Former Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene, who is widely considered a role model and a trailblazer for her four-decades long career in public service to the Bronx, sadly passed away on May 8 at the age of 86.
Greene represented the 77th District in the state houses’s lower chamber between 1982 and 2009, and served as deputy borough president from 2009 to 2017 when she retired.
The longtime pol also worked as the Female Democratic District Leader for the 76th Assembly District, atop her long career as an active south Bronx civic leader. Among her many distinctions, she was the first woman of color to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore.
During her 27-year Assembly career, she used her urban planning skills to negotiate for affordable housing and effective tenant groups, quality education, employment opportunities, affordable healthcare and housing, senior services, youth services, economic development and worked diligently for a fortified business community.
She was married to the late Rev. Jerome A. Greene and is survived by two children, Rhonda and Russell and five grand-kids.
Forever in our hearts you will remain! My Political Mother and Mentor, my Queen, the one who gave me so much in my career. I will always continue to carry out your legacy. I love you with all of my heart. Rest well in God’s Kingdom. You have earned your wings! #RIP #AureliaGreene pic.twitter.com/amS6GMecNb
— Hon. Vanessa L. Gibson, MPA (She, Her, Hers) (@Vanessalgibson) May 10, 2021
Gibson, who succeeded Greene in the assembly, spoke about the departed. The lawmaker started her career in public service by serving as her intern in the New York State Assembly while a student at the University at Albany
“Mrs. Greene was my political mentor and a second mother to me and many others in the Bronx,” Gibson stated. “Mrs. Greene was committed, compassionate, caring, consistent, and most importantly, a woman of faith. She was a role model that exemplified what it meant to be a public servant and empowered youth to follow in her footsteps. Mrs. Greene truly meant the world to me and to so many others whose lives have been impacted by her over 40 years in public service as a parent leader, a community leader, an Assemblywoman, and Deputy Borough President. Her advocacy was instrumental in building the New Settlement school and community center on Jerome Avenue, the opening of P.S. 126 in Highbridge and so many other successes in our district.”
Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez expressed her condolences as well.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Aurelia Greene, a trailblazer for women of color,” Fernandez said. “As the first woman to lead the State Assembly’s Committee on Banks, Ms. Greene was a pioneer and an inspiration to young women like myself who aspired to be a leader in a realm so heavily influenced by men. The happiness of her constituency was her life’s work, and for over 30 years, she remained dedicated to improving the quality of life for every Bronxite. Her service will be remembered with great honor and respect. May she rest easy in grace and love.”