IN MEMORY AND TRIBUTE TO JOSEPH MONSERRAT; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 151
(Extensions of Remarks - November 15, 2005)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2364]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                          HON. JOSE E. SERRANO

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, November 15, 2005

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to bid farewell to friends 
and mentors, especially those who have worked so hard and given so much 
to their communities and to our Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in memory of and tribute to Joseph 
Monserrat, who passed away this week.
  Joe spent his life in public service, both to his community and to 
his people. He was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and like so many of 
his generation, moved at a very young age to the United States. He 
attended public schools and some of New York's most prestigious 
  Joe served honorably in the Army Air Force, and upon returning, began 
his long career of public service. He quickly rose to positions of 
leadership in all his undertakings, making a significant mark as 
Director of the New York office and Deputy National Director of the 
Migration Division of the Puerto Rican Department of Labor.
  This agency helped assist and smooth the transition for Puerto Ricans 
resettling in the United States by working to increase employment and 
business opportunities, increasing the number of major corporations 
that had employment programs for Puerto Ricans, and other vital 
services. After eight years in this capacity, because of his hard work 
and talent, Joe was promoted to National Director of the Division, 
where he served for another nine years.
  Under his leadership, this agency was to become one of the most 
important national organizations devoted to the cause of helping Puerto 
Ricans gain a foothold in the United States. He later turned his 
attention to education, serving on the New York City Board of Education 
in the early 1970s and later teaching.
  In his spare time, Joe served on the boards of many prominent civil 
rights organizations as well as service with many labor-related 
organizations. He also spent a great deal of time researching and 
writing some of the most influential scholarly works on issues 
affecting Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, the Caribbean and Latin America.
  Mr. Speaker, Joe was a tireless leader, brimming with vision, energy 
and ideals. He was a mentor, a teacher, a friend, and, most 
importantly, the source of inspiration to countless leaders. The 
institutions that he touched were forever marked as they reached new 
heights of service and dedication to worthy causes.
  Joe's legacy of service to others and his valuable contributions in 
all sectors of society will be sorely missed but his legacy lives on.
  I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Joe's family, 
colleagues, friends, and all those whom he touched by his life and 
  Mr. Speaker, Joe Monserrat was an uncommon leader on the many 
different issues that he addressed during his life. He truly showed the 
way for many Puerto Ricans and Hispanics who followed in his footsteps 
in New York City and in the nation. Joe could truly be called one of 
the leading lights of the Hispanic community in the United States, and 
his commitment to public service should be honored. Fortunately through 
his leadership, he created a generation of people who will ensure that 
his vision for the betterment of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic 
community will not be lost.
  Mr. Speaker, I am glad to report that even with his passing, his 
light was not extinguished; instead it will shine stronger than ever 
among all those he inspired. I ask my colleagues to join me and all who 
had the privilege of knowing Joe Monserrat in paying tribute to him for 
serving his community and our nation with uncommon wisdom, generosity 
and dignity.