PASSING OF SHIRLEY RODRIGUEZ REMENESKI; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 24
(Extensions of Remarks - February 07, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E144-E145]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                        HON. NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, February 7, 2019

  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Madam Speaker, I rise to honor my friend, Shirley 
Rodriguez Remeneski, a dear friend and fellow New Yorker who passed 
last week. Shirley was an inspiration to all of us, a trailblazer and a 
leader. To me, she was a friend. Her passion was for people and 
community and her rich career encapsulates those values.
  In 1965, she created and directed the first Social Services Unit in 
the Bronx Borough President's Office under the leadership of Herman 
Badillo and, later, Robert Abrams. Six years later, she became the 
District Administrator for then-Congressman Herman Badillo, serving as 
a vital bridge between New York City and Washington, D.C.
  Shirley's next step was in the Koch Administration, working as 
Assistant Deputy Mayor for affirmative action, intergovernmental 
relations, and community development in South Bronx, Harlem and other 
underdeveloped areas in New York City.
  When President Carter visited South Bronx, calling it the nation's 
disgrace, Shirley became the Legislative Coordinator for the South 
Bronx Development Organization. In that role, she secured funding for 
vital programs like Bathgate Industrial Park and the Charlotte Gardens 
Housing Development Project. She helped to create the South Bronx Job 
Corps Center, and other land revitalization projects. By helping South 
Bronx become an Empowerment Zone, she channeled needed business 
development and economic opportunity to the area.
  Later, as Executive Director of Governor Mario Cuomo's Office for 
Hispanic Affairs she initiated the Puerto Rico Exchange of Officials 
Program to enhance governmental services to Puerto Ricans on the island 
and in New York state. In 2002, Governor Pataki appointed her Senior 
Vice President at the Empire State Development Corporation's Economic 
Development Division.
  While Shirley's professional accomplishments are impressive, to me 
she was so much

[[Page E145]]

more. For 35 years she was one of my closest friends. We traveled 
together and Shirley's love for people always shined through wherever 
we went. She loved entertaining and her house became a gathering place 
for all the women she had mentored and empowered. No one could throw a 
party like Shirley and I'll remember many nights of food, drink and, 
most of all, lots of laughs and warm company in her home. She truly 
meant the phrase Your house is my house (Su Casa es mi Casa). She 
always said she adored my Tina Turner impression. I'll do it again for 
Shirley when I next see her.
  I'll miss my dear friend, Shirley Rodriguez Remeneski. Her soul was 
infused with a passion for improving her community, for serving others 
and for strengthening New York. In every position she served, she 
brought a tireless commitment to positive change and an infectious 
energy that made those around her feel no obstacle was insurmountable. 
I send my prayers and thoughts to Shirley's family. May they take 
comfort in knowing our community mourns with them and that our city 
will continue paying homage to her myriad contributions.