Last night Community Board 3 approved a resolution in support of co-naming a section of Elizabeth Street in memory of Danny Chen.
Private Chen, a Chinatown native, took his own life in Afghanistan in 2011, after weeks of racially-tinged taunting and abuse. Here’s the text of the resolution endorsed last night:
WHEREAS, Danny Chen was a native son of Chinatown, born on May 26, 1992; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen grew up at 92-96 Elizabeth Street where he lived for 13 years from 1992 to 2005; andWHEREAS, Danny’s parents, Su Zhen Chen and Yan Tao Chen continue to live in Chinatown; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen attended Chinatown Head Start, P.S. 130, I.S. 131 and graduated fromPace High School; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen attended Chinese language and drawing classes at Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, played in Columbus Park, and worshipped at Heavenly Grace Buddhist Temple with his parents; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen ate at restaurants through out Chinatown, particularly at Jing Fong Restaurant almost daily when he was a child; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen enlisted in the U.S. Army with hopes of becoming a police officer one day; andWHEREAS, he was found dead in Afghanistan on October 3, 2011 after being hazed and racially maltreated by several superiors; andWHEREAS, his tragic death Galvanized the Chinatown community to lead the nation and the world in an historic fight for justice; andWHEREAS, Community Board 3 publicly supported a thorough and transparent investigation; andWHEREAS, Eight superiors were subsequently found guilty in connection with his death either by court martial or administrative proceedings held in Fort Bragg, North Carolina; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen’s death further led to military reforms that will benefit all those who defend the United States; andWHEREAS, City Council unanimously passed Resolution 1188-2012, introduced by City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, urging the Department of Defense to provide diversity training in the military, andWHEREAS, New York’s U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez introduced anti-hazing legislation in Congress; andWHEREAS, on January 2, 2013, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which contains provisions requiring the military to take affirmative steps to prevent hazing; andWHEREAS, Danny Chen’s legacy must live on to ensure all our suns and daughters are treated with respect and dignity when they enlist in the military to protect our country, the United States of America; nowTHEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, CB3-Manhattan formally requests the NY City Council and the Mayor to enact legislation that Elizabeth Street between Canal and Bayard Streets in Manhattan’s Chinatown be co-named “Danny Chen Way.