By Juan Soto
The first black woman elected to public office in southeast Queens will never be forgotten.
The post office located at 218-10 Merrick Blvd.d will be renamed after Cynthia Jenkins, who served 12 years in the state Assembly representing Jamaica, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens and Rosedale.
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) and U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced the passing of the bill in both the Congress and the Senate to rename the post office in Springfield Gardens.
With the passage of the bill “the legacy of southern Queens’ first African-American asemblywoman has been recognized,” Meeks said.
The bill was approved unanimously. “It speaks to all that she accomplished,” he added.
Nashville-born Jenkins was raised in Louisville, and before heading to Albany, she worked in Queens as a librarian, community activist and an advocate for the civil rights movement.
As a librarian, she fought for public libraries and promoted literacy programs throughout the borough.
She remained politically active right up until her death at age 77 in 2001, running for City Councilman Archie Spigner’s (D-St. Albans) seat on the Independence line.
Jenkins “was a dedicated public servant committed to her community,” said Schumer, who was pleased the legislation to rename the post office was passed. “It is a truly fitting tribute to a woman who served as a role model for so many.”
Gillibrand, who wrote a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, said, “Jenkins broke down barriers” when she was elected to the Assembly.
“She was a champion for the community and rightly deserves this recognition for her contributions,” Gillibrand said.
Meeks pointed out the assemblywoman dedicated her life to social and racial equality, improving education and bettering healthcare for veterans.
“The dedication of the post office will both honor all that she did for our community and remind us to stay dedicated to her causes,” the congressman said.
Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.