New York, NY – New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is a life-long New Yorker who was raised in a union household.
Growing up on Long Island, he saw his parents put in hard work and stretch every dollar in order to make a good life for the family. Following their example, he began his hard work in 1972, at the age of eighteen, when he won his first election and served as a trustee on the Mineola Board of Election, becoming the first eighteen year-old in New York State to hold public office. “I believe that good government requires active public involvement,” he says. “This was a valuable experience to learn first – hand how to make a difference in the community.” Then, he attended Hofstra University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and graduated magna cum laude in 1976. Subsequently, he worked in the telecommunications industry for ten years, attending night classes, and earning a master’s degree from The New School University’s Graduate School of Management and Urban Professions.
In 1986, he ran for the New York State Assembly and was elected to represent the 16th District in northwestern Nassau County for the next 20 years. DiNapoli was elected State Comptroller on Feb. 7, 2007 by a bipartisan majority of the State Legislature. He was elected Comptroller by New York’s voters in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. His accomplishments range from uncovering corruption in State and local governments to increasing transparency on government spending, to managing the third largest public pension fund in the nation through losses during the Great Recession. On his work on municipal audits, he says, “As State Comptroller, I am the fiscal watchdog for New York State. It’s my responsibility to make sure taxpayer monies aren’t wasted and used wisely. My office has a top team of auditors and investigators that review public finances from agencies like the MTA to small municipalities throughout the state. Transparency and accountability are key: my office’s website WWW.Openbooknewyork.com shows where public dollars go.”
Coming from a union household, he stresses their value. “Unions are important. As the son of parents who were union members, I know my family was able to achieve their version of the American Dream because strong unions looked out for their wages and benefits,” he says. And he’s proud of the strength of unions in New York in particular. “We have the largest percentage of union members of any state. I want unions to remain strong. They protect good jobs, good pay and safe working conditions. Unions are essential for the continued economic growth of New York.”