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THE CITY OF NEW YORK

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

NEW YORK, NY 10007

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov, (212) 788-2958

 

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO SIGNS BILL TO CO-NAME STREETS AFTER SLAIN NYPD DETECTIVES RAFAEL RAMOS AND WENJIAN LIU

 

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed into law Intro No. 620, in relation to the naming of 56 thoroughfares and public places, Intro No. 612-A, in relation to the sale of tax liens, Intro No. 571-A, in relation to the early intervention program, and Intro No. 126-A, in relation to requiring the reporting of environmental data regarding schools.

The first bill, Intro 620, co-names Ridgewood Avenue between Shepherd Avenue and Highland Place in Brooklyn “Detective Rafael Ramos Way,” and co-names West 6th Street between Avenue S and Avenue T in Brooklyn “Detective WenJian Liu Way.” The legislation also co-names 46 other streets and public places, and makes technical changes to eight co-namings that are already signed into law. The bill was approved by the City Council at the Stated Meeting on January 22, 2015.

“Detectives Rafael Ramos and WenJian Liu made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the safety and security of our city’s residents—and they will not be forgotten. The memories of these fallen heroes will remain in our hearts, and their families’ hearts, forever. These co-namings are a reminder to all New Yorkers that our city’s quiet heroes are all around us, working tirelessly to keep our communities safe from harm—and as we move forward from that fateful day, this legislation demonstrates our City’s deep commitment to honor all our city’s officers and remember those who have died in the line of duty,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank the City Council, led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, for standing in solidarity with the families of Detectives Ramos and Liu, and the families of all the brave officers our city has lost.”

“Detectives Ramos and Liu personified what it means to serve New York City with honor and courage,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “These street co-namings are a tribute to their service and sacrifice on behalf of all New Yorkers. Streets will also be co-named to honor Steven Frosch, a sanitation worker, and Edwin Thomas, a city bus driver, who lost their lives while serving New Yorkers. The Council is proud to show our support for the families of our fallen detectives and for all who serve our city.”

“I continue to be saddened by the untimely and unfortunate loss and killing of 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto. I pray that his family is able to heal from this incident. I am proud for the way community residents responded to this tragedy and pushed for the installation of cameras to ensure the safety of the residents of the Boulevard Housing Development. Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye responded and expedited the installation based on funds that were previously allocated by former Councilmember Charles Barron,” said Council Member Inez D. Barron. “Rev. Wenceslao Martinez was a small business owner who employed residents from his community and became a positive influence on their lives. He was affiliated with one of the largest Hispanic churches in East New York, the Roca De Salvacion for over 45 years. He took pride in helping others and provided food and shelter for people who were in need of this assistance. The food pantry that he started still exists today.”

“With the signing of this street co-naming legislation, two truly outstanding Lower Manhattan leaders will receive a rightfully permanent site of honor within the communities they loved and served for so many years,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “Frank T. Modica’s efforts at Hamilton-Madison House and the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council had a transcendent impact on the Lower East Side, as he worked tirelessly to improve residents’ quality of life and create permanently affordable housing. And in Greenwich Village, Norman Buchbinder led the way in revitalizing and sustaining Eighth Street, by establishing and promoting a forward-thinking business improvement district that remains a positive community force today, more than two decades after it was founded. I am proud to stand with Lower Manhattan residents in honoring these two men for their remarkable service to the community.”

“I am proud the Mayor and the City Council are recognizing Archbishop Iakovos’ contribution to our city with this street co-naming. He serves as a great role model for this community.  Archbishop Iakovos took a courageous stand for freedom by marching with Dr. King in Selma, one of the few non-African-American leaders to do so. Even though his advisers cautioned him against expressing his support of the civil-rights movement, he did what he knew was important.  He symbolized freedom to our Greek Orthodox community and to everyone this city,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides.

“Detectives Ramos and Liu should be remembered for the lives they lived, not only their tragic deaths. I join their neighbors and families in celebrating the official co-naming of the streets where these brave New Yorkers resided and were best known and loved,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.

