Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

BY SONDRA PEEDEN

Former City Councilmember Juanita E. Watkins passed on Sunday, January 20 after a long illness.

Watkins grew up in Brooklyn, was an excellent student and the first from her family to go to college. She attended the State University of New York at New Paltz, and attended Teachers College at Columbia University where she earned her master’s degree. Upon graduation, she became an elementary school teacher. After several years, she moved on to the field of educational publishing at McGraw Hill.

Watkins also served as a Commissioner on the NYC Civil Service Commission. During her political career, she served in many functions including: delegate and member to the Democratic National Convention, Queens County Democratic District Leader and Queens County Committee Chair.

She became the first woman of color to represent a City Council district, and after her first term of office, she went on to win two subsequent elections and served three terms in the City Council representing the 31st Council District.

While on the Council, often at the detriment of her own health, Watkins was a champion for small business, education, women’s rights, the poor, the elderly and the disenfranchised.

Watkins is pre-deceased by her mother and best friend Floretta Watkins, and is survived by her beloved niece and goddaughters.

Also saddened by her loss are members of her City Council staff and her extended political family in the Assembly and Senate.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
The controversial term ‘Oriental’ is officially yanked from U.S. law thanks to Queens congresswoman
The controversial term ‘Oriental’ is officially yanked from U.S. law thanks to Queens congresswoman
Free outdoor movies in Queens: Here’s your complete summer of 2016 list
Free outdoor movies in Queens: Here’s your complete summer of 2016 list
Popular Stories
Photo: Deirdre Hayes/Flickr
Free outdoor movies in Queens: Here's your complete summer of 2016 list
Photo courtesy of Cinemart Cinemas
Iconic Forest Hills movie theater is reopening tonight with new comfy 'VIP luxury leather recliner' seating
A trolley outside of the old Niederstein's Restaurant.
Happy birthday! Middle Village is pretty fly for 200 years old
Skip to toolbar