Book gift honors fallen political star

Hope Reichbach Collection benefits kids at Red Hook school

By Mary Frost

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

RED HOOK — The legacy of young Brooklyn activist Hope Reichbach, a rising political star who died at the age of 22 last year, continues to grow.

In a ceremony at P.S. 15 on Sullivan Street, Councilwoman Sara González presented a $10,000 grant to help build the Hope Reichbach Book Collection in the Red Hook school's library.

“While there is nothing in the world that will ever fill our hearts the way Hope did, having colleagues and friends to keep Hope’s legacy alive does help to sustain us,” said Ellen Meyers, Reichbach’s mother. “It bodes really well for the future of P.S. 15’s beautiful library.”

Reichbach’s father is Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Gustin Reichbach.

Carmen Farina, former deputy chancellor of the NYC Department of Education presented a plaque for the new library which reads in part: “This special library collection is dedicated to Hope Reichbach who, in her lifetime, dedicated herself to making life better for others. She will be an inspiration and model to all who see books, knowledge and government service as a gateway to a better life.”

Certificates were also awarded to the top winners of the school’s Literary Essay Contest: Cheyene Roberts, Alex Venture and Jaden Jackson.Hope Reichbach

From a young age, Ms. Reichbach was involved in politics and progressive issues. While still in college, she served as deputy campaign manager for Steve Levin’s campaign for City Council. (She also took weekly boxing lessons at Gleason’s Gym for over 10 years.)

At the age of 22, Reichbach ran for Female District Leader for the 52nd Assembly District, winning 37 percent of the vote against incumbent Jo Anne Simon. While she lost that campaign, she garnered over 2,600 votes and was recognized as a rising star in Brooklyn politics.

After her tragic death from a prescription medicine overdose, friends and family, in collaboration with The Brooklyn Community Foundation, created the Hope Reichbach Memorial Fund. Meant to foster a new generation of leaders in Brooklyn, the fund provides scholarships for students who take unpaid internships in civic leadership and community organizing.

May 22, 2012 - 5:00am



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