It is with great sadness that we shared the news of Catherine Abate’s passing. She will be truly missed.
The real Catherine Abate was a friend, a colleague, and one of the most soul-full public servants that New York City has ever had. See our announcement
But that was not the real Catherine Abate portrayed by William McDonald, New York Times Obituary Editor which was dominated by un-substantiated allegations of her father’s past and inferred that her own life’s work was somehow tainted by such hearsay. Nothing could be further from the truth as many members of our Club know and experienced over nearly a quarter of a century of public service.
Assemblymember Glick in her letter to Mr. McDonald urging a more thoughtful and thorough NY Times profile in the future, said:
… Usually one expects to get a sense of the person who has died, but your obituary chose to minimize the extraordinary work of an extremely intelligent and compassionate woman dedicated to social justice for all people. Not only did she have a distinguished career in public service from legal aid representation for poor people, but her various positions in government demonstrated the continuing confidence in her work by a mayor and a governor.
In another letter to Mr. McDonald, I was compelled to point out the woman that we knew, well:
Catherine Abate had been a member of the Village Independent Democrats since 1979. Under our banner she was a Democratic District Leader from 1981-1985 and a State Senator from 1995-1999. We knew her personally and professionally.
Catherine Abate was a force of nature. She had the intellect, passion, caring, and persistence that you rarely find in one person. She cared deeply about people and she had a special passion for the poor, the disadvantaged, and those who could not help themselves.
In contrast, we are grateful for Albert Amateau’s thoughtful homage in The Villager.