Steering Committee

Ray Kairys
Ray Kairys is a lifelong resident of Williamsburg, proud Chairman of OUTRAGE and serves on the Board of Directors of St. Nick’s Alliance. He obtained a B.S. degree from St. John’s University and attended St. Francis Preparatory High School when it was located on N.6th St & Bedford Ave. Ray works for the New York State Office of Mental Health as a Transportation Supervisor for New York City Children’s Center. Prior to that he worked for New York City in Human Resources and was in the private sector for more than twenty five years. Ray is also a busy musician, performing at benefits for OUTRAGE and shows for Arts@Renaissance. He became involved with OUTRAGE when his three children were in St. Nicholas Elementary school and was asked to represent the school at OUTRAGE meetings. He has experienced the changing face of the community and wants to keep the quality of life at its peak for all residents by working with elected officials, other community groups and activists to diminish the adverse effects of truck traffic and the proliferation of waste transfer stations in the neighborhood. Ray is proud to be a part of OUTRAGE, along with its hardworking individuals committed to making Williamsburg a better place to live.

Laura Hofmann
Laura is a Catholic wife, mother of six, and grandmother of five. At St. Nicks Alliance, she works in the Community Preservation Unit as a housing counselor & outreach specialist. Because her family’s health was greatly impacted by a noxious community environment, she became intimately involved in the community’s fight for environmental justice. Therefore, her focus has been on parks, waterfront, environment, and community health issues in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where she’s lived her entire life. Laura is a co-founder of Barge Park Pals and presently serves on the following Newtown Creek related boards and committees: Newtown Creek Alliance, Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee, Kosciusko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee, Newtown Creek Advisory Group, Greenpoint Community Advisory Panel, and O.U.T.R.A.G.E. Trained in odor paneling and tree pruning, Laura contributes additional time rescuing and advocating for North Brooklyn trees while documenting and reporting environmental conditions and sightings along the Newtown Creek. You can often find her crocheting and photographing returning urban wildlife at the DEP Nature Walk or Manhattan Ave Boat Launch.

Michael Hofmann
Michael is Co-founder of Barge Park Pals and holds memberships with Newtown Monitoring Committee, Newtown Creek Alliance, Koskiusko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee, and the Community Advisory Panel for superfund of Newtown Creek! Michael is a former president of Green Oaks Club, a Park Delegate for New Yorkers for Parks, a U.S. Navy Viet Nam Veteran. Member of Community Advisory Panel for superfund of Newtown Creek!

Kate Zidar
Kate is an Environmental Planner with a professional focus on solid waste, open space, urban agriculture and stormwater management. As Executive Director of Newtown Creek Alliance, she works to strike a balance between waterfront access, environmental health and economic development for the city’s most polluted waterway. Kate serves as Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Stormwater Infrastructure Matters (S.W.I.M.) Coalition, an organization committed to ensuring swimmable, fishable waters around New York City through Green Infrastructure. Kate teaches graduate courses in Writing, Solid Waste Management and Green Infrastructure at Pratt Institute. Kate has experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, consulting previously for the Planning Center at Municipal Art Society, NYC Housing Authority’s Greening and Gardening Program, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership and Habana Outpost. Kate is a founding member of the North Brooklyn Compost Project, and a board member of the Lower East Side Ecology Center. She holds a BS in Biology from the University of Colorado, and an MS in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center For Planning and the Environment.

Eric Bruzaitis
Eric has seen many changes to the North Brooklyn neighborhood he settled in in the Fall of 1995. One thing that he saw change for the worse was the increasing amount of truck traffic that rumbled past his apartment on Metropolitan Ave. In the 90’s, he attended Neighbors Against Garbage rallies and town halls with his neighbors. Now, the delay in the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Plan, the result of the community’s hard work, has inspired him to join OUTRAGE in a more active and formal role to hold the city accountable. Eric’s experience in organizing and advocacy at the New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) has taught him that when people stand up for what is right for their community, they can win. Eric is proud to stand with his neighbors to reduce the harmful health and safety impacts that result from processing 40% of the city’s solid waste in North Brooklyn.

David Dobosz

Pat Dobosz
Patricia Dobosz has been an educator for 30 years. She has spent 20 years in the NYC public school system. She has a BS in Biology as well as an MS in Early Childhood Education both from Hunter College. Pat was always interested in environmental issues, attending the first Earth Day event in NYC back in 1970 and reading all the environmental issues literature of the time. For many years she was a member of the education committee of Community Board 1. Under the tutelage of Mildred Tudy Johnston, Pat became a community and education activist. She participated in the rally and town hall meeting against the proposed incinerator that the city wanted to impose on our community. It was the encouragement and example of Alison Cordero that lead Pat to join OUTRAGE about 15 years ago, after participating in a community march against the garbage trucks/garbage that come through our Williamsburg/Greenpoint community.. Pat is currently a member of the OUTRAGE steering Committee, as well as many other community organizations fighting for justice and equity in education, housing and the environmental that affect our neighborhood.

Christine Holowascz
Christine came to the United States from Poland in 1972 and finished her last years of high school here, then went on to obtain a BA in Economics and Accounting from Brooklyn College. As president of the Greenpoint Property Owners since 1989, Christine has worked conscientiously on housing issues, especially those concerning senior citizens, co-sponsoring informational housing seminars with the North Brooklyn Development Corporation for owners and tenants. Christine served on the Greenpoint 197a Committee, and since 1999 has worked as community liaison on the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee, ensuring that the community is protected from the potential environmental dangers presented by the upgrade of a wastewater treatment plant. She initiated the first meeting in the fight against the proposed Key Span and Con Edison power plant in Greenpoint, leading to GWAPP’s founding. She received awards in 2001 and 2002 from the Seneca Club, the Woman of the Millennium and the Carmine “Dusty” De Chiara Community awards for her work with GWAPP, and a citation in 2002 from the Borough President for her work in the Polish community. Christine has been a member of the Community Board #1 Rezoning Task Force and on the Kosciuszko Bridge upgrade Task Force. She was honored by St. Nicks Neighborhood Preservation Corporation for her work with OUTRAGE, and by the Boy Scouts of America and Open Space Alliance (OSA) for her community involvement. Christine is currently serving as a member of the Community Advisory Group for the Newtown Creek Superfund site. She is also involved with the Environmental Benefits Program, a fund established to identify and address environmental problems in Greenpoint/Williamsburg.

Courtney Renken
Courtney is the environmental justice organizer for OUTRAGE and a community organizer for St Nicks Alliance, a North Brooklyn based community development organization. Prior to organzing for OUTRAGE and St Nicks Alliance, she taught middle school social studies in rural Vermont. She has also spent time working in the Sri Lanka and Colombia with nonviolent international peacekeeping organizations. She holds a diploma from the School of Environmental Studies, a B.A. in Islamic and Russian History from the University of Minnesota, a M.A.T. in Teaching Social Justice from Marlboro Graduate School, a Vermont State Teaching License from Spark Teacher Training Institute, and is currently finishing up her M.A. in Conflict Transformation and Sustainable Development from the School for International Training.