Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation To Co-Name 63 Thoroughfares And Public Places

July 9, 2014

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed legislation into law to co-name 63 streets and public places.

Introductory 388 co-names 63 thoroughfares and public places in honor of individuals and entities that have made lasting contributions to New York City. New street names honorees include the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, who opened St. John Chrysostom School in 1914; Rabbi Weissmandl, an instrumental resistance fighter who saved European Jews during World War II; Stan Brooks, a senior correspondent for 1010 WINS; Jon Kest, founder of the Working Families Party; George Carlin, an award winning comedian and writer; and various Tuskegee Airmen, a predominantly African-American fighter squad in World War II. The bill was approved by the City Council at the stated meeting on June 26.

“Today we pay tribute to 63 incredible individuals and groups that helped make our city—and this world—a stronger, safer place for all of us. From a lifeguard who saved six New Yorkers from the rising waters during Hurricane Sandy, to the valiant Tuskegee Airmen who never lost a bomber to enemy fire, to my dear friend Jon Kest, who inspired a generation of us to fight for real, progressive change—these individuals embody the perseverance and drive that make New Yorkers great,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I applaud the City Council, led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and all the City Council members who introduced these new street names this year.”

“We are very pleased that the work of Ms. Lillie F. Martin to the community of East New York, and indeed the Borough of Brooklyn and the City of New York, is being acknowledged by the City Council and the Mayor. We are glad to have her memory immortalized in our community and look forward to the actual unveiling of the street sign,” said Council Member Inez Barron.

“Ed Eisenberg was a passionate advocate who made worthwhile contributions to our community. Co-naming a street corner in Manhattan Beach is the least we can do in tribute to an activist whose only agenda was to do what he sincerely believed would enhance the quality of life of those around him,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch.

“Msgr. John Peyton was a pastor for 25 years at the St. Rita’s Roman Catholic Church. Other than serving his parish, Msgr. Peyton was also a community leader who started programs such as a soup kitchen, adult literacy programs, and a youth center. Msgr. Peyton helped pave the path for many youngsters in his community, and he is the reason why I am standing here as a member of the New York City Council. I am honored to have introduced this bill renaming Shepherd Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Pitken Avenue to Msgr. John T. Peyton Avenue,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal.

“I am proud to be a part of today’s mayoral bill signing for two street co-namings that will take place within the 21st Council District,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “The two men we are honoring today embody the spirit of community service that every civil servant, including myself, consistently aspires to. Professor William H. Pease, Jr. had a passion for African American history and served on the board of the Langston Hughes Library in Queens in the 1970s. During his life, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and also served his community as an educator, tutor and advocate for students for more than 20 years.  Police Officer Robert Ehmer spent nearly 20 years with the NYPD, working for the community of the 110th Precinct while simultaneously working part-time as an EMT at St. Johns Hospital. While Officer Ehmer’s notable service received recognition and medals of honor for excellent policy duty, it was his selflessness that led to the ultimate sacrifice, when he heroically served as a first responder in the 9/11 attacks. Officer Ehmer died from renal cell carcinoma in 2007 as a result of working at the World Trade Center site for a period of four months. I look forward to hosting street co-naming ceremonies for the families of both of these great men in the near future.”

“Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl was an incredibly brave individual who dedicated many years of his life to saving countless Jews from mass deportation during the Holocaust. As Borough Park is home to the largest population of Holocaust survivors in the United States, I am proud to co-name the intersection of 50th Street between 14th and 15th Avenues in honor of his extraordinary life and countless heroic efforts,” said Council Member David G. Greenfield.

“On behalf of First Lady Tamra Jackson and the entire Highbridge community, I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio for signing Intro. 388 into law so quickly,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “This street co-naming is a fitting tribute that memorializes the contributions of the late Bishop Wenzell Jackson, a pillar of our community, who dedicated so much of his life to the betterment of Highbridge through his work as the pastor of Mount Hermon Baptist Church, the president of the Highbridge Clergy Coalition, and as one of the leaders in the successful efforts to open the Highbridge Green Middle School.”   

