Mourning the death of former New York State Senator Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr., dedicated political leader, adjunct professor, dist...

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Senate Resolution No. 1718

BY: Senator MYRIE

MOURNING the death of former New York State
Senator Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr., dedicated
political leader, adjunct professor, distinguished
citizen and devoted member of his community

WHEREAS, It is with profound sorrow that this Legislative Body,
representing the people of the State of New York, is moved this day to
pay tribute to an eminent gentleman of indomitable faith and dedication
whose public service and countless accomplishments will forever stand as
a paradigm and inspiration for others; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Waldaba Hamilton Stewart, Jr., community activist and a
trailblazer who paved the way for so many Caribbean-Americans in state
government, died on Saturday, January 1, 2022, at the age of 85; and

WHEREAS, Community, tradition, heritage, and social justice were the
hallmarks of Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr.'s public and private life for
more than four decades; and

WHEREAS, Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. was born in January of 1936 in the
Panama Canal Zone in Panama; he was the oldest of six brothers and one
sister; his father was a teacher and minister, and a supervising
administrator; and

WHEREAS, Young Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. graduated ahead of his peers
with an Associate of Arts degree from the Canal Zone Junior College in
1955, and then studied Government Science at Panama National University;

WHEREAS, As a young adult, he migrated to Brooklyn, New York,
completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Languages from Pace University,
and a master's degree in Education from Hunter College; during those
years while pursuing higher education, he was employed nights at Bathe &
Co., a brokerage firm; subsequently, he also received a Ph. D in
Economics from Union Institute and University; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. taught in the NYC Department of
Education from 1957 until 1966; in 1968, with the support of his
brothers as campaign managers, he was elected by a landslide to the New
York State Senate where he served for four years; and

WHEREAS, As a New York State Senator, Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr.
served as New York State Chairman of the first National Black Political
Convention held in Gary, Indiana, during 1972; and

WHEREAS, Based on his advocacy and community activism, Dr. Waldaba
H. Stewart, Jr. created and developed both the Mid Brooklyn Health
Association Inc. and the Mid Brooklyn Health Society, committing himself
to his community through public service, geared to the delivery of
health care services to benefit communities across Brooklyn including
Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, and Williamsburg; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. sponsored legislation in health
for the improvement of quality care for the poor and underserved
communities throughout Brooklyn; with a budget of $100 million for
restoration and modernization, his efforts transformed Kings County
Hospital; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. was a founding
member of the corporation that converted the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a
commercial center and industrial park; and

WHEREAS, Many years after his tenure as a New York State Senator,
Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. was self-employed and later became an
adjunct professor at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New
York; and

WHEREAS, In 1996, he co-founded the Southern Diaspora Research and
Development Coalition where he served as Chairman, alongside his late
wife, Esmeralda Brown Stewart, who served as its President; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. is survived by his daughter,
Zulane Stewart, as well as several siblings and grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, Every citizen in New York State has most certainly
benefited, in one way or another, from the deep dedication, intelligence
and commitment that Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr. brought to his work as a
legislator and public policy-maker; loyal friend and trusted advisor, he
will be deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute of this
Legislative Body; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of former New York State Senator Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart,
Jr., and to express its deepest condolences to his family; and be it

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Dr. Waldaba H. Stewart, Jr.


  • 20 / Jan / 2022
  • 25 / Jan / 2022
  • 25 / Jan / 2022

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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