Aug. 23, 2021 By Christian Murray
A large Woodside non-profit that has been in existence since the 1970s has named a new executive director.
Steven Raga, who unsuccessfully ran in the District 26 Democratic primary in June, has been named the executive director of Woodside on the Move. The non-profit provides housing support, after-school programing, and advocacy—such as calling for the extension of the eviction moratorium.
Raga, a lifelong resident of Little Manilla in Woodside, comes to the position with experience in both the non-profit and government world. He will oversee a staff of 15 full time employees and about 100 part time workers.
The announcement comes just months after Michael Vaz, the previous executive director, stepped down.
“The timing of this position couldn’t have been better,” Raga said. “If I had been elected to the city council, I would have wanted to do a job like this afterward.”
Raga, who has been on the board of Woodside on the Move for the past 5 years, said the position brings his background in government, non-profit and local advocacy together.
He was Assembly Member Brian Barnwell’s chief of staff for four years until December and most recently worked as the Northeast Regional Manager for Policy and Advocacy for the Susan G. Komen Foundation where he oversaw healthcare legislation in 11 states.
He has been a member of Community Board 2 since 2016 and sits on the boards of Queens Pride, and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).
He is also the founder of Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro) which he established in Woodside in 2009.
Raga said that he plans to increase the visibility of Woodside on The Move through social media and through partnerships with other local groups and organizations.
He also plans to expand the size of the board to include residents from the Nepalese, Bengali and Filipino community. Additionally, he said, he would like to bring NYCHA residents on the board.
“I want more voices on the board,” Raga said. “The more voices we have the better we will become.”