Two Brooklyn lawmakers are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill renaming two subway stations in Central Brooklyn in honor of Medgar Evers College.
The measure has passed both houses of the State Legislature and could become law with the governor’s approval.
The bill would order the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to append the local college’s name to both the Franklin Avenue and President Street stops, making their new names “Franklin Avenue – Medgar Evers College” and “President Street – Medgar Evers College.”
“Renaming the Franklin and President subway stations to recognize Medgar Evers College would literally put one of our community’s most cherished institutions on the map,” said Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-20).
“This community has asked for these ‘renamings’, and their elected representatives have heeded their call by passing S3439A/A1512 in both houses of the Legislature,” he added. “We now call on the governor to sign this bill without delay.”
Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson, who represents the 43rd Assembly District, said: “Though it is one of the youngest CUNY (City University of New York) schools, Medgar Evers College represents a proud tradition of academic excellence and community activism derived from the great civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
“Its impact on our community cannot be overstated, and renaming of these stations would bring this cherished college and our community the recognition and respect they deserve,” she added.
President of Medgar Evers College, Dr. Rudolph F. Crew, also expressed his support for the bill.
“Medgar Evers College has been an anchor institution and stalwart landmark in the Crown Heights Community since its founding,” he said in a statement. “With the increasing influx of new residents and tourism to Crown Heights and its surrounding institutions, renaming these stations would solidify our school’s place in the community and serve as guidance to future prospective students and visitors.”
Myrie and Richardson said educational institutions throughout the five boroughs have been recognized in MTA “renamings”, including: Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College; Bedford Park Boulevard – Lehman College; 68th Street – Hunter College; 116th Street – Columbia University; and 8th Street – New York University.
“While these colleges’ surrounding communities have enjoyed the recognition of subway ‘renamings’ for years, Medgar Evers College remains unrecognized by the MTA system,” the legislators said.
Medgar Evers was a civil rights leader known for his contributions to ending desegregation and expanding voting rights.
“By serving primarily students of color, Medgar Evers College carries on the legacy of an inspirational leader who gave his life fighting for the rights of African Americans,” Myrie and Richardson said.
“Renaming the subway stops surrounding the college would not only help with wayfinding for the thousands of current and prospective students headed to MEC (Medgar Evers College) but would also serve as a tremendous honor and show respect to the Central Brooklyn community that cherishes it,” they added.