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Velazquez on Passing of Elisa Torres

Velázquez on Passing of Elisa Torres
May 26, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement on the passing of Elisa Torres:


“I was saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Elisa Torres. Elisa was one of Williamsburg’s early ‘Pioneras.’ She leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. She was a determined community leader and a compassionate woman who dedicated her life to her family and public service. She was an iconic figure at Roberto Clemente Plaza/Kent Village in Williamsburg.


“As a consummate mental health professional during some of Williamsburg’s most challenging years, Elisa saved hundreds of lives. She helped families and individuals cope with depression, bipolar disorders, and other health issues. When New York State proposed closing the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in the community where her patients were a priority, she helped lead the campaign to keep the Williamsburg center open, keeping jobs in the local neighborhood.


“A tireless advocate for fair housing, she reached across cultural lines, building bridges between the Hasidic and Latino communities. When Congressional districts were being reshaped, she worked to ensure Brooklyn’s Latinos continued to have adequate representation.


“Elisa drew great inspiration in serving as a mentor and role model to young people. She founded a youth marching band that participated in local public events. Over the years I frequently marched alongside them at local parades.  She also founded Roberto Clemente Park, a treasured community anchor.


“Williamsburg is a better place because of Elisa’s compassionate work. I was thankful I could visit with her in her final hours to say goodbye. I’m praying for her family, friends and all those who knew and loved her. May we draw comfort from knowing she touched countless lives and the myriad ways she helped improve New York.”