Obituary of Walter McCaffrey
Obituary of Walter Lawrence McCaffrey
January 28, 1949-July 10, 2012
Esteemed and veteran New York City Councilman Walter McCaffrey, 64, who represented the 26th Council Queens District of Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City for 16 years, died earlier today following a brief illness.
McCaffrey, the son of Irish immigrants, considered by his friends and fellow political colleagues as a principled, smart, thoughtful and hard-working legislator, will be remembered for his sharp debate skills, quick wit, grand humor and devotion to the City of New York and his beloved Queens. He was a champion for the diverse, working class neighborhoods he represented, and was deeply respected and revered by everyone who worked and served with him.
McCaffrey, a proud Democrat, was first elected to the City Council in 1985. He chaired the powerful Zoning & Franchises Subcomittee with a strong purpose and dedication to protecting and enhancing New York City's rich and complex land use integrity and history.
He wrote landmark legislation requiring security cameras at ATM's and restricting ATM surcharge fees, and was the lead sponsor of legislation banning or restricting adult establishments from middle-class neighborhoods and school areas.
McCaffrey was a fierce advocate for important quality of life and community services in his Queens Council district, such as fire and police protection, while proving adept at resolving complicated citywide land use matters at City Hall. He supported many worthy community services in Woodside and Sunnyside, most proudly Woodside On The Move and the Sunnyside Community Services Center.
He also helped establish the first homeless shelter for war veterans and the city's first police suicide prevention program.
In addition to his leadership as the City Council's Chairman of the Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee, McCaffrey served on the Land Use, Finance, Public Safety and Transportation Committees.
Other key city legislative and policy initiatives by McCaffrey included protecting the horse-drawn carriage tourism industry which he remained a steadfast supporter of until his death.
Before his City Council tenure, McCaffrey served as Chairman of Queens Community Board 2, chief of staff to Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein and the late Congressman Thomas Manton.
After serving public office, McCaffrey founded the McCaffrey Group, a strategic government affairs firm, and led the fight against the congestion pricing legislation in New York City and for stronger policies to insure more opportunity for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises.
McCaffrey was a proud graduate of Msgr. McClancy High School and attended Iona College. He was born and raised by his beloved parents Walter and Marie McCaffrey, now deceased, in Woodside, Queens where he still resided at the time of his death.
He is survived by the City of New York, his beloved Borough of Queens and his loving, proud and devoted friends and colleagues.
Visiting Sunday, July 14 from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9:00 p.m. at Edward Lynch Funeral Home, 43-07 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, Queens. A funeral mass celebrating Walter's life will be held at St. Sebastian Church, 39-63 57th Street, Woodside, Queens on Monday, July 15 at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family and friends of Council Member Walter McCaffrey have asked donations be made in his honor to the two community groups in his Council district of Sunnyside/Woodside he helped launch and supported for many years.
Sunnyside Community Services
43-31 39th Street Sunnyside, NY 11104
Phone 718 784 6173
Woodside On The Move
39-42 59th street,2nd floor #4,#5 Woodside, NY 11377
Allison's Heart Foundation for Children & Young Adults, Inc. 545 Eighth Avenue 19th Floor New York, New York 10018 www.allisonsheartfoundation.org
As a mark of respect for the memory of Councilman McCaffrey, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ordered all flags shall be lowered to half-staff for one full week. This includes the American flag, the New York State and City flags and the POW-MIA flags on all City buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs.