El Barrio/East Harlem – Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito joined the Vito Marcantonio Forum, relatives of Vito Marcantonio, and East Harlem residents at the official co-naming ceremony of the “Lucky Corner” at the northeast corner of East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue.
East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue became known as the “Lucky Corner” because Vito Marcantonio often held rallies at this location and went on to win elected office.
“Vito Marcantonio was a beacon of hope and progress for thousands of New Yorkers who he represented. The Lucky Corner, where he held many of his rallies, gave the people of East Harlem a sense of solidarity, and the conviction to send to Washington candidates who would serve the people,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “In addition to Marcantonio, this corner has launched many careers – including my own. I am proud to co-name this street in Vito Marcantonio’s memory today.”
The Vito Marcantonio Forum is a cultural historical community based organization that brings together people, from a wide variety of backgrounds, dedicated to disseminating and sharing knowledge of the life and work of Vito Marcantonio (1902 – 1954). Marcantonio, who served as Congressman from East Harlem for fourteen years (1934 – 1936, 1938 – 1950), organized a powerful political coalition of that community’s Italian-American, Puerto Rican, and African-American residents. Marcantonio’s dedication to his beloved East Harlem, a working-class community where he spent his entire life, continues to inspire his admirers.
“The Vito Marcantonio Forum has been working toward educating, and perpetuating the legend of Congressman Vito Marcantonio,” said Maria Lisella, Vice President and co-founder of the Vito Marcantonio Forum. “The naming of the street could not come at a more appropriate time in the country’s history. As the rights of immigrants, the poor, and social services are being challenged, we hope the reminder of Congressman Vito Marcantonio will inspire people and politicians to model themselves on his example.”