Former Congressman Rev. Flake Honored in Street Co-Naming

The section of Merrick Blvd co-named for former Congressman Rev. Floyd Flake on October 3, 2020. (Photo by Emil Cohen)

Southeast Queens community leaders, elected officials and members of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral gathered on Saturday for a street co-naming in celebration of the legacy of former Congressman Reverend Floyd H. Flake.

The section of Merrick Boulevard between Jamaica Avenue and the Cross Island Expressway was co-named Floyd H. Flake Boulevard in honor of the religious leader and former congressman. 

Rev. Floyd Flake and his wife Rev. Dr. Elaine M. Flake at the street co-naming in his honor. (Photo by Emil Cohen)

“Reverend Floyd H. Flake’s contributions to the Southeast Queens are immeasurable, and it is our absolute pleasure and privilege to have introduced the law making this street co-naming a reality,” said City Councilmember I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, and Springfield Gardens), who spearheaded the co-naming effort. “It is only right that his life and legacy are enshrined in the community he dutifully uplifted for so many years.” 

Flake was elected to Congress in 1986. During his 11 years in office he secured millions in federal funding for his community, including for the Jamaica Business Resource Center. He sponsored legislation for an expansion of the John F. Kennedy Airport and building the JFK Airtrain. He also authored the Bank Enterprise Act provision of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994 which incentivized banks to lend to low-income communities. 

Alongside his wife, Reverend Elaine Flake, Flake has led the Cathedral for decades. It became the second-largest black church in New York City under their leadership. According to its website, it currently has 23,000 members 

“My family and I are deeply appreciative that this honor is being bestowed upon our hero and patriarch,” said Rev. Dr. Elaine M. Flake. “Through the years, we have watched him serve his church and community with zeal and intentionality.”

Councilmember Barry S. Grodenchik (D-Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) said that Flake’s work has affected many in the city. 

“Reverend Floyd H. Flake has been one of the most dynamic and extraordinary leaders in the history of not only southeast Queens but the entire borough and city,” said Councilmember Grodenchik. “I am proud to call him a friend.”

Flake is an inspiration, said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

The street co-naming celebration in honor of Rev. Floyd Flake. (Photo by Emil Cohen)

“Those of us who grew up in public service to the Queens community have for many years seen him as a role model,” said Katz. “I am honored to be part of this wonderful tribute.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio thanked Reverend Flake for his work for the years.

“On behalf of over 8 million New Yorkers, Pastor Flake I say, thank you,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Thank you for all you have done for all of us.” 

He went on to say that people like Flake, with their hard work and dedication, are hard to find. 

“Whether it is in the field of faith or education or affordable housing or serving our seniors or fighting in the halls of Congress,” said the mayor. “Wherever he went, he did it well, and he still does it well.”

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