“Today we remember our uniformed workers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the people of New York. These street co-namings will forever commemorate the lives of our fallen heroes right in the communities they called home, including our beloved Steven Frosch from Middle Village. I want to thank Steven’s brother, Robert Frosch, for joining us at today and Mayor de Blasio for signing these bills,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.

“Detective Rafael Ramos was a friend, a neighbor, and a role model to the residents of the Cypress Hills Community. He, like many other officers, put his life on the line to protect this great city. I am proud to stand next to the Mayor today as he signs the bill co-naming a street Detective Rafael Ramos Way in his honor. The risk and sacrifice that all law enforcement officers face in order to maintain public safety is something that New Yorkers cannot and do not take for granted. This act is a small expression of appreciation of his life and his service to the city he loved and fought every day to make safer. His legacy will never be forgotten,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal.

“Frank Santo was a powerful force for positive change in the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst communities. From his service in the military to his public service and beyond, whether he was helping to raise $1 million for victims of an earthquake a million miles away or pioneering a senior center for elderly people who needed a place to go right in his own backyard, Frank was always giving back. Moreover, he dedicated a decade of his life to serving HeartShare, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people in need of special services and support. Frank J. Santo had a vision, and he could anticipate the needs of the community. His legacy will live on forever, not only in the things he built, but in the lives he touched,” said Council Member Vincent Gentile.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and my colleagues for their leadership in today’s bill signing of Intro 620, which will co-name streets in the City of New York in honor of many trailblazers, community leaders and pioneers who have served all New Yorkers. I especially want to recognize two important street co-names in honor of our two fallen NYPD Detectives, Rafael Ramos and WenJian Liu.  This important co-naming of two streets in Brooklyn is an eternal reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of our heroes, their lives and commitment to the public safety of New Yorkers. We continue to pray for their families and will keep their legacies alive always,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

“For generations to come, people will read the names of these great New Yorkers on the streets of our communities and ask who they were. And they will learn how these two brave officers made the ultimate sacrifice for their city, how acts of bravery were a regular occurrence for this heroic firefighter from Staten Island, and how a gentle-souled Vietnam veteran was the victim of one of the most cold-blooded acts of anti-gay violence this city has ever seen, which help spur changes in our criminal laws,” said Council Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio.

“It was my honor to vote to rename city streets for Officers Ramos and Liu, who were tragically killed in the line of duty. May we always remember their heroic service to New York City,” said City Council Member Ben Kallos.

“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for signing this bill dedicating an honorary street sign to Bishop Ignatius Anthony Catanello of the Holy Family Church. Bishop Catanello faithfully served the people of Queens for over two decades and this sign will be a reminder of his lasting legacy throughout the community,” said Council Member Rory Lancman.

“I am proud to sponsor the street co-namings in honor of three exceptional community leaders: Lydia Buffington, who was a deeply committed community organizer who fought for affordable and senior housing, the longevity of small businesses, and the character of her neighborhood; Barry Weinbrom, who was one of New York City’s finest public school science teachers, transforming the way thousands of students and teachers understood their relationship to our planet and the environment, and John Cortese, who was a veteran, small business owner, community leader, and dearly beloved as the honorary Commissioner of the Prospect Park Baseball. Through these co-namings, their memories will live on in the neighborhoods where they contributed so much,” said Council Member Brad Lander.

“Detective Rafael Ramos and Detective Wenjian Liu served New York City with honor and bravery. Their selfless sacrifice must never be forgotten. Co-naming these streets in their memory is one important way we can ensure that the legacies of our fallen heroes and the other distinguished individuals we are memorializing today will live on in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Mark Levine.

“I am proud to sponsor and stand with the Mayor in passing these street namings into law for Officers Ramos and Liu, along with Officer Kenneth Anthony Nugent, Henry McCoy, and Kevin Lamont Miller; all heroic and iconic members of our community. In these namings we memorialize their sacrifice, their work, and their legacy. Officers who died in the line of fire for the safety of our community, Henry McCoy—who dedicated his life to us as a Queens civic leader and police officer himself, and Kevin Lamont Miller—an exemplary student and individual who had his life shortened tragically by gun violence,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.

