Elected officials, community leaders and residents gathered on the corner of 61st Street and Woodside Avenue on Saturday to honor the late Councilman Walter McCaffrey.
To celebrate his time in and out of office, the Woodside community held a ceremony to unveil “Walter McCaffrey Place.”
The corner bears significant meaning as it is where the Woodside leader’s district office stood from 1985 to 2001.
The former councilman represented the 26th District, which covers the Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City area, for 16 years.
He died in July 2013 as a result of ongoing health problems.
“The late Walter McCaffrey will never be forgotten,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who now represents the district. “A Woodsider till the end, Walter never stopped advocating for his neighborhood and this district, setting a high bar for all elected officials who followed him in office.”
During his tenure, McCaffrey served as chairman for the Council’s Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee.
He also sat on the Land Use, Finance, Public Safety and Transportation committees during his time in office.
McCaffrey was responsible for pushing through and drafting a number of bills, including legislation requiring security cameras at ATMs and restricting ATM subcharge fees.
“Walter fought for the people of Queens with great passion, leaving behind a legacy of advocacy and accomplishments that improved the lives of middle-class families across the city,” Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) said. “I was proud to call him a friend and I’m thrilled our community is able to show our appreciation for Walter with this street co-naming.”
Before he was elected to the City Council, McCaffrey served on Community Board 2 as chairman and was chief of staff to former Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein and the late Rep. Thomas Manton.
“Walter loved the world of government, he loved the world of politics and organizing campaigns, and he loved Woodside,” Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) said.
Van Bramer echoed similar praise.
“I respect his many contributions to the neighborhoods he represented then and to the ones I have the honor of representing now,” Van Bramer said. “With this dedication, I hope to memorialize Walter’s life so future generations of Woodsiders never forget his legacy.”