Politically Connected Street Co-Naming Reignites Controversy

Hope Reichbach
Hope Reichbach

Community Board 2 this week unexpectedly recommended the co-naming of the corner of Dean and Bond streets in honor of the late Hope Reichbach, an aide for City Councilman Stephen Levin and daughter of a prominent Brooklyn judge.

Reichbach died of a drug overdose in 2011 at the age of 22. The renaming came after the board tabled the proposal last month at the request of the family amid KCP’s revelations about her cause of death.

The vote came about towards the end of the meeting when CB 2 Member Sidney Meyer , a neighbor of Reichbach, moved the matter be untabled, and after some discussion, the board — which covers areas of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene — voted 21 in favor, 3 against with 15 abstentions.

Cecil and Beatrice Colleymore
Cecil and Beatrice Collymore

The co-naming comes two months after CB 2 rejected the co-naming of a section of Putnam Street in Clinton Hill for Cecil A. Collymore, a local African-American businessman originally from Barbados who invested in the community when few people were willing to open new businesses because of the area’s problems with drugs, prostitution and violence.

This drew condemnation from Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, and others about the lack of diversity in street co-naming.

Neither Levin or Cumbo, responded to KCP questions about the Reichbach co-naming, but credible sources say that Cumbo is expected to bypass CB 2 and move in the City Council  that Putnam Street be co-named for Colleymore.

While community boards can recommend co-naming streets, it is up to the local City Council members’ discretion to formally introduce a proposal before the full City Council, where it almost always gets passed.