BRONX TIMES REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 1 BTR 3-19, 2019 11
Rodriguez, passes, 71
George Rodriguez with Borough president
Ruben Diaz, Jr. Borough President’s Offi ce
BY ALEX MITCHELL
The longtime chair of Community
Board 1 and the spirit of the south Bronx
passed away on Thursday, September
5. George Rodriguez was remembered
fondly by his Mott Haven and Melrose
communities where he served on the
board for over 22 years before his passing
at age 71.
“He was a good man and a very good
chair,” said CB1’s district manager Cedric
The last time Lofton interacted with
Rodriguez was just before the board
broke for its summer recess, when the
duo discussed pushing for federal funding
that would benefi t the area’s residents.
“He made sure CB1 was not neglected,”
Lofton said while mentioning
Rodriguez’s dedication to bringing better
quality of life to the board’s longtime
“He would fi ght to get running fi re
hydrants repaired, for quicker police
and FDNY response times. George did
what he could to see that this district
was not mistreated,” Lofton continued.
Rodriguez was also a major housing
advocate for his community as well,
serving as an instrumental component
in the development of the affordable
housing mega complex with an attached
YMCA, La Central at 626 Bergen
Avenue in Melrose.
He kept a tight watch on all areas of
the district that could be developed as
well, according to Lofton.
“He insured that the city cleaned up
every single vacant lot in the district
so that it could be developed into housing,”
the district manager said mentioning
that he wanted to see that residents
could remain in the south Bronx while
living in housing that was affordable.
He also worked along with Councilman
Raphael Salamanca, Jr. on many
mandatory inclusionary housing projects
both while Salamanca was serving
as CB2 district manager and even after
he joined the council, since the council
district overlapped into CB1.
The popular chair was also an advocate
for quality healthcare throughout
his life of service.
Rodriguez served on the advisory
board for Lincoln Hospital for years.
He lived only two blocks away from primary
“George wanted to ensure that the
health standards of our community
were not being overlooked,” Lofton
Rodriguez even had an old fashioned,
signature way of fi nding out what issues
were arising in his community, too...he
would walk around the neighborhood.
“George walked everywhere,” Lofton
“That’s how he would know there
was a problem so quick, he’d just walk
around Mott Haven and see what complex
was having problems with that and
who was having issues with whatever,”
It was that beat walking that partially
made Rodriguez into a major advocate
for the cleanliness of his community.
“If he saw something was wrong
George would call sanitation right away
and he knew exactly where it was,” Lofton
Even Borough President Ruben
Diaz, Jr. recognized Rodriguez for his
work in the borough.
Rodriguez was previously given accolades
by the beep’s offi ce during past
Bronx Week celebrations for the work
he had done in Mott Haven and elsewhere.
“George served our borough in numerous
capacities for decades and truly
cared for the Bronx and the people he
served. He will be missed. Rest in peace,
Georgie,” Diaz said.
George wanted to
ensure that the health
standards of our
community were not