Caribbean American New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Friday paid tribute on former Council Member and District Leader Archie Spigner, who died on Oct. 29 in Queens. He was 92.
“The Queens community, and the entire city, have lost an iconic leader with the passing of former Council Member and District Leader Archie Spigner,” Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, told Caribbean Life. “I offer my prayers of peace, comfort and condolence to his family and community.
“As the first Black man elected to the City Council from Queens, he served as both a groundbreaking leader in his own right and a driver of progress for Black leaders to come who benefitted from his guidance and example,” he added. “He was a trailblazer who became a mentor, a pioneer who became a steward, and his dedication to the people of Queens was enduring and absolute across his decades of service.
“I am honored to have been able to get to know him, and to have chaired the Housing and Buildings Committee over which he presided for years,” Williams continued. “The Dean’s impact will long continue on the people of our city and Southeast Queens in particular, on generations of leaders he inspired and empowered, and on all those who were lucky enough to have his presence in our lives.”
Adams said he was “truly sorry for the loss of my close friend Archie Spigner, the ‘Dean of Southeast Queens.’
“He was the consummate organizer and a distinguished public servant, a man who was instrumental in advancing the welfare of our city’s Black community and uplifting its leaders into roles that made change possible.,” he said.
“Archie was a respected advisor to me for many years, dating back to my years in 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care,” Adams added. “On behalf of Deputy Borough President Chaplain Lewis-Martin and our entire borough, my heart goes out to his wife Leslie and the entire Spigner family.”
Councilman Donovan Richards, the Democratic representative for the 31st District and Democratic nominee for Queens Borough President in Tuesday’s general elections, said Southeast Queens lost “a trailblazer and a giant.”
“Archie Spigner paved the way for Black leadership in Queens and beyond,” said Richards, whose district includes portions of Arverne, Bayswater, Broad Channel, Cambria Heights, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Howard Beach, Jamaica, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Laurelton, Rockaway Beach, Rosedale, South Ozone Park and Springfield Gardens.
“He never forgot where he came from, and continued to advocate for our community till the end,” he added about Spigner. “He understood the significance of building institutions and political power for the betterment of our community.
“Future generations will never truly understand the sacrifice and significance of his contributions. May we ensure they never forget!” Richards continued. “Archie, I will miss the mentorship, laughs, frankness, and times we shared like so many of my colleagues in government and beyond.
“As I reflect on my journey, I know it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for your tenacity to push us all towards greatness,” he said. “Thank you, Sir. The work you started continues.”