2018-08-01 / Front Page

Unveiling Ivan Lafayette Way


Bertine Lafayette and Council Member Daniel Dromm (holding twine), unveil NYS Ivan Lafayette Way on the northwest corner of 92nd Street and 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens. They are joined by members of the Lafayette family. Bertine Lafayette and Council Member Daniel Dromm (holding twine), unveil NYS Ivan Lafayette Way on the northwest corner of 92nd Street and 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens. They are joined by members of the Lafayette family. On Sunday, July 29, New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst) gathered with a host of elected officials, community leaders, and dozens of Jackson Heights residents to celebrate the co-naming of 92nd Street between 34th Avenue and Northern Boulevard as NYS Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette Way.

Dromm passed legislation in the New York City Council to co-name the street after Ivan C. Lafayette, a beloved civic leader and elected official who left an indelible mark on the community he served. Local officials and residents paid tribute to Lafayette's life and legacy at the event. Those in attendance included Dromm, Lafayette's wife Bertine Lafayette, his successor Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, Lafayette's long-time chief of staff Maureen Allen, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, State Senator Jose Peralta, Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry, NY State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Raffaele, NY State Supreme Court Justice Rudolph Greco, and NY State Supreme Court Judge Carmen Velasquez.


Bertine Lafayette and Council Member Daniel Dromm (center) pose with street sign with other members of the Lafayette family and local elected officials including Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry, State Senator Jose Peralta and State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, at the NYS Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette Way street co-naming ceremony on 92nd Street between 34th Avenue and Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, Queens. Bertine Lafayette and Council Member Daniel Dromm (center) pose with street sign with other members of the Lafayette family and local elected officials including Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry, State Senator Jose Peralta and State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, at the NYS Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette Way street co-naming ceremony on 92nd Street between 34th Avenue and Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, Queens. After the speaking portion of the ceremony, Dromm lead the attendees in singing "Happy Birthday" as the event was held on what would have been Lafayette's 88th birthday. The event concluded with Dromm, the Lafayette family and others unveiling the NYS Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette Way street sign on the northwest corner of 92nd Street and 34th Avenue.

"I am pleased to co-name this street after Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette, a remarkable man who loved the community he represented in Albany for so many years.

"Lafayette was a great leader whose work had a tremendous impact on the community. He will forever be remembered as someone who had many schools built in the neighborhood when others thought it was impossible to do. Assemblyman Lafayette was an extraordinary public servant. We owe him a debt of gratitude for all he has done: from his military service and civic engagement to his work as a state legislator. He may be gone from this earth, but his legacy lives on," said Council Member Dromm.

"This street co-naming is such an honor and so special since it was dedicated on what would have been Ivan's 88th birthday," said Bertine Lafayette, who was married to the late Assemblyman for over six decades. "He was truly Mr. Jackson Heights and was beloved by his constituents. Jackson Heights is a better place because of all he accomplished while in the legislature.

We thank Council Member Daniel Dromm for making this possible."

Lafayette was elected to the New York State Assembly in November 1976 where he served the people of the 34th Assembly District (Jackson Heights and Woodside) until his retirement in 2008. Lafayette served as Deputy Speaker of the NYS Assembly and was the Dean of the Queens Delegation. Lafayette also served as Speaker Pro Tempore, Majority Whip and Chairman of the NYS Assembly’s Committee on Standing Committees. Prior to those positions he was the Chairman of the Assembly's Majority Steering Committee.

"Ivan was a fighter for Queens," said NY State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing). "Serving over three decades in the Assembly, he always wanted to ensure New Yorkers were treated fairly. Bertine and Ivan were more than political allies. We were friends and I am delighted that the Lafayette family is being honored today. I want to thank Council Member Dromm for recognizing Assemblyman Lafayette, especially at this place, where his office served a generation of constituents."

"Ivan Lafayette's mantra was: 'it's all about service to your community,' and Ivan cared deeply for his," said NY State Assembly Member Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights). "He worked diligently on legislation that would be helpful to his constituents and district. Ivan Lafayette was a friend and mentor to me and a lot of others. He is greatly missed."

"Ivan Lafayette devoted his time, energy and life to his constituents," said Democratic District Leader Maureen Allen, who served as Lafayette's chief of staff for several decades. "For over 32 years he served his 34th Assembly District in a most honorable and dignified manner. It was an honor and privilege to serve as his chief of staff for all of those years. This symbol— the co-naming of this corner—is well deserved and now, and in the future, everyone will forever remember Ivan."

Lafayette was born in Monticello, Sullivan County, New York. He attended public schools in Brooklyn and Brooklyn College. He served in the U.S. Army from December 1952 until December 1954.

Throughout his career, the assemblyman sponsored hundreds of Assembly bills that are now New York state laws. Particularly noteworthy are the nationally acclaimed Truth in Testing Law for college applicants as well as his Uninsured Motorists Law which creates penalties for driving without insurance.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.