Shirley Lacy

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Shirley Lacy

Shirley Lacy
Born Ca 1926
Died May 19, 2012
Englewood
Nationality American
Education Teaching
Alma mater NYU
Occupation Politician /Civil Rights Activist
Home town Englewood, NJ
Known for Councilman, 4th Ward
Religious beliefs Baptist
Spouse(s) Reginald Lewis Lacy (d. 1969)
Children Deirdre Gaskin of Englewood; Celeste Lacy Davis of Brooklyn


SHIRLEY LACY is notable for having represented the City as Councilmember for its 4th Ward. She was graduated from Julia Richmond High School, N.Y.C., with honors. She went on to New York Univ. where she studied classical and romance languages, in preparation for the teaching profession. Mrs. Lacy has become actively involved in the struggle of minority groups for social change. She worked extensively on national civil rights litigation programs for the Scholarship, Education and Defense Fund for Racial Equality, lnc., and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, inc. Mrs. Lacy was Director of Legislative Projects for then Assemblyman Byron/Baer. She was a frequent panelist and consultant to programs dealing with problems of minorities and women and serves on several boards and agencies.[1] By the time of her 1977 appointment to fill a 4th Ward council vacancy, the Harlem-born and New York University-educated Mrs. Lacy had a long civil rights résumé. She marched in Alabama with Martin Luther King Jr., battled for the desegregation of the Englewood public schools and worked to register minority voters. While chairwoman of the area chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality, she led picketing of swim clubs that refused admission to blacks. Those efforts bore fruit in 1963 when a dozen clubs in Bergen and Rockland counties ended their bans. Mrs. Lacy was best known for promoting the political empowerment of African-Americans, her daughter said. She was, for a time, in a position to do so, as leadership training director of the Scholarship, Education and Defense Fund for Racial Equality, which developed projects in the minority community. "The name of the game for poor people is power, not revenge," she said in a 1970 profile of the organization in The New York Times. Her own political involvement consisted of service on the Englewood City Council — she was president in 1985 and 1986 — and work as a legislative aide to state Sen. Byron Baer, D-Englewood. Earlier, she was an organizer in the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, an African-American congresswoman from Brooklyn. Former Mayor Sondra Greenberg recalled Mrs. Lacy as a collegial and hardworking representative who pushed developers of Englewood construction projects to hire minority workers.

At a 1992 council hearing, Mrs. Lacy scolded the owner of a Hackensack adult novelty shop who wanted to open a branch of the business in her 4th Ward. She accused the merchant of targeting Englewood because of its black population. "I hope you will never open in Englewood," she said. "We have enough problems as it is guiding and directing, if you will, our young people in wholesome activities." Weeks later, the council approved an ordinance restricting such businesses to industrial zones.

Former Assemblyman Arnold Brown, D-Englewood, the first African-American from Bergen County to serve in the Legislature, said Mrs. Lacy was "a person of civic consciousness who worked toward good causes. That she has gone on to her glory is a great loss to our community," he added. [2]


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