Tree of Hope — Pols and locals honor fallen Council staffer Reichbach

Tree of Hope — Pols and locals honor fallen Council staffer Reichbach
Photo by Tom Callan

By Kate Briquelet

More than 200 people — from Brooklyn’s best-known bold-faced names to its less-fortunate residents — planted a tree on Borough Hall plaza on Friday to honor late City Council staffer Hope Reichbach, who died of a drug overdose last month at age 22.

City leaders, family and friends met at the north end of Columbus Park to memorialize Reichbach, an aide to Councilman Steve Levin, who praised his staffer’s work on saving senior and child care centers from budget cuts.

“Her legacy, of which this tree is a symbol, will be far-reaching and enduring,” said Levin.

Reichbach’s parents, Ellen Meyers and Judge Gus Reichbach, were also on hand to plant the London Plane tree in front of the Adams Street courthouse and near Borough Hall — a tribute to Hope Reichbach’s short, but spirited, career in civic life.

Reichbach was a lifelong Boerum Hill resident and rising star in borough politics. Last year, she mounted an impressive campaign against a longtime incumbent in a race for district leader.

Judges and city politicians weren’t the only mourners at Friday’s ceremony. Children from Boerum Hill’s Strong Place Day Care Center showed up to honor Reichbach, who fought to save the facility from budget cuts. The children from the center, which will soon be named in Reichbach’s honor, sang, “I’ll Make the Difference.”

“She is loved by everybody and went out of her way to help a lot of people,” said Ladanza Worthy, a coordinator at the Gowanus Senior Center, which Reichbach also helped save from closing.

“I am happy to be here for her.”

Kids from Strong Place Day Care Center, which will soon be renamed for Reichbach, sang.
Photo by Tom Callan