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Elizabeth and Spring Co-Named for William and Sarah Richio
The northwest corner of Elizabeth and Spring Streets is now officially co-named as “William and Sarah Richio Way.” Family and friends gathered yesterday afternoon for the low-key unveiling ceremony, which was emceed by Councilmember Margaret Chin.
The couple had been active in the Little Italy community for years.
- Served in the United States Marines during World War II.
- In the late 70s Bill served on the Area Policy Board on the Lower Eastside.
- As a board member of the Neighborhood Council to Combat Poverty he continued to fight for those that had no voice. He was responsible for helping hundreds of both the poor and the working poor in getting the assistance they needed.
- He became a member of the Gouverneur Hospital Advisory Board, a position that lasted over 20 years.
- In 1995 he joined the board of directors of the Little Italy Restoration Association. Bill was an advocate for the 180 Mott Street Senior Center Program.
- Founder of the Neighborhood Council to Combat Poverty and served as the Executive Director for over 20 years. This organization worked with residents that had a host of problems from housing to public assistance to drug use. Sarah hired and supervised over 5 employees. Sarah was responsible for helping hundreds of Little Italy/Chinatown residents with a array serious issues.
- Sarah was a member of the Board of Directors of the Little Italy Restoration Association (LIRA). She served as Vice President from 1997 to 2002. LIRA was responsible for the construction of the only new affordable housing in over 80 years at 21 Spring Street. Sarah fought with City Agencies for this housing and was also instrumental with the creation of the 180 Mott Street Senior Center. Sarah spent over 30 years fighting to make living in Little Italy a little better.
- Member of the Gouverneur Hospital Advisory Board for over 20 years. Sarah was an tireless fighter to make sure that the residents of the Lower Eastside had affordable medical services. She fought to have services such as dentistry and podiatry to Gouverneur. Both Sarah and Bill were the prime movers and shakers for the Judson Health Center on Spring Street. Whenever there was a threat to cut services Sarah and Bill led the fight to restore those services and demanded that others be added. If not for Bill and Sarah the Judson Health Center would be closed today denying the working poor for receiving adequate health services.
- Sarah was also very active with St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Now a Basilica.