“On 43rd Street and 10th Avenue, we’re renaming the street in honor of legendary radio reporter, Stan Brooks,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Stan was a gentleman and a class act. Throughout his career, he was recognized for his diligence, professionalism, and commitment to high-quality journalism. Stan’s name will now live in two prominent places in New York City, since in 2013, Mayor Bloomberg renamed the radio reporters room in City Hall after him.  It’s fitting that today we’re putting his name on the street he lived for many years on, to always remember a man whose name is synonymous with New York radio and journalism.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Stan during my campaign, when he would go out shopping at the local farmers market on the block; he’d stop and talk, and ask questions about how things were going. Stan’s memory will now live on in the neighborhood he loved and called home.”

“I’m so glad that we have voted to co-name Nevins Street, between Livingston and Flatbush, after the incomparable organizer and my dear friend Jon Kest.  Jon was taken from us far too young, but not before he had worked together with low income and disenfranchised New Yorkers to accomplish more for justice than most of us can ever dream of.  As a leader of Acorn, New York Communities for Change, and the Working Families Party, Jon helped New Yorkers come together, organize to build power, raise their voices, and win incredible victories for living wage jobs, for affordable housing, for good schools for all our kids, and for better neighborhoods for all New Yorkers, regardless of where they come from.  Jon has extraordinary living legacies as well, like the Fast Food Forward campaign and the campaign for worker safety and environmental justice in the carwash industry, which is fighting for justice on initiatives that he helped them get started, but this street—and I want to thank Council Member Levin, whose District it’s in—will serve as one more important reminder of his legacy,” said Council Member Brad Lander.

“Jon Kest was a tireless advocate for workers, disadvantaged communities, and every New Yorker in need,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “His decades of activism laid the foundations of the progressive movement and made our city a better, fairer place to live. He is sorely missed, but his legacy should inspire all of us to continue the work he started.”

“The 64 streets that will be co-named by this bill recognize the indelible mark that these New Yorkers left on their neighborhoods. I’m proud to have sponsored two of them, one of which will co-name the 400 block of 121st Street, between Morningside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue, as ‘George Carlin Way.’ Mr. Carlin was a celebrated comedian, writer, social critic and actor whose work was transformational by bringing issues of free speech to the forefront of public discussion. It is only fitting that the corner of a street where a young Carlin once lived and entertained his neighbors will now bear his name, reminding generations to come of his life and his work,” said Council Member Mark Levine.

“The Lower East Side will forever be able to remember two individuals: Marie Christopher and Dashane Santana. Marie, a community activist, lost her life to pancreatic cancer. After a fire in her apartment building in Harlem made her homeless, Marie dedicated herself to ensuring that everyone had a safe and affordable home. She was legendary for her tireless efforts in maintaining several Lower East Side buildings, including her own, in the Section 8 program. Twelve-year-old Dashane will be remembered for all changes that her family and our community fought for after she tragically lost her life when she was struck by a car on Delancey Street in June of 2013.  Every adult and child will be able to walk the streets of Delancey and Clinton and know that they are safer. Street co-namings provide New Yorkers with remembrance of moments and lives that have touched our communities, and these two individuals have personally touched my life,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez.

“I am very proud to sponsor two street co-namings in honor of Reverend Charlie W. Mixon and Bishop Roderick R. Caesar Sr. Reverend Mixon was a towering figure as a leader in the communities he served as pastor of the Maranatha Baptist Church. He established many important ministries that met the needs of our residents. CW Mixon Outreach Center on Springfield Boulevard for instance stands as a monument to his many contributions to the welfare of his fellow human beings. We celebrate the naming of Reverend Charlie W. Mixon Way on Springfield Boulevard and 113th Avenue, Queens Village. Similarly, Bishop Caesar founded one of the most respected, influential and inspiring Houses of Worship in our nation—the Bethel Gospel Tabernacle of Jamaica, Queens. We have co-named Bishop Roderick R. Caesar Sr. Way at the intersection of Guy R. Brewer Blvd and 110th Avenue. I applaud the Mayor for signing these co-namings into law and honoring these great figures in our community. I would also like to thank my predecessor, Council Member Leroy Comrie, who began this co-naming process that I am proud to complete,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.

