Part of Washington Avenue in Scranton, near President-elect Joe Biden's childhood home, has been renamed in Biden's honor. (Screenshot) Joe Biden Way
Part of Washington Avenue in Scranton, near President-elect Joe Biden's childhood home, has been renamed in Biden's honor. (Screenshot)

“We’re all walking a little more taller, a little more steam in our step and with bigger smiles,” one resident said.

SCRANTON — Several things run through Sister Mary Persico’s mind when she sees the new “Joe Biden Way” sign across the street from the president-elect’s childhood home in Scranton.

“That means the nation is turning away from violence and hatred and disunity,” said Persico, the president of nearby Marywood University.

Persico was among several local dignitaries who spoke at the sign’s unveiling Friday afternoon.

Virginia McGregor, who lives in the neighborhood, said Biden’s victory earlier this month is a reason for pride.

“We’re all walking a little more taller, a little more steam in our step and with bigger smiles,” she said.

McGregor and others talked about the importance of Scranton in Biden’s upbringing and how it developed his values.

Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti said the city wanted to do something to honor Biden quickly before the holiday season. 

She also said she was proud of the way the neighborhood has welcomed people since Biden became the Democratic nominee.

“Every time that he’s come to Scranton the entire neighborhood, and especially the Kearns family (who currently own the home), has been so accommodating,” she said.

Lia Richards-Palmiter, the director of the office of diversity efforts at Marywood, said the pride wasn’t just in Biden’s victory.

“It touches my heart so that the Vice President-elect looks just like me,” she said, referring to Sen. Kamala Harris. “It gives more credence to the stories that I’ve told my children about their dreams and that you can be anything you want to be.”

US Sen. Bob Casey, who grew up nearby, said Biden has a rough road ahead. He compared it to what Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced when he began his presidency in the midst of the Great Depression.

“He is ready because of his character, he’s ready because of his experiences, and yes, he’s ready because of his wonderful roots here,” Casey said.