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Fresh Meadows intersection co-named in honor of late community leader Sylvia Weprin

Aug. 1, 2023 By Bill Parry

The late matriarch of a Queens political dynasty was honored Sunday, July 30, during a street co-naming celebration in Fresh Meadows.

State and city officials gathered at the northeast corner of 192nd Street and 67th Avenue to unveil Sylvia Weprin Way, just around the corner from Saul Weprin Street, named for her husband who served as New York State Assembly speaker from 1991 until he died in 1994 at age 66.

Photo courtesy of Weprin’s office

Sylvia Weprin passed away last October at age 92, having emigrated from Cuba to the United States when she was 8 years old in 1938. After graduating from Brooklyn College, she became a teacher and taught biology and chemistry in English and Spanish and Hebrew for three decades at Jamaica, Long Island City and Hillcrest high schools, while raising the couple’s three sons, David, Mark and Barry. She retired from teaching in 1991 to join her husband in Albany where she became a popular figure on both sides of the aisle in the state Legislature.

Photo courtesy of Weprin’s office

“It is particularly appropriate that Sylvia Weprin Way is right around the corner from Saul Weprin Street,” Assemblyman David Weprin said. “Our father Saul would not have wanted a street named after him, but my mother certainly would have. As I stated at the funeral — my mother enjoyed the limelight and being the center of attention and I’m sure she’s looking down now and waving to everyone on Sylvia Weprin Way.”

The crowd included U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Attorney General Letitia James, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoili, who she referred to as her fourth son, after often serving as her escort to political events after the speaker passed away.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Borough President Donovan Richards joins community.Photo courtesy of Weprin’s office

Following his death, she became more active in civic life serving on the boards of the Queens Botanical Garden and the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Community Board 8, the Saul Weprin Democratic Club and the Bridge to Medicine Program with CUNY Medical School.

The co-naming event was emceed by Anthony Lemma, president of the Saul Weprin Democratic Club, and sponsored by Councilwoman Linda Lee.

“I am honored to co-name the intersection of 67th Avenue and 192nd Street in honor of Sylvia Weprin, a pillar of our Eastern Queens community,” Lee said. “Sylvia’s counsel and mentorship shaped the neighborhoods around us and cultivated generations to serve and lead in our city’s cultural, civic and political life. I hope this co-naming serves as a monument to her legacy and helps inspire generations to come.”

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