Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge leaders attend Trump’s inauguration

January 23, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (second from left) ran into Angela Olsen, Jerry Kassar and Janet Kassar (left to right) at the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day. Photo courtesy of Malliotakis
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The large crowd on hand at the U.S. Capitol to witness the inauguration of Donald Trump included many prominent Republicans from Bay Ridge who traveled to Washington to see history in the making.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) said the Jan. 20 event was thrilling to watch.

“It was very exciting to be present to witness the swearing in of the 45th President of the United States. It is my hope that President Trump will be able to implement his agenda of creating new jobs, securing our border and supporting our veterans and that he improve the quality of life for all Americans, especially the middle-class who have been ignored for too long,” Malliotakis told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Her visit to Washington was jam-packed with all sorts of activities.

The night before the inauguration, Malliotakis, who is of Greek and Cuban descent, attended a reception honoring new White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, who is also of Greek decent. She also attended the New York State Society Ball and the Presidential Ball.

Another Bay Ridge resident, John Abi-Habib, owner of MSI Net, Inc., went to Washington with his wife Sonia and their daughter Jenna, a student at Visitation Academy.

The Abi-Habibs started their journey on Wednesday night with a drive to Washington. “Upon arriving in D.C., you could feel the city getting ready for the two-day inauguration celebrations. Streets were being blocked. There were National Guard troops on the streets,” John Abi-Habib told the Eagle.

The family had a busy agenda. On Thursday morning, they attended a breakfast in which former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich was the guest speaker.

The Abi-Habibs managed to get in some sightseeing while in town. They took in the Smithsonian Institution and enjoyed looking at gowns worn by former first ladies at their inaugural balls.

The family went to the New York Ball on Thursday night. The event, hosted by the New York State Republican Party, was attended by Party Chairman Ed Cox, former mayor Rudy Giuliani, former governor George Pataki, U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) and Hollywood actor Scott Baio.

“On Inauguration Day, most of the attendees woke up early and headed to the Capitol. No cars were allowed in the Red Zone area surrounding the Capitol and the parade route. Taxis and the Metro were the means of transportation,” Abi-Habib said.

The Abi-Habibs joined Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Ted Ghorra, his wife Josephine and daughters Jackeline and Juliana at the Capitol to watch the inauguration and then headed to the nearby Newseum Museum rooftop to view the parade.

That night, John and Sonia Abi-Habib attended the Freedom Inaugural Ball, where they ran into several friends from Bay Ridge, including Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar, Fran Vella-Marone, George Prezioso and Marko Kepi. “It was nice all around. There were very nice people. It was very peaceful and full of energy all around,” Abi-Habib told the Eagle. 

On Monday, Jenna Abi-Habib returned to Visitation Academy and eagerly told her classmates all about her experiences at the inauguration.


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