A longtime civic leader was honored in southeast Queens last Saturday.
Elected officials joined community members and the family of the late Cardinal Sandiford gathered at the corner of Anderson Road and Sidway Place in St. Albans as the corner was co-named Cardinal S. Sandiford way in memoriam to the revered leader.
Cardinal Sandiford lead an accomplished life over his 84 years, and survived a life-threatening eye infection in 2010, before passing away three years later. He was seen as a guardian of southeast Queens, remembered best for his 14 years as a member of Community Board 12, including nine years as chair of its influential Land Use Committee.
“Cardinal Sandiford embodies service to the community, and today’s co-naming ceremony acknowledges the many life contributions of this civic giant,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “Future generations will see the name Cardinal S. Sandiford Way and learn how Sandy preserved our community from overdevelopment but promoted a responsible transformation of Downtown Jamaica that would modernize the landscape, build an engine that created new sources of wealth for our businesses, and make southeast Queens the world’s gateway to New York City.”
As Land Use Chair, Sandiford was a fierce advocate for the preservation of the contextual integrity of the residential communities within Community Board 12, and intimately involved in some of the most transformational proposals affecting southeast Queens including the Jamaica Plan, also known as the Downtown Jamaica Rezoning.
“Queens is a better place thanks to the hard work and devotion of Cardinal Sandiford,” Councilwoman Adrienne Adams said. “I had the pleasure to know Mr. Sandiford as my colleague and adviser, so it is a truly momentous occasion to honor his legacy of selfless dedication with a street co-naming. He was a pillar of the community and the significant contributions that he made to Queens will not be forgotten.”
The U.S. Army veteran served as Civil Service Division director of the now defunct Local 144 Service Employees International Union and later rode to the rank of vice president before it merged in 1998 with leading healthcare union 1199 SEIU. Sandiford also served as president of the Octagon Neighborhood Association, and as a board member of the Robert Couche Senior Citizen Center.
“Cardinal S. Sandiford way now adorns the intersection of Anderson Way and Sidway Place in the heart of the neighborhood that [he] adored so dearly,” state Senator Leroy Comrie said. “A consummate public official, Cardinal Sandiford dedicated his life and career to working for the good of all in the Army, in labor, and in civic life. His example will continue to inspire folks throughout southeast Queens for generations to come.”