“Our northern Manhattan community suffered two great losses over the past year, but these two great figures, Mr. Emmet Bassett and Ms. Altagracia Dilone Levat, will soon be immortalized on the streets of Washington Heights and Inwood. Their illustrious accomplishments have earned them this honor, and while we miss them dearly, we will be able to look up every time we pass their names and remember their passion and great work,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez.

“William Clancy served his country and his community with distinction for over five decades, and I am proud to give him this honor that he so rightfully deserves,” said Council Member James Vacca. “No one did more for veterans than Commander Clancy, so it is only fitting that every veteran who comes to the Leonard Hawkins American Legion Post 156 will see his name on the street sign and be reminded of him.”

“There is no better tribute to outstanding individuals like Salman Hamdani and Benjamin Fried than co-naming streets in their communities. It was a privilege to honor Salman Hamdani, an NYPD cadet and EMT who lost his life on September 11 2001, with the street co-naming. Bayside was Salman’s home and now his community will always remember his bravery and legacy as a Muslim American patriot. It was humbling to join Salman’s mother, Talat Hamdani, and the rest of Salman’s family to pay tribute to a true hero. I look forward to honoring Benjamin Fried, an influential small business owner in Bayside. He opened Benn’s Bargain Store near 43rd Avenue in 1933, which later became Benn’s Hardware and was affectionately known as the unofficial mayor of Bayside. It will be a privilege to stand with the Fried family as we honor one of Bayside’s finest. I thank Mayor de Blasio for recognizing Salman Hamdani and Benjamin Fried at today’s public hearing,” said Council Member Paul Vallone.

The following individuals and entities will be honored:

.    26th Regiment United States Colored Troops
.    332nd Fighter Group
.    369th Infantry Regiment “Harlem Hellfighters”
.    452nd Anti-Aircraft
.    555th Parachute Infantry Battalion
.    761st Tank Battalion
.    92nd Infantry Division
.    99th Flying Training Squadron
.    Manny “The Wrong Man” Balestrero
.    Barnard College 125th Year Anniversary
.    Emmett W. Bassett
.    Daniel Carter Beard
.    Stan Brooks
.    Flt. Officer Lawrence A. Brown
.    Buffalo Soldiers
.    Bishop Roderick R. Caesar Sr.
.    Angelo “Chubby” Campanella
.    George Carlin
.    Marie Christopher
.    Commander William G. Clancy
.    Kenneth Cubas
.    Father Damien
.    General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr.
.    Sergei Dovlatov
.    Sergeant Gerard J. Dunne
.    Revs. Norm and Peg Eddy
.    P. O. Robert M. Ehmer
.    Ed Eisenberg
.    Sergeant Keith A. Ferguson
.    Benjamin Fried
.    Jose Pena Gomez
.    Phyllis Gonzalez
.    El Grito de Lares
.    Salman Hamdani
.    Bishop Wenzell P. Jackson
.    Jon Kest
.    Lt. Haldane King
.    Altagracia Diloné Levat
.    2nd Lt. Samuel Lynn
.    Simeonette Mapes
.    2nd Lt. August Harvey Martin
.    Lillie F. Martin
.    NYPD Sgt. Peter J. McPolin, Jr.
.    Private First Class Errol Millard
.    Charlie W. Mixon
.    Police Officer Brian Murray
.    Lt. Richard A. Nappi
.    Professor William H. Pease, Jr.
.    Msgr. John T. Peyton
.    Gerald J. Ryan
.    Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson, Jr.
.    Dashane Santana
.    2nd Lt. Harry A. Sheppard
.    Dylan Smith
.    Dominican Sisters of Sparkill
.    2nd Lt. Victor Terrelonge
.    Sister Thomas
.    Rabbi Weissmandl
.    2nd Lt. William M. “Wild Bill” Wheeler
.    Bishop Dr. Ezra Nehemiah Williams
.    Cathay Williams
.    Jahi Williams-Simmons
.    Major Fred O. “Blue Eagle” Wilson

 

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