If you have ever attended a Colonie Town Board Meeting, or any other sort of meeting within the municipality's government, it is hard to miss the 69-year-old Gloria with her black hair streaked with gray and her composition notebook filled with her thoughts and opinions she'll share during the allotted public comment period.
Gloria said the Town Board puts a lot of time into its work, so she feels the need to show her appreciation by showing up and giving them feedback.
"Ralph Nader, heard him speak at the Egg and heard him speak at Albany Law School, where a whole bunch of Albany Law students lined up to ask what they could do," she said of one of her idols. "He said, 'Get involved in your town government.' You may not feel you're being heard, except at election time, they seem to care about what you think. But go to town board meetings because if you're going to be upset and angry about something, why carry it and not do anything about it? Voice your concerns."
Members of the town government certainly recognize and appreciate the time Gloria dedicates to her involvement in the town and wish there could be more people like her.
"She's a wonderful woman and a wonderful citizen," said Colonie Town Clerk Elizabeth DelTorto. "She takes her involvement in the community very seriously. She comes prepared to every meeting and does not overreact to anything. Makes working hard to represent this town such a privilege cause she pays so much attention. She makes you feel good about putting the time and effort into putting out a good product for the residents."
DelTorto, who has been the clerk since 1997, also noted the amount of time Gloria put into taking care of her mother, which led to her interest in senior care and housing.