Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Nydia M Velázquez (D-NY)
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) issued the following statement following the passing of Roberto Napoleon, who served as the Lower East Side’s Baruch Houses Resident Association president of over 50 years:
“The Lower East Side has lost a giant in Roberto Napoleon. Arriving to the neighborhood from Puerto Rico when he was just fourteen years old, Roberto spent his life advocating for his fellow tenants, neighbors, and community.
“Finding a growing Latino community on the Lower East Side, he fought to expand community services and public safety measures to promote an enriching and safe neighborhood for working families.”
“As the longtime President of the Baruch Houses Resident Association, Roberto gave voice to the needs of tenants, working to answer and advocate for the calls and concerns of each and every resident.
“Roberto never lost sight of his ties to the Island and was instrumental in bringing the history and spirit of Puerto Rico to the City. He served as President and General Coordinator of the first Puerto Rican Folklore Festival in Central Park and helped to coordinate the First Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.
“His passing is felt by so many in our community, including all the tenants who will remember him as a leader and a friend. My heart goes out to his five children, Camille, Joann, Gilberto, Roberto Napoleon Jr., and Magda Ferrer; eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.”