Albanian community upset over cancellation of prominent figure’s street naming ceremony
The Albanian community protested in Morris Park on Saturday after saying a street naming ceremony planned for months had been put on hold.
The intersection of Tenbroek and Morris Park Avenues was to be renamed Fan Noli Way, a Harvard graduate who was once Albania’s prime minister and founded the Albanian Orthodox Church.
More than 100 Albanians, elected officials and neighbors came to express their disappointment that the naming of the streets did not take place. They say the day was extremely important as hundreds of members of Vatra, an advocacy group for Albanian Americans, flew in for its national convention.
Organizers said the city council approved the street name last December, but they say council member Marjorie Velazquez did not submit a form to the New York City Department of Transportation to rename it. officially the street.
Former Council member Mark Gjonaj called it an act of pettiness. He and his fellow Albanians said they faced discrimination.
The Albanian community is now signing a petition for the street to be officially renamed within the next few months.
News 12 reached out to Velazquez’s office to inquire about the status of the name change. She assured that she did not intentionally block it. In a statement, she said, “This street co-designation has never been blocked, and I have worked with the DOT on this co-designation and the former board member is very knowledgeable about street co-designations. which I have always taken the time to schedule. We coordinated an appointment with the president of Vatra Elmi Berisha, to celebrate not only Fan Noli, but also the church and the culture that he loved so much.”