03.10.15

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND, SERRANO, RANGEL, CROWLEY INTRODUCE BILL TO RENAME MORRISANIA POST OFFICE IN HONOR OF FORMER BOROUGH PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST PUERTO RICAN CONGRESSMAN IN US HISTORY, HERMAN BADILLO

History Maker Herman Badillo Served as Bronx Borough President & Was First Puerto Rican to Serve as Congressman; Badillo Also Served as NYC Deputy Mayor under Ed Koch


Schumer, Gillibrand, Serrano, Rangel, Crowley Introduce Legislation to Rename Post Office in the Bronx After Herman Badillo

 

Lawmakers: Dedication of Morrisania Post Office Will Be a Lasting Tribute to Herman Badillo’s Steadfast Commitment & Dedication to New York City

 

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressmembers José E. Serrano, Charles Rangel, and Joseph Crowley today introduced legislation to rename the Morrisania Post Office, located in the Bronx, in honor of former Congressman and Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo. Badillo became the first Puerto-Rican city commissioner and borough president, and was the first Congressman to be born in Puerto Rico.

“As a proud native son of Puerto Rico, a product of the Bronx and a champion for all of New York, Herman Badillo exemplified the American ethos that you can achieve greatness and enact positive change regardless of humble beginnings and economic disadvantage and discrimination. While nobody can fill the void left by Herman Badillo, it is my hope that all those who enter this post office will be reminded of his incredible commitment to our city and our nation,”said Senator Schumer. “Through his intellect, fierceness of spirit and compassion, Herman inspired generations to believe that ‘Si se puede’ and naming the Morrisania Post Office after him is a fitting tribute to his legacy of work for civil rights, equal opportunity, education reform and more.”

“Herman Badillo was an inspiring advocate for all New Yorkers, and a role model for countless Puerto Rican-born Americans. He moved through life motivated by the desire to help the people around him, and throughout his decades-long political career, he repeatedly accomplished that goal. It is fitting that Herman Badillo’s name will now live on in public view at a post office in The Bronx, so that new generations of New Yorkers can continue to be driven to do great things by Herman Badillo’s legacy,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

 “It is an honor to serve as the original sponsor of legislation in the House of Representatives to honor the life and legacy of the late Herman Badillo by renaming the Morrisania Post Office after him. Few people have been as important in shaping the history of the Bronx and in Puerto Ricans’ participation in local and state politics as Herman Badillo – a trailblazer and leader in every sense of the word. The Herman Badillo Post Office Building will help ensure his memory lives on for generations to come,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.

"My great friend Herman Badillo was a fixture in New York City politics for nearly four decades, championing civil rights, jobs, housing and educational reform. Even after his passing, he continues to be a true testament to the American Dream," said Congressman Charles B. Rangel. "Renaming this post office in honor of Herman is a fitting way to preserve and honor his legacy in the Bronx."

“Herman Badillo’s contributions to the Bronx, the City of New York and our country as a whole, cannot be overstated,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “Renaming the Morrisania branch of the U.S. Postal Service would be a fitting tribute for someone who was not only a trailblazer for the Latino community, but a champion for vulnerable communities everywhere. I thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressmen Rangel and Serrano for all their efforts in making sure Herman’s memory and legacy are honored.”

  

“It is so heartwarming to see the outpouring of feeling and respect for my husband, Herman Badillo. Herman was an outstanding public servant and an inspiration to so many people. His story of coming from humble beginnings, being orphaned at a very young age and rising to the top to become the first Congressman of Puerto Rican heritage in the history of our country, is truly extraordinary. It is with enormous gratitude that I thank Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz for setting into motion the idea of naming the only federal building  in the Bronx after Herman and the New York Congressional delegation; including Congressman Jose Serrano and Senator Charles Schumer for their support in this project,” said Gail Badillo.

Badillo was born in Puerto Rico in 1929. Badillo’s father, an English teacher, and mother passed away of tuberculosis at an early age. At 11 years old, Badillo moved to the United States , and later settled down in New York. In 1951, Badillo graduated with honors from City College and in 1954, was the valedictorian of his class at Brooklyn Law School.

 

In 1965, Badillo was elected Bronx Borough President and in 1970, Badillo was elected to Congress as a United States representative. Badillo spent seven years as a Congressman representing South Bronx. There, he fought for voting rights, programs to help inner cities, and bilingual education. In 1971, Badillo brought attention to an issue affecting Puerto Ricans; at the time, Puerto Ricans were not eligible for federal benefits under Social Security such as food stamps. As chairman of the CUNY board from 1999 to 2001, Badillo oversaw the end of open enrollment in senior colleges and higher admissions and graduation requirements. 

 

The lawmakers today said that the Morrisania Post Office is a historical federal building included on the National Register of Historic Places, and it would only be fitting to honor Herman Badillo permanently at home in the Bronx. 


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