“Among the bills that Mayor Bill de Blasio will sign today is legislation that honors the lives and memories of so many worthy New Yorkers, including Police Officers Rafael Ramos and WenJian Liu, who gave their lives protecting their fellow New Yorkers. The legislation also honors Staten Island North Shore residents Vincent C. Pompa, Stanley Jay and Chief Charles L. Kasper, who also contributed to the fabric of their communities. We commit ourselves to memorializing their names in our neighborhoods so that we and future generations will always keep their memories in our hearts,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

“Today the Upper West Side will be granted two secondary street namings,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “Cooper Stock Way will memorialize nine-year-old Cooper Stock, who was struck and killed by a taxi last January that failed to yield while Cooper and his dad were crossing the street. Cooper’s death mobilized the community to call for street redesigns and stronger laws, which will protect our community for future generations. PCS Way will honor the 100th Anniversary of the Professional Children’s School.”

“I am gratified that the City of New York is recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of City workers, like Edwin Thomas, who labor without significant thanks and find themselves in situations which compromise their health and safety,” said Council Member Alan Maisel.

“Max Bond was a talented architect and a trailblazer for architects of color in New York City and across the nation. Today we recognize him for his dedication to public service, and his commitment to our city represents his unbreakable spirit and determination,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Jacob Birnbaum was a man who stood up for his convictions, and spent his life fighting for others. His incredible leadership and advocacy inspired thousands to join his cause and I am proud to honor his legacy.”

“Robert Lohnes—a father, husband, neighborhood hero—will always be remembered for his commitment to his community, public safety and to making Whitestone a place his family is proud to call home. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for signing Robert C. Lohnes Way into law so we can always remember Robert for his achievements every time we pass 145th Street in Whitestone,” said Council Member Paul Vallone.

“Officers WenJian Liu and Rafael Ramos are fallen heroes that will never be forgotten,” said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Renaming streets in their memory ensures that we will forever carry on their memories and honor the sacrifice these dedicated officers made to protect and serve New York City. In addition to honoring Officers Liu and Ramos, we are also celebrating the legacy of Queens legends Alice Cardona and Luke Adams. Together both Alice and Luke helped preserve the character and quality of the Woodside and Sunnyside, two neighborhoods they loved and worked so hard to make better for all.”

“The legacies of Pecola and Nicholas Rodriguez will live on in our community through this street co-naming,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee. “Both of these individuals have had lasting impacts, and the fact that their names will be forever attached with our streets ensures that future New Yorkers will share in their history. I look forward to joining the Rodriguez’s family and friends, along with the rest of our community, when we unveil their sign and celebrate their stories.”

This legislation also co-names 46 other streets and public places, including other individuals who died in the line of duty:

–                      Lieutenant Matt Ambelas, a 14-year FDNY veteran killed while putting out a fire in Williamsburg.

–                      Police Officer Kenneth Anthony Nugent, a 13-year NYPD veteran killed while trying to stop a robbery at a luncheonette in Queens.

–                      Traffic Enforcement Agent Kalyana Ranasinghe, a NYPD member hit by a truck in Manhattan while writing parking tickets.

–                      Deputy Fire Chief Charles L. Kasper, a 28-year FDNY veteran killed while trying to save other others on September 11, 2001.

–                      Sanitation worker Steven Frosch, who was killed while performing maintenance on a mechanical broom at a Maspeth garage. Frosch also served in NYPD prior to joining DSNY.

