Angelo Falcón was remembered as an intellectual warrior as his name is now memorialized on the Williamsburg Street where he grew up.
"He was a transformative figure in the history of the Puerto Rican community, of the Latino community and of the progressive community,” said WBAI Radio Show Host Howard Jordan.
Among his many initiatives, Falcón founded the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy in 1982. The name would change to the National Institute for Latino Policy in 2005 but the mission remained the same, to use data and analysis to influence policy makers in ways that would benefit the Hispanic community and a social justice agenda.
"Angelo spent his entire life turning the tables on those of authority. He went after people in politics and corporations and even in our own community if he felt they were not measuring up, not being held accountable for the things they were doing wrong,” said Jose Ramon Sanchez with the National Institute for Latino Policy.
"Whether it was redistricting, whether it was workforce development, whether it's on housing, the value that he gave and the information he provided was critical for all of us,” said Evelyn Cruz, District Director at Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez' office.
Falcón graduated from Brooklyn Tech High School and Columbia University. He was born in Puerto Rico but spent much of his childhood on South First Street.
"This was nicknamed the Falcón block because our family was here from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The store over there, my uncle had a grocery store. My other uncle had a candy store,” said Angelo’s Brother Andy.
Williamsburg's Southside continued to be Falcón’s stomping grounds until his death. He died of a heart attack last year at the age of 66. Family and friends say he was a catalyst for social change that is sorely missed.
"There was a passion for life and for his people that I have not seen matched anywhere,” said his friend Gerson Borrero, who is also a Political Commentator at NY1.
Williamsburg's Latino population has been dwindling with gentrification. Many of Falcón’s family members have moved away.
"As long as that sign is up there will always be a Falcón in this community”, says Andy Falcón.
Serving as an inspiration to others on the corner of South First and Havemeyer.