A dedicated public servant who passed away much too soon received an early birthday present.
On Saturday, April 28, community leaders and elected officials joined relatives in dedicating the northwest corner of West 238th Street and Waldo Avenue as ‘Andrew Sandler Way.’
Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.’s office presented a proclamation to Sandler’s family declaring Saturday, April 28 as ‘Andrew Sandler Day.’
The heartfelt ceremony honored the late 31-year-old Community Board 7 district manager who passed away on Saturday, August 5, 2017 after a lengthy battle with an unspecified cancer.
Following his graduation, the Manhattan College Class of 2008 alumnus interned with Congressman Eliot Engel for a year.
From 2008 to 2009, he volunteered on former Councilman Oliver Koppell’s re-election campaign eventually leading to him to becoming Koppell’s director of community affairs.
During his tenure with the councilman, Sandler dealt with city agencies on behalf of Koppell’s 11th Council District’s residents including CB 7.
From 2014 to 2016, he worked with Koppell’s successor Councilman Andrew Cohen as his director of community affairs and constituent services.
With six years of governmental experience, Sandler oversaw many capital investment projects at Mosholu Parkway including Koppell’s $100,000 funding of energy efficient metal halide light system for the Bronx Victory World War I Memorial implemented under Cohen, Harris Field’s surface remediation, Williamsbridge Oval Park’s renovation and Whalen Park’s reconstruction.
He fought relentlessly when the Riverdale Temple required a new permit to renovate its kitchen after its old permit became invalid.
“Even here as I’m standing at this intersection, I can see the myriad of issues he worked on whether it was noise or tenant issues all within a stone’s throw from where we’re standing,” stated Cohen.
Sandler was unanimously elected as district manager during the board’s general meeting in January 2016.
On Monday, February 8, 2016, he officially began serving as a liaison for city agencies and constituents residing in Norwood, Jerome Park, University Heights, Kingsbridge, Bedford Park and Fordham.
The Kingsbridge resident succeeded Dustin Engelken who resigned in September 2015 after serving a year and half in the position.
In early 2017, Sandler had been absent for a long duration due to an unspecified probationary issue.
He returned to work in July 2017 before resigning when his illness progressed.
His tragic passing came three weeks following his resignation.
“Andrew was a dedicated, well-informed servant of the community who was well-liked by our residents, CB 7 and elected officials,” Adaline Walker Santiago, the former CB 7 chairwoman said. “Our board unanimously supported this street renaming which honors all of the good Andrew achieved for the community.”
Sandler’s sister Stephanie described her brother as a ‘selfless’ public servant who wanted to make the Bronx a better place and give local underdogs a voice.
“In two weeks it would have been my brother’s 32nd birthday. It’s amazing how much he had accomplished in such a short amount of time,” she expressed. “He hated celebrating his birthday, but I know for a fact that he would have absolutely loved celebrating this.”