After over four decades in office, former assemblyman Joseph Lentol lost his reelection bid to current Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher last November. However, the veteran public servant’s impact on Greenpoint continues to shape the neighborhood’s landscape.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney successfully passed a bill through Congress that would rename the Greenpoint Post Office the “Joseph Lentol Post Office.”
“I am humbled by this honor and frankly don’t think I deserve it,” Lentol said of the honor. “I’m not even dead yet!”
The legislation has yet to pass the Senate, but Maloney and community members gathered outside the post office recently to celebrate Lentol’s many years of work.
“How do you thank someone for a lifetime of service to their community?” said Maloney. “Naming a post office after somebody means that they were one of the most beloved people to serve their community. Joseph Lentol was one of those people.”
Maloney was joined by members of Community Board 1, and representatives from Broadway Stages, St. Nick’s Alliance, and the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve known Joe, believe it or not, since when I was working at the New York State legislature as an intern and later as a staff assistant,” Maloney said. “At that point, I never could have imagined being elected myself. But when I was, he and I worked together for many years.”
Maloney said over the years she worked with Lentol on issues like gun violence, criminal justice and environmental reform, fair labor practices, rebuilding the Kosciuszko Bridge, and the ongoing fight for Bushwick Inlet Park.
“I still remember sleeping out in the park to get the city to give us the necessary funding,” she said.
Maloney also took the chance to discuss a bill her staff is currently working on that would aim to speed and reform mail delivery nationwide.
“We want to modernize the postal service and put it on more solid financial footing,” Maloney said.
Lentol, who is now 78, was thankful for the honor.
“She Maloney is somebody I knew since she was in Albany,” Lentol said of Maloney. “Little did I know how our paths would cross again in life.
“People don’t know how difficult it is to get their problem solved until they have a chance to solve it,” he added. “Sometimes people get elected to office and realize it is too hard, or that they are in the wrong office to make a change. I was lucky to have a friend and ally in Carolyn though, so that never happened to us.”