In a celebration of the late southeast Queens political leader Archie Spigner, elected officials and civic leaders joined the city Parks Department for the renaming of St. Albans Park in honor of Spigner at a ceremony held on Saturday, Aug. 27, on what would’ve been his 94th birthday.
Archie Spigner Park, was unveiled Saturday, honoring the “godfather of politics in southeast Queens,” who died in October 2020 from cancer. The event was organized by City Council Member Nantasha Williams in partnership with former Council Member I. Daneek Miller.
Spigner served in the City Council from 1974 to 2001 and was a southeast Queens Democratic party leader. According to lawmakers, Spigner was an instrumental figure in several high-profile developments for the betterment of southeast Queens.
Those developments included the location of York College in Jamaica, a subway extension to the downtown area, and the placement of the regional headquarters of the Social Security Administration. During his tenure as a council member in 2001, Spigner secured $1 million in funding for the renovation of St. Albans Park, working closely with members of the community and civic and religious leaders to sponsor cleanups as well.
In November 2021, Miller introduced legislation to rename St. Albans Park in honor of Spigner.
During the ceremony held on Aug. 27, local elected officials remembered Spigner as a political legend who was beloved by so many in the community.
According to Williams, Spigner was a leader who made an impact on so many lives and changed the course of history for the city.
“He was a trailblazer who helped pave the way for others, such as myself, who have followed him into public service,” Williams said. I want to thank former
Councilmember I. Daneek Miller for his legislation renaming St. Albans Park to Archie Spigner Park. It is important that we honor the rich history of this community and pioneers like Archie who made it possible for us to thrive here today. This renaming will help ensure that his legacy is preserved for future generations to come. To Mrs. Leslie Spigner and the entire Archie Spigner family, we honor and thank you for your continuous contribution to the community carrying out the legacy of Archie Spigner.”
Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman said she will always remember Spigner as a dear friend.
“His support and guidance are one of the reasons I am in my current position today” Hyndman said. He left a lifelong mark on many in Southeast Queens. The
renaming of St. Albans Park symbolizes the affect he had not only on the city, but also the people who adulated him through mentorships and friendships. I am thankful for Councilmember Nantasha Williams, who successfully pinch hitted this renaming. To the family of Archie Spigner, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing him with Southeast Queens. His legacy will continue to live on.”
Senator Leroy Comrie said Spigner will “forever be part of the fabric of the community,” as he was a “one-of-a-kind public servant, community leader and mentor to so many.”
“His more than five decades of leadership, including service as the first Black man from Queens elected to the City Council, helped pave the path that Queens, New York and national leaders now walk,” Comrie said. “From labor organizing in his youth to his service as a New York City Council member, he made a transformative change. I am proud that we as a community stand united in honoring him and in celebrating his lasting legacy.”
According to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Spigner was a “larger-than-life figure” whose achievements go far beyond his legendary career in city government.
“He was a political powerhouse, a true trailblazer and a role model for generations of young African American leaders in southeast Queens and beyond, including myself,” Richards said. “His list of accomplishments on behalf of southeast Queens is endless and with the renaming of St. Albans Park in his honor, we are ensuring his legacy will live on forever in the communities he loved more than anything.”
Councilwoman Selvena-Brooks Powers, who remembered Spigner as a mentor that helped her, among many others, enter a career of public service, said it was “befitting to rename St. Albans Park after the Dean of Queens.”
Archie Spigner meant so much to so many. He was a mentor and I am one of the many who he help to shape and develop in public service. It was befitting to rename St. Albans Park after the Dean of Queens!! pic.twitter.com/5yfrH1ppqD
— CMSelvenaBrooksPowers (@CMBrooksPowers) August 28, 2022
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, who attended the ceremony, tweeted, “Archie helped build Black political power in SE Queens & paved the way for generations of elected officials incl. @LeroyComrie @DRichardsQNS @IDaneekMiller @CMNantashaW & many more.”
Archie helped build Black political power in SE Queens & paved the way for generations of elected officials incl. @LeroyComrie @DRichardsQNS @IDaneekMiller @CMNantashaW & many more. pic.twitter.com/homGZGCjAh
— Comptroller Brad Lander (@NYCComptroller) August 27, 2022
New York State Attorney General Letitia James tweeted, “Council Member Archie Spigner dedicated his career to Queens. His life and work was about creating a borough that worked for everyone, and he delivered.”
Council Member Archie Spigner dedicated his career to Queens. His life work was about creating a borough that worked for everyone, and he delivered.
I was honored to attend the renaming of St. Albans Park to Archie Spigner Park today to honor Spigner's legacy to Queens.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) August 27, 2022