New York City Council Names Streets Recognizing Contributions Of South Asians

New York City Council passed a resolution renaming some 129 thoroughfares and public places Feb. 2, 2023. Among them is the historic renaming in Queens for at least three streets recognizing the contributions of South Asian communities including Sikhs, Bengalis, and Caribbean Americans.

Indian-American leaders of the Sikh community had been lobbying for ‘Guru Nanak Way’ for at least a year, according to community activist and Co Founder & President of South Asians for Global Empowerment, Harpreet Singh Toor. Toor told Desi Talk he worked along with other activists like Rajwinder Kaur to make the co-naming a reality. The ceremony for formalizing the co-naming will take place at a future date.

“Congratulations to all the world community in general and Punjabi and Sikh Community in particular for successfully getting the Street in front of the Sikh Cultural Society co-named as Guru Nanak Way,” Toor said in an email he sent out. Toor is a former president and chairman of the Sikh Cultural Society of Richmond Hill.

The sign will be installed on the North East corner of Punjab Ave/101st Ave in South Richmond Hill, Toor said. “First Punjab Ave, then Gurdwara Street and now Guru Nanak Way,” Toor rejoiced.

The resolution, Int 0897-2023, had 41 co-sponsors, and included at least 3 roads named for the South Asian community. Apart from Guru Nanak Way, there is also the Trinidad and Tobago Street and the Little Bangladesh Way, all three in the Borough of Queens.

An excerpt from the resolution reads as follows – A Local Law in relation to the naming of 129 thoroughfares and public places, Allama Iqbal Avenue, Borough of Queens, Cecelia Owens Cox Way, Borough of Queens, Clifford Glover Road, Borough of Queens, Guru Nanak Way, Borough of Queens, Carmichael Way, Borough of Queens, S.W.A.M. Way, Borough of Queens, Trinidad and Tobago Street, Borough of Queens, Rafael “Monkey” Delgado Way, Borough of Manhattan, Agripina N??ez Way, Borough of Manhattan, Tom Demott Way, Borough of Manhattan, Valentina’s Way, Borough of Queens, Joseph “JoJo” DeToma, Jr. Way, Borough of Queens, Timothy Klein Way, Borough of Queens, Little Bangladesh Way, Borough of Queens. …

“My Special thanks to NYC Council Speaker, Adrienne Adams who got the ball rolling for getting this done,” Toor said, adding, “My thanks to Community Board 9 for unanimously voting to approve under the leadership of Chair Sherry Algredo and Faiuze Ali, Transportation Chair for writing a very good resolution endorsing the Street co- naming.”

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