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Local Leaders Want Ed Koch’s Name Stripped From Queensboro Bridge

The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (DOT)

May 4, 2022 By Christian Murray

A significant number of Queens leaders are willing to strip Ed Koch’s name from the Queensboro Bridge, according to the results of a recent questionnaire.

The local leaders—including State Sen. Mike Gianaris, Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani and Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—said they would support a name change when questioned by the Jim Owles LGBT Democratic Club, an influential organization that provides endorsements for candidates.

Other elected officials who would back Koch’s removal include Congressmember Carolyn Maloney and Grace Meng, with Hakeem Jeffries saying he was open to the idea.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos and Assembly Jessica González-Rojas are also in favor of removing the late mayor’s name. So too are Assembly Members David Weprin, Andrew Hevesi and Alicia Hyndman.

Congressmember Tom Suozzi, who represents a portion of eastern Queens and is running for governor, was one of the few New York representatives to fill out the questionnaire and reject the proposal.

The club sent out a lengthy questionnaire to candidates running for office and has posted the responses online.

The club asked a pointed question about the bridge, which showed clear derision for Koch. The premise of the question was also not substantiated.

“In view of the fact that Ed Koch has been documented to have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people with AIDS, and was blatantly racist, would you support a city bill to re-name the former Queensboro Bridge?”

“Do you authorize the use of your name for such a purpose?” the questionnaire adds, referring to whether the pol would be OK with his or her support being made public.

Most respondents answered in the affirmative.

The question was included in the questionnaire by Allen Roskoff, the leader of the club. Roskoff told the NYPost that Koch was a closeted homosexual who didn’t do enough to advance gay civil rights, including during the AIDS crisis, and therefore doesn’t deserve the honor.

The Queens Post was unable to reach Roskoff for comment.

Ed Koch (Photo: Rob C. Croes / Anefo)

The naming of the Ed Koch Bridge was controversial when it was passed by the city council in 2011, at the time of the late mayor’s 86th birthday. It had the backing of Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was looking to replace Bloomberg as mayor and was allegedly seeking favor from the city’s Jewish community.

The renaming, however, irked then councilmember Peter Vallone, who represented Astoria. Vallone said Koch, a Manhattan resident, had limited connections to Queens.

“Mayor Ed Koch is truly a great man and deserving of an honor like this, but renaming a landmark so closely linked to our borough’s culture and history is not appropriate,” he told Queens Post at the time.

Community Board 2, which represents Sunnyside/Long Island City and Woodside, also opposed the renaming at the time arguing that Koch had little to do with Queens. Meanwhile, the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce also gave the renaming the thumbs down.

This time the controversy deals with civil rights, as seen by elected leaders through today’s lens.

The AIDS epidemic was personal to Roskoff who lost his partner Jim Owles, for which the club is named, to the disease.

Council Member Bob Holden was critical of the elected officials for stating they were willing to scrap Koch’s name.

“Ed Koch cared deeply about this city and was the quintessential New Yorker,” Holden told the Queens Post. “It was a difficult time to be mayor. He inherited a terrible mess and had to make tough choices in a fiscal crisis, when there was no way to please everyone. But he did the job. His name should stay. The move to ‘cancel’ him is absurd.”

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37 Comments

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SMH

Lets give this one more try… If this does not get posted, I am really convinced SSP is biased.

People are vilifying Ed Koch, but Juan Ardila who made racist, homophobic and sexist statements not too long ago is getting support for his run in city council by the same groups he offended? The hypocrisy of the left is absolutely stupefying.

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Gardens Watcher

Front page story in today’s NYTimes outs Ed Koch as a closet case (which is not a surprise, much less of any concern, to most New Yorkers anyway). At the end of the lengthy, multi-page article that dishes about his past love life, they briefly mention that “some local gay activists” are looking to overturn the naming of the bridge. One has to wonder (for a nanosecond 🙂 if the timing of this NYT article is connected to denaming effort.

I still call it the Queensborough Bridge. Some call it the 59th Street bridge. But outing a dead man to settle old scores is a bridge too far.

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Grace

Bicycle lanes are nice and safe. View are outstanding! I hope we can rename it after someone Asian like John Liu. Liu was elected to the New York City Council in 2001, representing northeast Queens in the 20th district as its first Asian American member!

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Luke

I feel it a privilege to be crossing this great bridge on foot! I have done it several times now in the last few months to avoid the subway and, I always feel awe in walking over such a magnificent structure. Plus, the view is great, too! Rename it the Queens Queer Bridge!!

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P.S.84

Name bridges and tunnels after the location where they actually are. I seriously doubt the Brooklyn, Manhattan or Williamsburg bridges will ever be renamed. Queensboro Bridge all the way!

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Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC?

Just because of his long racist history?! The boomers are gonna rage about this one 😄

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Kate

People can not judge the past with todays standards. That was a lot of fear back then. The bridge should be named the David Dinkins Bridge. David Dinkins served as the 106th Mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993, becoming the first African American to hold the office.

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Lori P.

Name one thing David Dinkins did to make this city better. He was a one term mayor. That says it all.

