Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, announced last Thursday that the legislation honoring Owens was signed into law. The bill was introduced in Congress in March.
The post office at 1234 Saint Johns Place in Crown Heights will now have a new name.
“Congressman Owens, a dedicated and lifelong public servant, helped to improve the lives of New Yorkers and Americans across the nation by fiercely advocating for education, gun control and equal rights,” Clarke said. “This is just one way we can pay tribute to Owens’ life and living legacy.”
Owens was first elected to the State Assembly, serving from 1975 to 1982. He then succeeded trailblazing lawmaker Shirley Chisholm in New York’s 11th Congressional District.
Owens retired in 2007, and was succeeded by Clarke. He died in October 2013 from heart failure.
Prior to elected office, Owens served as a community coordinator at the Brooklyn Public Library, vice president of the Metropolitan Council of Housing, and executive director of the Brownsville Community Council.
He was also the former director of the community media library program at Columbia University and chairman of the Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Schumer recalled that as a librarian, Owens advocated for children and families to have equal access to educational resources. The former congressman also helped pass the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
“Brooklynites like myself will never forget Rep. Major Owens’s tireless leadership, ability to deliver for his district, goodhearted nature and commitment to the all-American value of equality,” Schumer said.