7th Congressional District Event Honors Black History Month 2009

February 10, 2009
Press Release

Co-op City, N.Y. – Last night at the Dreiser Loop Auditorium in Co-op City, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-The Bronx, Queens) hosted the Tenth Annual Black History Month commemoration for the 7th Congressional District. With over 500 in attendance, the event featured Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri as the keynote speaker and honored three outstanding community leaders, Gay G. Brown, William Gordon, and Dwayne Jenkins.

“I have never been prouder to celebrate the achievements and progress in black history than I am today” said Congressman Crowley. “The inauguration of President Barack Obama marked the start of a bold new frontier – not only for black history, but for our country.  I am honored my friend and colleague, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, could join us this year as we celebrate our past, honor the leaders of the present, and look with great hope toward the future.”

Guests were treated to remarks by special guest and keynote speaker, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-5th), a dedicated public servant and a life-long champion for the rights of the underserved and disenfranchised.  A civil rights activist and founder of the Kansas City branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Congressman Cleaver was elected to the Kansas City Council in 1979 and eventually to the city’s highest office, becoming the first African American Mayor of Kansas City in 1991. In 2004, Congressman Cleaver was elected to the United States House of Representatives and serves on the Committee on Financial Services and the Speaker’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Congressman Crowley continued, “Congressman Cleaver has fought his entire life for justice and civil rights, and his personal history and his remarks last night inspired us all to live up to our promise and work to improve our community.  We also honored three members of the 7th Congressional District who have demonstrated a tireless determination to improving their community and the lives of their neighbors in the Bronx and Queens.  Gay Brown, Bill Gordon and Dwayne Jenkins are true leaders whose work and achievements we proudly celebrate.”

The evening’s honorees, Gay Brown, Bill Gordon, and Dwayne Jenkins have a lifetime of service in the community:

·    Gay G. Brown, proud wife, mother, and grandmother, has worked with JASA in Co-op City, NY for over three years. As a site-manager she has dedicated her time to inspiring seniors to think optimistically about life and life’s challenges.

·    Bill Gordon is a retired Command Sergeant Major, United States Army and Retired Superintendent of the NYC Transit Subway Signal Division. An active member of the community since January 2000, he is currently the President of the Building 45 Cooperators Association, Finance Office for the American Legion Post 1871 and the Treasurer of Cooperators United.

·    Dwayne Jenkins, the President of the Throggs Neck Houses Resident Council, has initiated several programs geared toward children and teens which foster inter-cultural dialogue and community engagement. A resident of the Throggs Neck community for over 35 years, Mr. Jenkins plans to continue a life of public service. 

Congressman Crowley is currently serving his 6th term representing New York’s 7th Congressional District, the most ethnically diverse community in the United States, and has hosted the Annual Black History Month event since 1999. As the Chief Deputy Whip, Congressman Crowley is the highest-ranking New York member in the leadership of the House Democratic Caucus and sits on the prestigious House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.