JUDGE SHIRLEY A. TOLENTINO POST OFFICE BUILDING
(House of Representatives - March 24, 2014)

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[Pages H2572-H2573]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              {time}  1630
            JUDGE SHIRLEY A. TOLENTINO POST OFFICE BUILDING

  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 1376) to designate the facility of the United States 
Postal Service located at 369 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey 
City, New Jersey, as the ``Judge Shirley A. Tolentino Post Office 
Building''.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1376

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. JUDGE SHIRLEY A. TOLENTINO POST OFFICE BUILDING.

       (a) Designation.--The facility of the United States Postal 
     Service located at 369 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey 
     City, New Jersey, shall be known and designated as the 
     ``Judge Shirley A. Tolentino Post Office Building''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be 
     a reference to the ``Judge Shirley A. Tolentino Post Office 
     Building''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Farenthold) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Clay) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.


                             General Leave

  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, H.R. 1376, introduced by the gentleman from New Jersey 
(Mr. Payne), would designate the facility of the United States Postal 
Service located at 369 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey City, New 
Jersey, as the Judge Shirley A. Tolentino Post Office Building.
  Judge Tolentino was a remarkable woman, and her life was marked by 
several accomplishments. Judge Tolentino was born in Jersey City and 
graduated from Henry Snyder High School as an honor student. She 
attended the College of St. Elizabeth's and Seton Hall University 
School of Law, where she was the only African American in her class 
when she received her juris doctor degree in 1971. Judge Tolentino also 
went on to receive a specialized master of laws degree in criminal 
justice from New York University Graduate School of Law in 1980.
  Judge Tolentino was appointed to the Superior Court of the State of 
New Jersey on January 11, 1984. She was the first female appointed to 
that position. She had previously been appointed as the first female to 
the Jersey City Municipal Court in 1976. In 1981, she became the first 
female presiding judge of the Jersey City Municipal Court.
  One of her proudest accomplishments was serving on the Coleman 
Commission, which later became the New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force 
on Minorities, as well as chairing the Commission on Criminal Justice 
and Minority Defendants and serving on the Committee on Criminal 
Practice.
  In addition to her fine public service, Judge Tolentino was a leader 
in many service-oriented organizations, including the Urban League, 
Girl Scouts, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She also served on the 
boards of various academic institutions, including her alma mater, St. 
Elizabeth's.
  Unfortunately, Judge Tolentino passed away at the age of 67 on 
October 31, 2010. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Ernesto 
Tolentino, two daughters, and many beloved family members and friends. 
She was a pillar of her community and a strong role model for women and 
men of all ages.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 1376, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CLAY. Madam Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to my 
friend from New Jersey (Mr. Payne).
  Mr. PAYNE. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from 
Missouri and the gentleman from Texas for giving me this opportunity to 
speak on a true hero in our community.
  In New Jersey, Ms. Tolentino is someone that is looked to with great 
esteem. She led the way on many issues moving women and minorities 
forward and showing that they had a rightful place at the table of 
power, the ability to serve, and the distinction to lead.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 1376, to name the postal facility 
located at 369 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey City, New Jersey, 
after the late Honorable Shirley A. Tolentino.
  Shirley Tolentino was born in Jersey City, served as a distinguished 
jurist in Hudson County for over 26 years, and was a trailblazer for 
women and African Americans as public servants in New Jersey. She was a 
product of the local public school system in Jersey City, where she was 
an honor student, graduating from Snyder High School. She then earned a 
scholarship to attend the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, New 
Jersey, graduating with a degree in Latin with honors.

[[Page H2573]]

  To put herself through law school, Judge Tolentino worked as a high 
school Latin and English teacher while attending Seton Hall University 
School of Law, graduating as the only African American female in the 
class of 1971.
  After law school, she became a deputy attorney general in the State 
of New Jersey, where she remained until she rose to the bench in Jersey 
City in 1976. She became the second African American woman to be named 
as a municipal court judge in New Jersey, and the first to be appointed 
to the Jersey City Municipal Court.
  In 1980, Judge Tolentino earned her master of laws degree in criminal 
justice from NYU Graduate School of Law, while continuing to serve in 
the municipal court. In 1981, she continued to blaze a trail for 
others, becoming the first African American presiding judge of Jersey 
City Municipal Court. Her successes didn't stop there. In 1984, when 
she was appointed by Governor Thomas Kean, Judge Tolentino became the 
first African American woman to ascend to the Superior Court of the 
State of New Jersey.
  Later, she was appointed to the original Coleman Commission, which 
would later be called the New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force on 
Minorities. During her time on the Commission, she became the chair of 
the Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice, and also served as a Supreme 
Court chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice and Minority 
Defendants. With all her professional achievements, she viewed her 
appointment and time served on the Commission as her greatest 
accomplishment.
  Over the years, Judge Tolentino's career was highlighted by many 
firsts, and she accomplished much during her years on and off the 
bench. As a member of the Jersey City Hudson County Urban League, the 
Hudson County Girl Scouts board, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Hudson 
County CYO, the Visiting Homemakers of Hudson County board, and a host 
of other local organizations, she was an integral part of her 
community.
  Throughout her success, Judge Tolentino always called Jersey City 
home and actively participated in community service in the city that 
bore and raised her.

  Judge Shirley Tolentino passed away on October 31, 2010, and is 
survived by her husband, Dr. Ernesto Tolentino, children, and 
grandchildren.
  It is not a coincidence that the post office to bear her name would 
be located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. There is no better way to 
honor the achievements of Judge Tolentino and at the same time provide 
a permanent monument of possibilities and hope for young women, African 
Americans, and the citizens of Jersey City.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill in honor of 
her legacy.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I have no further speakers, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CLAY. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I urge the passage of H.R. 1376, to commemorate the life of Judge 
Tolentino and all of her accomplishments and service to the Jersey City 
community.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I join with my friends and colleagues 
across the aisle, Mr. Payne and Mr. Clay, in urging passage of H.R. 
1376, designating the postal facility in New Jersey to be named after 
Judge Tolentino, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Farenthold) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 1376.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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