Archie Spigner Way

Archie Spigner (1928 - 2020) was a local politician who served for 27 years as a City Councilman for District 27 in southeast Queens, from 1974 to 2001, serving his last 15 years as deputy to the majority leader. He also served as the head of the United Democratic Club of Queens from 1970 until his death in 2020, a role in which he helped shape the borough’s Democratic Party leadership. During his tenure, he advocated for education, infrastructure, and the underserved community.

Archie Hugo Spigner was born on Aug. 27, 1928, in Orangeburg, S.C., his family moved to New York when Archie was 7, and he grew up in Harlem. As a young bus driver engaged in union activism, Mr. Spigner drew the attention of the labor leader A. Philip Randolph, who charged him with forming a Queens branch of Mr. Randolph’s Negro American Labor Council. While looking for a meeting place for his group, Mr. Spigner met Mr. Kenneth N. Browne, who was running for the State Assembly, and who became the borough’s first Black member of the New York State Assembly and its first Black State Supreme Court justice. Mr. Browne took Mr. Spigner to the local Democratic club and introduced him to the district leader Guy R. Brewer, and Spigner’s career in Queens politics began. Mr. Spigner went on to attend college, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Queens College in 1972.

Spigner went on to become a major power house in an area that reliably voted Democratic, a nod from Mr. Spigner all but assured election. He was known as “The Dean,” and considered “The Godfather of Politics” in southeastern Queens.  As a local-minded city councilman, Mr. Spigner helped shepherd the sale of the oft-criticized Jamaica Water Supply Company, New York City’s last privately owned waterworks, to the city government in 1997, bringing down costs for residents of southeast Queens. To spur local business, he successfully pushed for the construction of a permanent building for York College, part of the City University of New York, in the Jamaica section; a subway extension to downtown Jamaica; and a regional headquarters of the Social Security Administration.


Mohamed, Carlotta. (2022, August 29). Southeast Queens lawmakers celebrate renaming of St. Albans Park in honor of late Archie Spigner.

Okula, Sean. (2022, September 1). Park renamed for SEQ political titan: Archie Spigner shaped 50 years of government. Queens Chronicle.

Traub, Alex, “Archie Spigner, ‘Godfather of Politics’ in Queens, Dies at 92,” New York Times, November 18, 2020,