Hope Reichbach was a phenomenal young leader dedicated to the betterment of her neighborhood and city.
Born and raised in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, Hope was a champion for her community beginning at an early age. In High School, she joined with the NY Civil Liberties Union to successfully sue Donald Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense for improper military recruitment tactics of people under 18. In a settlement, the DOD agreed to keep with the limits established by Congress: they stopped collecting students’ social security numbers and sharing their personal information, and established an opt-out procedure for children and parents who do not want to be recruited by the military.
A graduate of Hunter College High School and New York University, Hope joined my Council staff in 2010, serving as Community Liaison and Communications Director. She was a very special and unique young woman who showed an extraordinary ability to empathize with every individual she worked with make their issues her personal cause. To this day, constituents will come up to me to tell me of how Hope helped them in their time of need.
Hope advocated to improve street safety, foster small business growth, and she was very invested in ensuring that residents of Gowanus Houses, Wyckoff Gardens, and 572-574 Warren Street have proper resources and representation. For example, she fought to preserve the important neighborhood-based child care programs of Bethel Baptist and Strong Place. Upon her passing and in honor of her efforts, Strong Place voted to rename itself Strong Place for Hope Largely due to her efforts, it remains a thriving child care program for the community today.
A New York City rising star, Hope died on April 28, 2011 at the age of 22. Hope’s legacy of active leadership and communal responsibility is carried on through the Hope Reichbach Fund, which provides local advocacy internships to college students based in New York City.
Today, the New York City Council voted to honor her memory and co-name Bond Street between Dean and Bergen Streets as Hope Reichbach Way. It is a fitting tribute to a young leader so invested in her Boerum Hill community.
Hope was and always will be an integral part of my office and our mission, and her legacy of community empowerment will continue to be felt for many years to come.