Nydia M. Velázquez

01/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/21/2021 15:40

Velázquez on the Passing of Andres Rodriguez, II

Washington, DC -Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding the passing of Andres Rodriguez II:

'I am deeply saddened by the recent passing of Andres Rodriguez II (Andy). He was a dear friend, entrepreneur, veteran, community leader, and loving dad.

'Andy was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1942 and like so many Puerto Ricans, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he honorably served. Afterwards, he settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and established his first small business on Graham Avenue and Moore Street in 1967 which operated for decades. He also founded the Merchants Association in the late 1960s and co-founded the Business Improvement District in the 1980s. His goal was to help unite the merchants, promote business, and improve public safety along the Graham Avenue corridor. This initiative along with his training proved helpful during New York City's 1977 power outage where merchants joined together to protect their businesses from looting and fire. Andy's grit and leadership earned him the nickname the Mayor of GrahamAvenue or el Alcalde de Graham.

'Andy was passionate about the issues that matter to his community. Whether it was veteran affairs, small businesses, police matters, or healthcare, he was always willing to express his concerns and ideas. He was charitable and served on numerous local and national boards. One of his favorites was the Woodhull Auxiliary Board and CAB.

'My friendship with the Rodriguez family spans more than two decades. Andy was always civically engaged and enjoyed a robust debate. He had no problem calling or visiting my office regarding any issue. If he saw me on Graham Avenue, he would approach me to discuss a matter even if I was in rush. In fact, while he was hospitalized, he texted my office to express his dismay and shame with the insurrection and questioned the failure of the intel community at the Capitol and White House. Sadly, I was unable to respond given our situation in Congress. Although I did not have a chance to communicate with him given his declining health, my thoughts and prayers were always with him. He knew how to push my buttons and then enjoy a hearty laugh. I am going to miss his light-hearted bantering.

'Andres Rodriguez II is one of our unsung heroes. He served his community and nation with honor. He touched and enriched the lives of everyone he met. I extend my deepest condolences to his loving wife Christian Rodriguez, his children, grandchildren, siblings and friends. May he rest in peace and may we all honor his memory.'


When: Friday, January 22nd, 2021 4:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.
Location: B. Anastasio & Son Inc.
Address: 533 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211