In a political lovefest at the Eileen C. Dugan Senior Center in Carroll Gardens on Monday, officials and community members honored former Assemblymember Joan Millman for her 17 years of service in the New York State Assembly’s 52nd District with a state Senate resolution and a shower of proclamations.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron said that Millman “was a lifeline in our community, deeply involved, and great partner in government. Whether it was fighting for senior and youth issues in Albany, or helping get a flu shot back in the neighborhood, Joan looked out for our local community and vulnerable populations statewide.”
Squadron noted that there was “no political benefit” to showing up on a busy Monday for the ceremony, yet almost every political Who’s Who in the district – and many from out of district — was there to honor Millman.
The list included Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (52nd AD), Councilmember Stephen Levin, Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman, Community Board 2 District Manager Robert Perris and Oscar Jonas, community liaison for state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery. Carroll Gardens civic leader and small businessman Buddy Scotto was also in the crowd at the senior center, along with dozens of seniors.
Squadron introduced a state Senate resolution honoring Millman, which passed unanimously this June. Among her other accomplishments, the resolution noted the former Assemblymember’s strong presence in the district, commitment to senior and education issues, and role as the Eileen C. Dugan Senior Center’s biggest cheerleader.
“Joan Millman has been a steadfast and dedicated champion of seniors, children and the most vulnerable among us. Among her many achievements, she has been critical to making Brooklyn Bridge Park a reality. Her tireless efforts over the last 17 years on behalf of all Brooklyn residents are an inspiration to all of us in public service and I salute her,” said Velázquez.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer called Millman a “one of a kind — a friend, a colleague and a fierce advocate for the people of Brooklyn. During her 17 years of service in the New York State Assembly, her hard work, dedication, and commitment earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues in government, and the gratitude of the communities she served.”
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon expressed her gratitude for all of the support Millman gave her over the years. “Joan is always there to help you do a better job. This was true with the young people she mentored, true with other elected official and true with me.”
She added, “Joan led by example, with heart and head, advocating for our children, our seniors and people with disabilities – always engaged and working to improve the lives of those around her. I could not have had a better or more noble mentor and friend.”
Community Board 6’s Hammerman recalled that Millman was willing to get arrested in the fight to keep the firehouse open on DeGraw Street.
“She was willing to stand up to police, and to the bigots who didn’t want a domestic violence shelter on Clinton Street,” he said. “She put her actions behind her words.”
“Joan’s legacy is truly an inspiration to all of us who have chosen a career in public service,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin. He said he admired Millman’s compassion, integrity and toughness.
“She was a fierce advocate for the 52nd District,” he said.
Millman told the crowd that it was “nice to hear these nice things while I’m still alive.” She thanked the seniors gathered for the event for making the 52nd District “one of the highest voting districts in New York State.”
Millman said that officials in the 52nd District “always work very closely together. That’s what makes the voice of the district strong. If you’re talking to me, I’m talking to Squadron and Squadron’s talking to Levin and Lander. We respect each other’s differences.
“If we could take that message back to Washington it could make a difference,” she added.