In a year when the press, immigrants and the notion of a decent workplace are under vicious assault, City Limits is honoring three New Yorkers who have fought to protect each.
Our 2017 gala will present legendary NBC reporter Gabe Pressman with the City Limits Urban Journalist Award. Adam Blumenthal, a financier who focuses on investments that preserve union workplaces, will be honored as our 2017 Civic Champion. And the inaugural Community Beacon Award will be presented to Angela Fernandez, an inspiring voice for immigrants’ rights.
Each embodies the strength of New York City, a quality City Limits has celebrated and sought to deepen over its 41 years of existence.
The 2017 gala, “City of Strength, Citizens of Valor” will be held on Tuesday, September 19 at Pier A Harbor House overlooking New York harbor. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available now. The event helps underwrite the principled policy reporting that City Limits has produced since 1976 and is more important now than ever.
Blumenthal is Founder and Managing Partner of Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC, and a member of its Investment Committee. The Blue Wolf Capital Funds are a family of private equity funds which focus on transformational investments in middle market companies while managing the complex relationships between business, customers, employees, unions, and regulators. Blumenthal currently serves on the board of directors of several of Blue Wolf’s portfolio companies and is a Trustee of, and Chair of the Investment Committee of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, a $60 billion fund responsible for retiree health benefits for over 700,000 UAW employees of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. Prior to founding Blue Wolf, Blumenthal built and managed American Capital Ltd., a publicly-traded buyout and mezzanine fund, and served as First Deputy Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer for New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. He has been a trustee of, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of, the Nathan Cummings foundation and the Community Service Society of New York.
Fernandez is the Executive Director and supervising attorney of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, an organization at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement. With 20 years experience in law, media, non-profit management, government, policy development and advocacy, Fernandez is deeply attuned to the current policy gaps within New York City and the progressive solutions to solve them. In the past five years, Fernandez has protected vulnerable New Yorkers by building broad city-wide coalitions to fight potentially devastating policies. She co-lead the effort to end New York State’s participation in the Secure Communities program and co-developed a universal court-appointed representation program for detained immigrants, the first of its kind in the nation. Fernandez was recently appointed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve on the Civilian Complaint Review Board and is the Chair of the Dominican Day Parade as well as an Executive Committee Member of both the New York Immigration Coalition and Commonwise Education.
Pressman has served as a broadcast reporter for more than 60 years and, credited as the first television reporter in New York, is recognized within New York’s broadcast journalism community as the “reporter’s reporter.” Pressman remains one of New York’s most respected journalists, known for his investigative reporting on politics and social issues with NBC 4 New York. In his over half a century long tenure, Pressman covered major stories including the sinking of Andrea Doria, the Weinberger kidnapping on Long Island, the riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, civil strife in Newark and New York in the late sixties, the Mayoral campaigns for Abraham Beame, William F. Buckley, John Lindsay, and the entrance of Robert F. Kennedy into New York politics. Pressman is additionally responsible for a innumerable award-winning programs and series, including The War on Cancer (an investigation of the activities of the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society focusing on the politics of cancer); The Mood of America (a report on the 1976 presidential election); The Homeless: Shame Of A City; To Bear Witness (a half-hour special on the gathering of holocaust survivors in Jerusalem in the summer of 1981); A Crisis of Conscience (chronicled the 1982 turmoil within Israel over the massacre in the Lebanese refugee camps); the 1985 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate; and Ask The Governors (an open forum with Cuomo, Kean, and O’Neill telecast live in July 1983). Pressman’s many awards include 11 Emmy Awards; the 1989 Edward R. Murrow Award; the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 1986 Governors’ Award; a 1985 Olive Award for Excellence in Broadcasting; a Peabody Award in 1984 for “Asylum In The Streets”; a Unity award from Lincoln University in 1981 for “Blacks And The Mayor: How Far Apart?”; the New York Press Club’s Feature Award for “The Homeless” in 1982; the UPI New York State Broadcasters’ Award for Best Feature News Story “The Homeless” in 1982; the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association Award for Excellence in Individual Reporting in 1982; the New York Chapter Of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi’s Deadline Club Award for “The Hungry” in 1983; and two New York area Emmy Awards in 1983 for “The Homeless.”
Photo: From left to right: Gabe Pressman, Adam Blumenthal, Angela Fernandez and Liberty Enlightening the World. Courtesy NBC, Blue Wolf Capital, NMCIR, Pascual de Ruvo.