CB3 Approves Danny Chen Street Co-Naming

danny chen 1

Last night Community Board 3 approved a resolution in support of co-naming a section of Elizabeth Street in memory of Danny Chen.

Private Danny Chen.
Private 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; and
WHEREAS, Danny Chen grew up at 92-96 Elizabeth Street where he lived for 13 years from 1992 to 2005; and
WHEREAS, Danny’s parents, Su Zhen Chen and Yan Tao Chen continue to live in Chinatown; and
WHEREAS, Danny Chen attended Chinatown Head Start, P.S. 130, I.S. 131 and graduated from
Pace High School; and
WHEREAS, 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; and
WHEREAS, Danny Chen ate at restaurants through out Chinatown, particularly at Jing Fong Restaurant almost daily when he was a child; and
WHEREAS, Danny Chen enlisted in the U.S. Army with hopes of becoming a police officer one day; and
WHEREAS, he was found dead in Afghanistan on October 3, 2011 after being hazed and racially maltreated by several superiors; and
WHEREAS, his tragic death Galvanized the Chinatown community to lead the nation and the world in an historic fight for justice; and
WHEREAS, Community Board 3 publicly supported a thorough and transparent investigation; and
WHEREAS, Eight superiors were subsequently found guilty in connection with his death either by court martial or administrative proceedings held in Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, Danny Chen’s death further led to military reforms that will benefit all those who defend the United States; and
WHEREAS, 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, and
WHEREAS, New York’s U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez introduced anti-hazing legislation in Congress; and
WHEREAS, 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; and
WHEREAS, 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; now
THEREFORE, 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.
It’s now up to the City Council to approve the co-naming proposal.