City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, along with Black Latino and Asian Caucus (BLAC), led the City Council Tuesday in unveiling a plaque in memory of the late Fort Greene City Councilman James E. Davis at City Hall.
Davis was slain on July 23, 2003 while at work in City Hall by a deranged gunman. The plaque, which is in honor of Davis’ April 3, birthday will appear in the James E. Davis Memorial Members Lounge.
Davis, born and raised in Brooklyn and a former New York City Policeman was inspirational as both an independent politician, and along with his brother Geoffrey, was the co-founder of the Love Yourself Stop the Violence Foundation, which had grown into a national movement.
“This is huge that my brother’s legacy continues to live on 13 years later,” said Geoffrey Davis, who is the 43rd Assembly Democratic District Leader. “There are countless Stop The Violence organizations that have emerged since his death and we’re very happy about that. I’m also pleased with the City Council for coming together and honoring him. It shows the strength of this great city and how its appreciates one’s contribution to making the city of New York and the country a better place to live.”
While the event, including friends and family of the late City Council member, celebrated his memory and accomplishments, one piece of unfinished business is commissioning a portrait of James E. Davis to hang in the members lounge named in his honor. Currently, there is one portrait in the room and that is of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr..
“We really feel there should be a portrait of him there as the Members Lounge is called the James E. Davis Lounge. It makes sense to honor his legacy, commitment and sacrifice to the city, and the James E. Davis Stop Violence Foundation is still transforming and saving lives” said Brownsville City Council Member Darlene Mealy.
Mealy said she understands there should also be a place for Vallone Sr. as there should be place for portraits of all the City Council Speakers, but just not in the lounge named for Davis. Additionally, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo has found a portrait artist that is accepted by the family to commission the portrait, she said.
Mealy said the only thing now is to come up with the $10,000 cost to cover the portrait. The BLAC is pretty much in agreement on commissioning the portrait, she said.
BLAC Co-Chair Robert Cornegy Jr., however, played it close to the vest when asked about the portrait.
“The entire membership of the BLAC, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, were united in determining that the space devoted to memorializing our brother, James E. Davis, should be appropriately prominent and dignified, as befits his record of public service and tremendous sacrifice. As a new BLAC co-chair, I’m pleased to have been able to make this change for this institution and for the Davis family,” Cornegy said.