 

The following individuals and entities will also honored with street re-namings:

 

–           Dave Reid Jr. Place

–           Prince Joshua Avitto Way

–           Rev. Wenceslao Martinez Way

–           DJ Scott la Rock Boulevard

–           Luis Muñoz Marín Way

–           Basil Paterson Boulevard

–           Oscar de la Renta Boulevard

–           Frank T. Modica Way

–           Norman Buchbinder Way

–           Bronx Science Boulevard

–           Archbishop Iakovos of America

–           James Baldwin Place

–           Frank J. Santo Way

–           Judge Hansel L. McGee Place

–           Bishop Robert Green Way

–           Jimmy Zappalorti Lane

–           Milton Alexander Way

–           Bishop Ignatius A. Catanello Way

–           Barry Weinbrom Way

–           Lydia Buffington Way

–           John Cortese Way

–           Edwin Thomas Way

–           Dr. Jerry V. Burns Way

–           Henry McCoy Jr. Way

–           Kevin Lamont Miller Jr. Way

–           Ann Maggio Way

–           Max Bond Way

–           Jacob Birnbaum Way

–           Stanley Jay Way

–           Vincent C. Pompa Way

–           Cooper Stock Way

–           PCS Way

–           Barbara Dattilo Way

–           Brother Jack SanFilippo Way

–           Jack Maple Place

–           Robert C. Lohnes Way

–           Alice Cardona Way

–           Luke Adams Way

–           Pecola and Nicholas Rodriguez Way

–           Debbie Bowden Way

–           Margaret Mack Triangle

 

Intro No. 620 will also make technical changes to the following co-namings that are already signed into law:

 

–           William Creech Vietnam Veteran Way

–           Sunnyside Garden Arena Way

–           Barnard Way

–           José Francisco Peña Gomez Boulevard

–           Angelo “Chubby” Campanella

–           Rabbi Weissmandl Way

–           George Carlin Way

–           Benjamin Fried Boulevard

 

The second bill, Intro 612-A, reauthorizes the City to sell tax liens through December 2016, and establishes a joint Administration/Council taskforce to make administrative and legislative recommendations to the lien sale process. The bill was approved by the City Council at the Stated Meeting on January 22, 2015. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras, for helping improve the fairness and efficiency of the lien sale process.

“The Tax Lien Sale Reauthorization extends the Finance Commissioner’s authority to sell tax liens, but more importantly, it adds several property-owner friendly items to the law: it improves transparency and outreach to property-owners, and removes certain homes affected by Sandy. This legislation will empower property-owners so they can protect their investments. It is the perfect display of a Council that is sensible and sensitive to the needs of residents of the City when legislating on how we recover debt owed,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Finance Committee.

The third bill, Intro 571-A, allows the Early Intervention Program to be placed within a new Division of Family and Child Health, which oversees a range of programs focusing on child development, and helps streamline services for children with developmental disabilities. The bill was approved by the City Council at the Stated Meeting on January 22, 2015. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Andy Cohen, for helping improve the service delivery process for children in need.

“As the Chair of the Mental Health Committee, I am sponsoring Introduction 571 to ensure that we offer the best possible resources to parents who have become concerned that their child is having a hard time with milestones. This bill calls for the Early Intervention Program to be overseen by the newly created Division of Family and Child Health. While the program is currently administered by the Division of Mental Hygiene, the change will allow the program to be overseen by a division that provides similar services to families and specializes in working with children. The earlier a child gets help for developmental disabilities, the better that child’s chances of reaching their full potential. Parents who are concerned with their child’s development can call 311 and ask for Early Intervention—there are professionals that can help you,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

The fourth bill, Intro No. 126-A, requires the Department of Education to report on breaches of school environmental standards. The bill was approved by the City Council at the Stated Meeting on January 22, 2015. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Fernando Cabrera, for ensuring that parents and teachers have access to information on the environmental conditions in school buildings.

“I am proud of Mayor de Blasio for supporting this critical legislation. The entire school community, which is such an integral part of our city, will now have necessary access to important information about the status of their work and study environment. By standing up for transparency, we have taken an important step towards safeguarding the right of students in New York City to receive their education in a safe and healthy environment. I commend the Mayor and all those who supported Intro 126, ensuring that future generations of school staff, parents, and students will breathe easier,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.

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