The rededication ceremony for the newly renamed Geraldine A Ferraro Post Office, located at 46-02 21st Street, was held on August 26, which also happened to fall on the former congresswoman’s 75th birthday.
In an interview the week before, Ferraro, who has battled cancer in recent years but remains an active force on the political scene, said the honor was perfectly timed; Women’s Equality Day marks the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
“It’s wonderful that the renaming of the post office is being done on a day that celebrates” the women’s suffrage movement, she said. “I wish my mother were alive to see this.”
Choosing a post office to honor Ferraro was appropriate, given her impact on postal services in Queens.
Ferraro surprised colleagues when she volunteered for the obscure - and since renamed - Postal Office and Civil Service Committee after winning New York’s 9th congressional district seat in 1978.
At the time, the district was drawn to cover a wide swath of Western Queens. The next year, she successfully lobbied the U.S. Postal Service to create a separate Queens zip code for the neighborhoods of Ridgewood and Glendale.
Ferraro was re-elected twice before being chosen as Walter Mondale’s Democratic running mate in the 1984 presidential election, which they lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan. However, her candidacy was seen as a watershed moment for women in politics.
Ferraro said women’s rights have come a long way since then, but more work remains. “The workplace is still not what it should be,” said Ferraro, citing the dwindling, but still significant gender gap in pay. “It's not good enough.”
But “major changes don’t happen overnight,” she added. “You have to be willing to change one step at a time.”
Officials celebrated the post office renaming as one such change.
Darleen Reid, a USPS spokesperson, said the honor provides the postal service “an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of a woman who helped shape the history of our nation.”
Congressman Joe Crowley praised the change in a speech on the House floor last year when the local law to rename the site was debated.
“Geraldine Ferraro has helped pave the way for our daughters to achieve anything they set their minds to,” he said.