Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

House Passes Legislation to Rename Morrisania Post Office After Herman Badillo

Jun 15, 2015
Press Release

Badillo Was the First Puerto Rican Congressman in U.S. History

Badillo Also Served as Bronx Borough President & NYC Deputy Mayor under Ed Koch

Legislation Was Introduced by Rep. Serrano, along with Reps. Rangel & Crowley in the House. Legislation now needs to be approved in the Senate.

Washington, D.C. – Legislation to rename the Morrisania Post Office in the Bronx in honor of Puerto Rican trailblazer Herman Badillo (H.R. 1350) was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives today by voice vote.

Click here for a video of Congressman Serrano speaking on the House floor on H.R. 1350 and Herman Badillo.

Herman Badillo was the first Puerto Rican city commissioner and borough president, and the first Congressman to have been born in Puerto Rico. The legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Serrano, Rangel and Crowley, and was eventually cosponsored by the entire New York delegation. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand introduced identical legislation in the Senate. At the local level, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was instrumental in the process, especially in identifying an appropriate location for the recognition.

“As the sponsor of this legislation in the House of Representatives, I am immensely proud and excited to see this bill one step closer to becoming law.  Herman Badillo was a trailblazer in every sense of the word, and many of us in Bronx politics would not be where we are today if it weren’t for his leadership and support. His work was instrumental in Puerto Ricans’ civic participation both at the local and national level, and helped bring attention to issues of concern to the community. Renaming the Morrisana Post Office, a historic building in the Bronx, is a fitting tribute that will help ensure his legacy and memory live on,” said Congressman Serrano.

"Our great friend Herman Badillo was a fixture in New York City politics for nearly four decades, championing civil rights, jobs, housing and educational reform. Even after his passing, he continues to be a role model for Puerto Ricans and a true testament to the American Dream. I am very proud to have worked with Reps. Serrano and Crowley in urging Congress to name a post office in honor of Herman to preserve and honor his legacy in the Bronx," said Rep. Rangel.

“Herman Badillo’s contributions to the Bronx, the City of New York and our country as a whole, cannot be overstated,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “Renaming the Morrisania branch after Herman would be a fitting tribute to a man who was a true pioneer and an inspiration to so many, including myself. I’m proud to have joined Congressmen Serrano and Rangel in the effort to ensure Herman’s memory and legacy are honored.”

Born in Puerto Rico in 1929, Badillo became an orphan at an early age after his father and mother passed away of tuberculosis. When he was 11 years old, Badillo moved to the United States , eventually settling down in New York. In 1951, Badillo graduated with honors from City College. He then went on to study law at Brooklyn Law School, where he was class valedictorian in 1954.  Badillo was elected Bronx Borough President in 1965. Only 5 years later, in 1970, Badillo was elected to Congress, becoming the first Puerto Rico born United States representative. In addition, Badillo served as New York City Deputy Mayor under Mayor Koch and head of the CUNY Board of Trustees.