most dedicated man I know and one of the most brilliant men I know.”
Republican New York businesswoman Scherie Murray and retired NYPD Police Officer John Cummings were also at the dinner; both are running for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s seat in New York’s 14th District.
Ryan called the event one of the most successful dinners the party has ever had and credited Connors’ selection as honoree as the reason for the large turn-out. LoPinto praised Connors’ “level of conviction to great moral values and how he promotes those in the most exceptional of ways, most especially with the radio station he is involved with.”
Vella-Marrone called Connors “simply a great man and one of the first people I met in the Conservative Party back in 1980.” She explained Connors became an elder care lawyer because of his concern for his aging parents at the time. “He wanted to help other people so he chose a field where he could concentrate on that. Mike embodies the principles of God, country and family,” she added.
Connors appeared deeply touched by the outpouring of love for him in the room. “I want to thank everyone for being here tonight. It’s really appreciated,” he said before asking everyone from his law firm to stand up and be recognized.
“Sometimes when I go out of state or go to visit relatives in Texas, people ask me ‘what’s the Conservative Party, and why are you a Conservative? Why aren’t you just a Republican, aren’t Republicans good enough? Well, the reason I’m a Conservative is because Conservatives stand for principles and values,” he explained.
Malliotakis thanked Connors, calling him a proud American who truly believes in his conservatism and in his nation and for “all he does for senior citizens, the Brooklyn community, the Catholic community and the veterans community.”
Kassar also praised Connors for his many contributions to the community. “Mike Connors is one of those special people that contributes so much in so many different ways to the people of Bay Ridge and our city,” Kassar told this paper. “I applaud the Brooklyn and Queens Conservative Parties in recognizing his contributions at a wonderfully successful dinner.”