Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced new legislation to rename the U.S. Post Office at 1234 Saint Johns Place in Brooklyn, New York, after former U.S. Representative Major Owens. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke with the full support of the New York delegation.
“Brooklynites, like myself, will never forget Rep. Major Owens’s tireless leadership, ability to deliver for his district, goodhearted nature and commitment to the all-American value of equality,” said Senator Schumer. “As a trained librarian, Rep. Owens was a leading advocate for the public library system as a whole and did everything in his power to make sure children and families had equal access to important educational resources. Rep. Owens also helped lead the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to passage. I can think of no better way to honor the legacy of my dear friend, Rep. Major Owens, than to name this Brooklyn post office in his honor.”
“Congressman Major Owens was a tireless leader and fighter throughout his distinguished career,” said Senator Gillibrand. “His role as a community activist, his successes as an advocate for equal rights and education, and his dedication to public service improved the lives of countless New Yorkers and people throughout the country. This honor will be a fitting tribute to his many years of service.”
“It was in our beloved Brooklyn, that Major Robert Odell Owens began his storied career. He was a librarian, a community activist, a Congressman, and a trailblazer,” said U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke. “Congressman Owens spent over two decades selflessly serving the people of Brooklyn. His lifetime of public service and unwavering commitment to working families embodies the very best of the American spirit and ideals and I was proud to call him my Congressman. He deserves this great honor.”
Owens served New Yorkers in public office for 32 years, first serving in the New York State Assembly from 1975 to 1982, and then succeeding Shirley Chisholm as the Representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his time in Congress, Owens was a fierce advocate for education, gun control, and equal rights. Owens retired in 2007.
Prior to his decades in public office, Owens was actively involved in serving the Brooklyn community. He was the community coordinator at the Brooklyn Public Library, chairman of the Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), vice president of the Metropolitan Council of Housing, executive director of the Brownsville Community Council, commissioner of the Community Development Agency in New York City, and director of the Community Media Library Program at Columbia University.
A copy of the legislation can be found here.