What she didn’t know was that as a result of that interview, she would spend the next 33 years of her life overseeing graffiti cleanup with the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corp.
“I interviewed for a job at CB5, and one of the people who interviewed me was the executive director of this organization at the time,” Mirabile said. “He offered me a job after the interview was over.”
Mirabile, a Bushwick native, received a degree in History from NYU before going on to earn a Master’s Degree in Political Science with a certificate in Public Administration from St. John’s University.
Since joining GRRC, where she now serves as the executive director, Mirabile has helped the organization clean up roughly 5,400 buildings in their seven-month season that lasts from April through November each year. While the organization has suffered state funding cuts in recent years, she and her staff still manage to clean up between 100 and 150 properties each year.
“In the past, we ran a five-day program, but we’ve had to cut it down to three days a week in 2012 because we couldn’t get the funding,” Mirabile said. “We wanted to keep the program going, obviously, so we cut it down to three days a week.”
She believes that regardless of whether or not her organization receives increased state funding in the future, there are many community organizations that have a sincere need for bigger budgets.
“State funding needs to be restored regardless of the graffiti program. It’s funding groups like mine rely on for necessary services in the community,” Mirabile said. “They know what has to be done, whether it’s needs of seniors or graffiti cleaning. We’re in touch with the people who live in the community and we can service those needs at a rate that no one else can.”
The reason Mirabile has stuck with the GRRC for so long is that she finds her work to be extremely rewarding,
“It’s nice to be able to assist people, and to see the community thrive,” Mirabile said. “It’s a community where I think people walk around and know their neighbors—I’m friendly with all my neighbors.”
When she is not working with the GRRC, Mirabile counsels tenants and landlords with CB5 twice a week, and her favorite pastimes include reading and playing the clarinet.
“I started taking clarinet lessons a little over a year ago. I’m a very big jazz fan,” Mirabile said. “I always wanted to play an instrument, and it’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.”