One of the political icons of southwest Brooklyn was honored on Saturday, October 15, as the corner of 80th Street and 10th Avenue was named in his memory.
The intersection – just down the block from his home — now bears the name Senator Christopher J. Mega Way, paying tribute to the long-time Republican elected official and jurist who served, over the years, as a member of the New York State Assembly, state senator and judge of the state’s Supreme Court and Court of Claims, the latter of which he headed as chief judge.
Chairing the event was Councilmember Vincent Gentile, a Democrat, who shepherded the street naming through the city’s approval process. Others on hand included Mega’s widow Madelyn, daughter Valerie and son Christopher, as well as numerous local civic leaders and elected officials.
Calling Mega “a local boy who made good and did good and was good for the job at hand,” Gentile stressed, “The legacy of Christopher J. Mega will long serve as a model of integrity and devotion to public service.
Mega’s achievements, Gentile went on, “Include the first pre-k program in District 20 [which includes the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights, as well as Sunset Park and Boro Park].”
In addition, said Gentile, Mega made sure to provide funding for a plethora of local not-for-profit organizations, from BRAVO to the Regina Opera Company to the Kassenbrock Brothers Memorial Scholarship Fund. He also “authored more than 250 laws now on the books in New York State,” Gentile added.
“Never has the title honorable been more appropriate,” noted Congressmember Dan Donovan, calling Mega “the epitome of a public servant.”
“Chris was equal to none,” agreed State Senator Marty Golden. “He was well-respected and well-loved.”
Assemblymember Pamela Harris, who is at the beginning of her legislative career, said that she could “Only wish that I can do as well as him.
“He has a legacy,” she stressed, “and that is more important than anything.”
While they were on opposite sides of the aisle and were often “engaged in political battles,” Gentile – a former state senator who was challenged by Mega in 1998 – remarked, “In the end, Chris taught us all something about always keeping the community in the forefront. It is a lesson that I take with me every day of my public service career and I credit Chris for teaching me that lesson.”