Rosedale block renamed for longtime community activist Sheila Pecoraro

Members of the Pecoraro family and Councilman Donovan Richards renamed a portion of Huxley Street in Ridgewood for Sheila Pecoraro (inset), a local civic activist.
Photos by Samuel Pecoraro

One woman’s efforts to make Rosedale a better place lives on at a neighborhood block renamed in her honor at a ceremony last week.

The portion of Huxley Street between 147th Avenue and 243rd Street was renamed on Nov. 18 as “Sheila Pecoraro Way,” honoring the life of a community activist who served on numerous organizations dedicated to improving area schools and streets.

Councilman Donovan Richards, who sponsored the renaming in legislation signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in July, joined members of the Pecoraro family for the renaming ceremony on what would have been Sheila Pecoraro’s 75th birthday.

“Co-naming streets is an important way to connect our community leaders from the past with our residents of the present and future,” Richards said. “Sheila Pecoraro was a proud member of the Rosedale neighborhood and her efforts should never be forgotten since her advocacy helped make this community safer and more secure for generations to come.”

Pecoraro came on the civic scene in 1970, advocating for financial support for the Rosedale public library. Her advocacy for the branch continued through the decade, as she led a sit-in protesting the library’s proposed closure. The demonstration successfully thwarted those plans.

In later years, she also organized a protest to have traffic signals installed at a dangerous five-way intersection; served on Community School Board 29 and the parent-teacher associations of P.S. 138, J.H.S. 231 and Springfield Gardens High School; and served nine years as president of the 105th Precinct Community Council.

Joining Richards at the ceremony were David and Clara Pecoraro, Sheila’s children; Samuel Pecoraro, Sheila’s grandson; and her siblings Lisa, Lucy, Jimmy, John and Michael.

Recalling what his uncle Michael remarked during the ceremony, Samuel Pecoraro said the traffic light at the five-way at Huxley Avenue and 243rd Street “helped the community tremendously” and “as long as that light is there, her memory will live on.”

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