House Passes Maloney Bill to Rename Greenpoint Post Office in Honor of Joseph R. Lentol
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to urge her colleagues to support H.R. 3419, legislation to designate the Greenpoint Post Office on Meserole Ave in Brooklyn, NY as the “Joseph R. Lentol Post Office” in honor of former State Assemblymember Joseph Lentol. This bill passed the House by voice vote.
You can watch the Congresswoman’s floor speech here and a transcript is below.
“Mister Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3419, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 66 Meserole Ave, Brooklyn, New York as the ‘Joseph R. Lentol Post Office.’
“Assembly Member Joseph Lentol represented the 50 Assembly District, comprised of the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, and parts of Clinton Hill, for 48 years.
“After graduating from law school and passing the New York State Bar, Joe began his government career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County’s District Attorney’s Homicide Division.
“In 1973 he was elected to the New York State Assembly, representing North Brooklyn. Joe was the third member of his family to serve in the New York State Assembly, as his father and grandfather had also been elected to the Assembly.
“During decades in public service, Joe was a recognized champion of fair labor practices, criminal justice reform, and environmental protection.
“Because of his knowledge, experience, and negotiation skills, Joe was appointed to serve on various commissions, committees, and panels.
“He chaired the Committee on Criminal and Civil Codes, the New York City Community Action Board, the Assembly Public Protection Budget Committee, the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, the Assembly Administrative Regulations Commission to create the state’s open meetings laws, and the Committee on Governmental Employees, which oversees the State’s pension and employee benefits, presiding over the State’s divestiture of its pension fund’s investments in South Africa as well as a multitude of bills strengthening organized labor.
“Additionally, he chaired the Assembly’s Committee on Governmental Operations, monitoring and overseeing the operations of state agencies and departments.
“For more than 20 years, as chair of the influential Codes Committee which has jurisdiction over criminal justice, Joe was an advocate for and led efforts to modernize the state criminal justice system.
Recognized for his leadership in correcting a system that unfairly penalized the youth, people of color, and the economically-disadvantaged, Joe was largely responsible for getting important legislation enacted into law by working with six Governors, his Democratic colleagues, and often members of the Republican majority in the State Senate.
“Joe championed the reform of Rockefeller Drug Laws, which mandated harsh sentences for possession and sale of drugs and disproportionately targeted people of color.
“In addition, Joe fought to raise the age in criminal law when a child must be treated as an adult in the criminal justice system and for other major criminal justice reforms that overhauled the state’s criminal discovery and bail laws, and that guaranteed speedy trials.
“Joe was also a member of the Governor’s Commission on Sentencing Reform, the New York State Temporary Commission on Voting Machine Equipment, and the New York State Court of Appeals Justice Task Force, and the New York State Comptrollers Investment Advisory Board.
“Currently, Joe serves on the board of the New York State Public Defenders Association.
“Naming a Post Office for Representative Joseph R. Lentol is entirely appropriate given his distinguished political career and contributions to New York State and country.
“I encourage all of my colleagues to support this bill and I reserve the balance of my time.”