BY JON CRONIN
Following the death of tireless Woodhaven community advocate Maria Thomson, Community Board 9 has voted unanimously to erect a co-naming sign in her honor at the corner of Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue.
The corner is a fitting tribute to the late executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, as it is the site where she hosted the Woodhaven winter festival and annual tree lighting.
Raj Rampershad, the chairman of CB 9, said that the board sent a letter to Council members Erich Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Robert Holden (D-Glendale), encouraging them to support the initiative.
So far, the board has heard back from Ulrich, who will sponsor the legislation in the Council. Rampershad said that the Council only entertains co-naming requests a few times each year and does not know when the legislation will be introduced.
“Maria Thomson was the embodiment of community service and was the staunchest advocate for Woodhaven,” Ulrich told the Queens Tribune. “Those of us who have been fortunate enough to work with Maria know that she had a heart of gold. She was a legend, having dedicated decades of her life to the betterment of the community and the borough. I am proud to sponsor legislation to co-name a portion of Jamaica Avenue in Maria’s honor, so that her legacy may live on forever.”
Ulrich’s office noted that the legislation request for the street re-naming was put in on Jan. 12.
“I’m sure they’re going to push strongly for it,” Rampershad said after CB 9’s recent meeting.
Rampershad said that local leaders were shocked to hear of Thomson’s death.
“She always tried to make it to every meeting, despite her health problems,” he said. “She loved her community and helping others.”
He pointed out that Thomson was “always persistent” on reaching out to elected officials to make sure that they were staying on top of the issues that were most important to Woodhaven residents.
“You could always see her passion for the community,” Rampershad said.
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-721-5921, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin.