David A. Ford, Sr. has street renamed after him
On a sunny and picture prefect Saturday afternoon, April 30, a throng of people gathered on the corner of Park Avenue, between Elm Avenue and East Prospect Avenue, for a ceremony involving the unveiling of a street sign renamed after David A. Ford, Sr. The street will now be known as “David A. Ford, Sr. Way”.
It is rare for a living individual to have a street renamed in his honor, but the City of Mount Vernon made an exception in Ford’s case, since his contributions to his beloved Mount Vernon can only be described as legendary.
A community prospers and thrives on the contributions of its citizens for the common good. David A. Ford has been active in all aspects of the community life of Mount Vernon all of his adult life, serving as longtime Commissioner of the Water Department starting in 1977 and in innumerable positions in the volunteer and political sectors. There are few aspects of life in Mount Vernon that he has not touched and made better.
While his life was community involvement, his passion was politics. From 1969 to 1996, he was Chairman of the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee. He was also Chairman of the Black Democrats of Westchester County and a member of the Council of Black Elected Democrats of New York State. Furthermore, he also served as New York State Committeeperson for the 84th Assembly District.
David played a huge role in helping to diversify the political landscape in Mount Vernon, since Mount Vernon was almost 100% Republican and white when he first became involved in local politics. The Democratic Party blossomed under his leadership and eventually became the dominant party in Mount Vernon.
In addition, he served as President of the Lions Club of Mount Vernon and President of the Mount Vernon YMCA. He is a Life Member of the 369 Veteran's Association, and a Life Member of the Mount Vernon NAACP. He was also a longtime Chairman of the Board of Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center and a member of the National Association of Health Care Providers.
And, under his leadership, the Board of Water Supply had a longstanding tradition of excellence.
It is very important to note that Ford is a veteran of WWII. He married the former Eula (Daisy) Gadson, who passed not that long ago, and is the proud father of six children (David Jr., James, Renee, Garey, Michael, and Karen). He has five grandchildren: Rachel, Shaarod, Nardara, Jerel and David Christopher and three great-grandchildren, Amira, Sydney and Camden.
Although David is now retired and his mobility has been hindered a bit, he has contributed to the Mount Vernon community for longer and better than we are ever likely to see again.
The Master of Ceremonies at the unveiling ceremony was City Clerk, George Brown.
There was a long list of speakers, led by Mayor Richard Thomas, and Ford was bestowed with many awards and endless accolades by the many who spoke.
When asked to address the large crowd, Ford stated: "I have had a lot of help from many throughout the years. What you have given me today will be with me forever. I plan to stay involved in politics, since my mind is still active."
Please note that the city had chosen a different location for the street sign, but Ford requested that the location be changed to Park Avenue, directly below Democratic Headquarters – for obvious reasons.
After the unveiling of the street sign, there was a picture taking opportunity for the many who wanted to be photographed with Ford.
Immediately after the ceremony, Ford and his family, along with invited guests, attended a reception at a nearby catering facility.
Ford, accompanied by his family, is shown holding a second street sign that will be installed across the street from Democratic Headquarters
The newly installed street sign soon after it was unveiled to the public
Mayor Richard Thomas presented an award to Ford
Ford addressing the crowd