Resolution J843-2013

Mourning the death of Elsie E. Richardson, distinguished citizen and devoted member of her community



  • Mar 14, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Mar 12, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  mourning  the  death  of  Elsie  E. Richardson,
distinguished citizen and devoted member of her community

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body  to  pay  tribute  to
citizens  of  the  State  of  New York whose lifework and civic endeavor
served to enhance the quality of life in their communities and the great
State of New York; and
  WHEREAS, Elsie Richardson died on March 15, 2012, at the  age  of  90;
  WHEREAS,  Elsie Richardson distinguished herself in her profession and
by her sincere dedication and substantial contribution to the welfare of
her community; and
  WHEREAS, Elsie Eugenia Richardson was born on February  24,  1922,  at
208  West  62nd Street (behind Lincoln Center); she was the fourth child
of George and Albertha Maynard, who arrived in America from the Caribbe-
an island of Nevis, British West Indies in 1911; and
  WHEREAS, Elsie Richardson, a 1938 graduate of Washington  Irving  High
School,  earned  a diploma in secretarial studies; since people of color
were not employed as secretaries in those days, she worked in  factories
and  as  a  nanny;  it was President Roosevelt's National Youth Adminis-
tration (NYA) and Simon N. Hillman  (an  African-American  attorney  who
shared office space with A. Philip Randolph) who gave her an opportunity
to use her secretarial skills; and
  WHEREAS, Elsie Richardson then answered the call from Washington, D.C.
for  secretaries and relocated there during World War II; while in Wash-
ington, D.C., she enlisted the help of then Senators  Meade  and  Wagner
from  New  York,  to  open  the  door for secretaries of color; upon her
return to New York, Elsie Richardson was employed to  become  the  first
African-American  secretary at the New York State Labor Relations Board;
  WHEREAS, Elsie Richardson later earned her bachelor's degree at  Pratt
Institute  in 1972, and her master's degree at the New School for Social
Research in 1979; and
  WHEREAS, Elsie Richardson and her  husband,  Victor,  were  among  the
first families to move into Brooklyn's Albany Houses; she played a lead-
ership  role  in  the  Tenants  Association,  which is credited with the
existence of the St. John's  Recreation  Center,  Crown  Heights  Health
Center and PS 243; and
  WHEREAS,  A  co-founder  of  the Central Brooklyn Coordinating Council
(1952), Elsie Richardson served as its Board Secretary and Chair of  its
Urban Planning Committee; the commitment of that group led to the forma-
tion  of  the  Pratt  Center For Community Development, Central Brooklyn
Model Cities, Medgar Evers College, the New Boys and  Girls  HS.,  among
other organizations, and prevented the planned destruction of the commu-
nity's brownstones; and
  WHEREAS, Elsie Richardson had accompanied Senator Robert F. Kennedy on
that  much publicized walk through Bedford Stuyvesant (1966) and chaired
the committee formed at his request, which led to the  founding  of  the
Bedford  Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; she, having been one of the
founders of The Weeksville Society, selected the  site  where  artifacts
revealing the existence of "Weeksville" were discovered during the demo-
lition  process for new housing; as Education/Public Relations Coordina-
tor    for    the    Model    Cities    Program,    and     later     as
Teacher-Assigned/School-Community  Coordinator for District 16, she kept
the community aware of employment,  housing,  educational  and  cultural
opportunities; and

  WHEREAS,  A  true  asset to society, Elsie Richardson was secretary of
the 1300 Prospect Place Block Association, a member of the Parks Commit-
tee of Board 8, and Vice President of the New York City  Association  of
Retired Teachers; and
  WHEREAS,  Elsie  Richardson's commitment to excellence, and her spirit
of humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including char-
itable and civic endeavors; and
  WHEREAS, Predeceased by her husband, Victor,  and  sons,  Raymond  and
George, Elsie Richardson is survived by her daughter, Sabra, granddaugh-
ters, Celeste and Lisa, great-grandsons, Xavier and Lawrence, Jr., and a
host of other friends, family, and neighbors; and
  WHEREAS,  Armed  with  a  humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Elsie Richardson leaves behind  a  legacy  which  will  long
endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all
she served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death  of  Elsie  E.  Richardson,  distinguished  citizen  and
devoted member of her community; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Elsie E. Richardson.


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