Luis Gigante is a retired Catholic priest, former Bronx city council member, the founder of the influential South East Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO), a Bronx community activist, and brother of two legendary figures in the Genovese crime family, family boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante and top capo/acting boss Mario Gigante.
Career as a Bronx community activist
As a Catholic priest at St. Athanasius Church in the South Bronx, Gigante was one of the leading proponents of tenant rights reform in the late 1960s. In the fall of 1968, he founded the South East Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO) with funds from the federal Section 8 housing program, through which tenants pay 30 percent of their income in rent and the federal government pays the difference, which was generally considered to be one of the organizations most responsible for the economic and civic rehabilitation of the depressed South Bronx area. By 1981, Father Gigante had orchestrated the construction and rehabilitation of 1,100 federally subsidized apartments in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. Father Gigante himself has claimed credit the rejuvenation of the Bronx, saying "I brought the neighborhood up from ashes to help the people in the South Bronx. There isn't one other organization that can take credit." Recent poor management of SEBCO's buildings in the South Bronx have brought accusations of being slumlord.
Jonnes, Jill. South Bronx Rising: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of an American City. New York: Fordham University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8232-2199-8.
- "Murphy's Flaw" City Limits Magazine, February 1997.
- Village Voice January 23rd, 2007.
- The New York Times July 15th, 1981.
- "SEBCO celebrates 44th year of building in the Bronx and the creation of 100 jobs in the past year". New York Daily News. April 26, 2012.
- "Sins of the Father". Village Voice. Jan 16, 2007.