January 10, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 6 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
PAYING TRIBUTE TO NICHOLAS FISH; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 6
(Extensions of Remarks - January 10, 2020)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E24] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] PAYING TRIBUTE TO NICHOLAS FISH ______ HON. NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ of new york in the house of representatives Friday, January 10, 2020 Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a lifetime of public service. This week, Nicholas Fish, or Nick as his friends called him, passed away. He will be fondly remembered for his commitment to advancing the quality of urban life for all. Nick was born in New York City in 1958. After attending the Dutchess Day School as a child in Millbrook, NY, and later St. Alban's School in Washington, DC, he earned his bachelor's degree in 1981 from Harvard and in 1986 he completed a J.D. at Northeastern University. Politics and public service were a family business for Nick. His father and grandfather Hamilton Fish IV and III--both served in the U.S. House of Representatives. His great-great-grandfather, Hamilton Fish, served as a congressman, senator, governor of New York and secretary of state to President Ulysses S. Grant. Nick continued this illustrious family tradition, cutting his teeth as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, an experience that he would often say fueled his passion for serving others. After earning his Juris Doctor, he practiced law in New York City, representing healthcare workers and labor unions. He was appointed to Manhattan's Community Board Five, where he served as Chair for two years. In that capacity, Nick championed the upgrade of the Times Square Hotel. In collaboration with local nonprofits, the hotel was transformed into affordable housing and a thriving community for residents with HIV, previously homeless individuals and employees of New York City's theater district. In the mid-1990s, Nick's wife, Patricia, was offered a job at Portland State University and the couple moved west, settling in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland. Although new to the West Coast, Nick and Patricia quickly made fast friends in the community and he continued his pursuit of public service in their new community. He joined the board of the Housing Authority of Portland and worked to raise money for local nonprofits that assisted victims of domestic abuse and vulnerable children. In 2008, Nick was elected to the Portland City Council. There he was a steadfast voice for affordable housing. He was instrumental in the creation of a separate city agency dedicated to addressing housing issues and expanding and renovating Portland parks. For 11 years on the Portland City Council, he earned a reputation as a steady hand, helping improve the Council and make local government work for everyone. Known for a steady temperament and sharp policy mind, he often took on the toughest assignments of local government, such as overseeing the city water and sewers bureaus, simultaneously. Even after confronting health challenges, Nick continued his tireless work, serving on the City Council until just a few days ago. Today, our nation, the Capitol Hill Community and the City of Portland have lost a dedicated statesman and a consummate public servant. It is my hope that Patricia and his two children, Maria and Chapin, may draw strength and comfort from his many contributions. I ask all my colleagues to join me in paying homage to a lifetime of service and remembering Nick Fish. ____________________