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Allow me to retort

Except the fact Dinkins was an atrocious mayor. Just name the bridge after his skin color because that’s all that matters to you.

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Smh

This is a non-story. A LBGTQ club asked these politicians for the name change. Saying no would hurt them getting re-elected!! Of course they are in favor of changing it. Half of these fools probably don’t even know who Ed Koch was.

Cancelling Koch for not doing enough for gays? Why is one group trying to control the narrative in this country? BLM is controlled by gay women who want to destroy the nuclear family, but thats one of the major reasons of the downfall of blacks in this country. Trannies are trying to have the government subsidize gender altering surgery on kids and adults. They are changing the English language with pronouns with their ridiculous identity politics. I have never seen a group shove their agendas down people’s throats more than LGBTQ, and if you don’t like it, you are either a racist, some sort of insert -phobe or both. But the sad thing is, there are sane people in this group. But the media wants ratings so they only popularize extremists to both sides.

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Joan

Many say that those who oppose gays lesbians or trans people are closeted homosexuals. Its self hate. I am proud of my lgbtq neighbors and friends.

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SMH

Wow… that was life changing. Lol.

You should put that in a fortune cookie. I stand corrected. If you are not for them you are either a racist, insert-phobe and a homosexual, yourself. Or all 3!

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Gullible Republicans believe in myths fairytales and conspiracy theories

The victim Smh- Forced down your throat. Gays are forcing you into a gay relationship? Trans people are “forcing you” to expand your vocabulary. Try living through a forced pregnancy then come back to us and tell us about having something forced down your throat.

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David Smith

I call it the 59th Street bridge. I prefer to also say Tappan Zee Bridge. Let’s stop honoring politicians.

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No one calls it that

I’ve only ever heard that bridge called Queensboro bridge or 59th St Bridge. They could remove Ed Koch’s name and no one would notice.

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Stop making him a martyr!

1: Floyd had nothing to do with NY.
2: he had even less to do with NYC.
3: he was nowhere near as innocent as y’all claim.

The media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr. But who was he really?

It lists several previous convictions and alleges Mr Floyd was “high on meth getting ready to drive a car and possibly kill your kid” at the time of his arrest.

It is a learning opportunity for people (and your kids) to teach that this type of criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you.

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Mother Theresa bridge

Did George Floyd live here ??? If so, when ? What city are you living in Emily ? Floyd did exactly what ?

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Jim

Saying that it has been documented that Ed Koch caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people is truly defamatory and an outright lie. Just because that guy lost his boyfriend to AIDS don’t blame it on Ed Koch. Maybe he caused himself to get AIDS. This is the type of cancel culture that liberal Democratic progressives practice.

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Otis

Yes, The People of Color Bridge. That will stop everyone from complaining about phony bigotry. Let’s do it. Great solution.

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Gardens Watcher

Can’t believe this was even posed as a qualifying question by Roskoff. THIS is not even on the top 1000 issues facing NYC or NYS.

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cancel me this cancel me that

well that didnt take long for the cancel crowd to wanna change the name from the Ed Koch bridge to the lelu bridge. LOL! Plus yeah remember Koch was Mayor when Aids was first discovered and nobody knew what was going on and there was no treatment. If Koch was alive today he’d be marching around with AOC and Bernie and all the other ny politicians. The FBI found those documents to be forged. Hey dont get me wrong I’m not defending the guy just think it’s funny how they want to cancel and name only ten years later. please go find another more worth fight.

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He's not the martyr y'all think he was!

1: Floyd had nothing to do with NY.
2: he had even less to do with NYC.
3: he was nowhere near as innocent as y’all claim.

The media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr. But who was he really?

It lists several previous convictions and alleges Mr Floyd was “high on meth getting ready to drive a car and possibly kill your kid” at the time of his arrest.

It is a learning opportunity for people (and your kids) to teach that this type of criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you.

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Mind your own business

Koch kept his private life private. What’s wrong with that? It’s what decent, well-adjusted people do. They don’t flaunt it in everyone’s face.

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No way, No how.

No Bridges, Buildings or Tunnels should ever be named for one person.

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So now no wht person can positively contribute to NYC??

We’re running out of other appropriate names. Stop messing about with history.

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Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC?

It’s not about your identity politics, but the blatantly racist things he did. There’s a whole article about it if you scroll up 😂

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Simple Solution

Change it back to the Queensboro Bridge.Or if you were born and raised in Queens , we called it the 59th Street Bridge. Change the RFK back to Triboro, and the Cuomo back to Tappanzee.

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Um genius,

These are known as side names. Many streets also have side names. Sixth avenue is also known as avenue of the Americas.

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Jim

Let’s name it The Black Lives Matter Bridge or the All The Black Men Killed By Police Bridge and unlike things named after white people never allow them to be changed in the future. Print that!

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Stalin would be proud

How very communist. Airbrushing ideologically impure party members from history when it suits them.

I was against naming the Queensborough Bridge after Koch but the reasons now given for renaming it again are utterly absurd.

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