Street Named After Fierce Fighter for Community
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- It was a cool windy morning as the crowd gathered at the corner of Matilda Avenue and East 237th Street in the Wakefield section of the Bronx to honor Mary Lauro who passed away last June.
Who was Mary Lauro you may say? Mary Lauro was a resident of Wakefield for over 50 years. Mary Lauro was the president of the the Wakefield Taxpayers & Civic League Inc. for 25 years which was founded in 1913. It was her civic work in many areas, including being a member of Community Board 12, that so many elected officials came for this street renaming in her honor. Mary Lauro also wrote a column in this newspaper where, as always, she never backed down on issues, one being why several homeless shelters were being built by Mayor Bloomberg in the Wakefield area.
As they spoke each elected official mentioned the fact that Mary Lauro had something to say of them and what Mary Lauro had meant to them. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said "Mary Lauro was the director of the office of Accountability".
State senator Jeff Klein spoke of the mortgage problems in the Wakefield area she had him assist her on. Assemblyman Carl Heastie said that Mary Lauro cared about White Plains Road and the entire community. Congressman Eliot Engel mentioned that he read into the 113th Congressional Record a statement about Mary Lauro and her never ending work and love for her community. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said that all the elected officials on hand would be afraid if they had not come to honor such a great woman.
Community Board 12 Chairman Father Richard Gorman an advisor of Mary Lauro on many issues said that her work is far from done, and more people like Mary Lauro are needed to help improve the community. The sister of Mary Lauro said that Mary is missed by the family, but the family did not know how much she is missed by the community.
Councilman Andy King and former Councilman Oliver Koppell sponsored the legislation for the street sign bearing the name "Mary V. Lauro Way". Ms. Virginia Saunders has taken over as President of the Wakefield Taxpayers & Civic League Inc., and will have some very large shoes to fill.