Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo on Sunday, May 14 co-named Clinton Avenue between Myrtle Avenue and Willoughby Avenue as Carey Gabay Way in honor of the former first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation, who lost his life last year hours before the J’Ouvert festival. Last Sunday, he would have turned 44.
“My thoughts and prayers remain with the family of Carey Gabay,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Gabay would have turned 44 today, and I’m sure he would have continued serving the interests of all New Yorkers if he was still with us. He was raised in public housing, attended public schools and rose to the top after graduating summa cum laude from Harvard Law School. Gabay went on to serve the State where he promoted affordable housing and fought against job discrimination. It’s safe to say Gabay epitomized the American Dream — a dream his Jamaican parents were in pursuit of when they immigrated to America. Now, when people look up at Carey Gabay Way, they will be inspired by and reminded of the great public servant who put the needs of working-class New Yorkers ahead of his own.”
“Carey Gabay was an exemplary public servant who dedicated his life to the city he loved,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Carey Gabay Way will serve as a lasting testament to Carey’s enduring spirit and will inspire future generations of New Yorkers to pursue the promise of the American dream. As we mark Carey’s 44th birthday, I join Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Council Member Laurie Cumbo, the Mayor, my colleagues in government and Carey’s loved ones in honoring Carey’s life and the lasting legacy he left on our city.”
“From public housing to public service, Carey Gabay embodied the American spirit and was a pillar of his community. Carey Gabay Way is a testament of his incredible contributions to the city and state of New York. Today, on what would have been his 44th birthday, we remember Gabay not only as an upstanding citizen, but as a hero in his own right who inspired others to pursue the American dream. In honor of his life and legacy, we remain steadfast in our commitment to end gun violence,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
Carey Gabay epitomized the American Dream being the son of Jamaican immigrants and growing up in public housing in the Bronx. Gabay attended New York City public schools through high school before graduating from Harvard University and Harvard Law School summa cum laude. While at Harvard, Gabay studied government and, during his senior year, was elected as the first black president of the Undergraduate Council, the main body of student government.
He started off his career practicing law in the private sector for several years before dedicating himself to public service. Gabay served as an assistant counsel to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and most recently as first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation, the state’s chief economic development agency.
Gabay was critically wounded while seeking cover after being caught in the crossfire between rival gangs in Brooklyn, hours before the start of the J’Ouvert festival in 2015. He is survived by his wife Trenelle Gabay; brother Aaron McNaughton; sisters Crystal Gabay-Nurse and Stephanie Gabay-Smith; his mother Audrey Hylton; father Nerval Gabay; and step father Rupert McNaughton.
“Carey Gabay was a dedicated public servant who epitomized the spirit of what it means to be a New Yorker. Today, on what would have been his 44th birthday, we rename this street so that his contributions to our city and state will never be forgotten. The senseless violence that took Carey’s life is unforgivable, and my thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family and loved ones,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.
“Carey Gabay lives on in the hearts and minds of all Brooklynites, his legacy of public service and commitment to excellence is a shining beacon for every person striving to achieve more for their community. The work to honor his memory goes beyond the co-naming of a street; it continues as we pursue efforts to end senseless gun violence, uplift every immigrant, and ensure safe, affordable housing for each and every New Yorker,” said Borough President Eric Adams.