Ceremony held on Saturday June 26, 2021
Broward County paid tribute to the late Congressman Alcee L. Hastings by naming a street in his honor on Saturday, June 26. Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness led a two-block memorial walk from the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale to NW 8th Street in the Broward Municipal Services District followed by an unveiling of a sign at the site. Joining the walk and unveiling was Alcee Hastings II (Jody) and other family members, Rep. Frederica Wilson, community leaders and friends.
“Congressman Hastings blazed the trail for many of us,” said Commissioner Holness at the ceremony. “I’ve admired his fortitude, his tenacity, his willingness to speak up when others wouldn’t, his guidance, and his mentorship.”
Rep. Frederica Wilson said the renaming of the street was an important part of the county’s black history. She remembers growing up in times where the Ku Klux Klan would ride up and down the street while her father would be registering people to vote in the safety of their home. She remembers him a prolific activist and speaker during this time ”…because everyone knew that when Alcee opened his mouth, he spoke for every one of us. Everything he said meant that he was black, he was unafraid, he was a trojan, he would fight and wouldn’t back down,” Wilson said at the event.
Commissioner Holness asked for the name dedication on NW 8th Street from NW 27th Avenue to NW 31st Avenue with unanimous approval of the Broward Commission. Congressman Hastings passed away in April, after a life dedicated to public service. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Florida’s 23rd congressional district from 1993 to 2013 and Florida’s 20 congressional district from 2013 until his death.
“His legacy lives on. His legislative priorities included creating jobs and economic opportunities for middle class working poor families and making our Country more safe and secure,” said Holness in a press release. “He has championed the rights of minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants and he will never be forgotten.”
Congressman Hastings was a titan of public service in South Florida. He became a state judge for Broward County, and was later nominated by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and upon Senate approval, he became the first Black federal judge in Florida. When elected to the United States House of Representatives, he became the first Black man to be elected to Congress from Florida. He had a long and illustrious career, serving for 28 years on numerous influential committees. As a Senior Democratic whip in 2004, he was an influential member of the Democratic leadership. He was also a member of the House Rules Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.