Ippolito, a Long Island City school teacher and mother of two who passed away from cancer in 2011, was a staunch advocate of the library back when it was just a concept.
According to those who knew her, Ippolito was unwavering in her commitment to open a new community library where she could read to her young children, who are now teenagers.
At the ceremony, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer recalled that Ippolito collected thousands of signatures on a petition for the library. Her passion for the project left an indelible mark on the councilman, who signed her name into the beams when the building was topped off in 2016.
“Her love of her children and this library surround us today,” Van Bramer said at the grand opening. “May her memory be eternal.”
Ippolito’s family continues to give back to the library, even after it has opened, through a special endowment fund.
Fausta’s legacy will forever be associated with the Hunters Point Library, a beautiful and thoughtfully designed public facility that will serve so many families in the growing western Queens community for generations to come.
But her efforts are also a testament to the importance and effectiveness of local advocacy. Though she wasn’t particularly politically connected, Ippolito fought hard to achieve something that would benefit not just her family, but her community.
At a time when politics can be dark, scary and unforgiving, we need more civic-minded people like Ippolito.
Getting involved in your community may start with just a simple petition drive, but can result in a $41.5 million library.
The only way to strengthen our democracy is to participate in it, just like Fausta Ippolito did for so long.