April 18, 2014
Brooklyn, NY – Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader, released the following statement upon the transition of Basil Paterson, former New York State Secretary of State, New York City Deputy Mayor, and father of former Governor David A. Paterson.
Statement By Councilmember Williams
"I am saddened to learn of the transition of Basil Paterson, who paved a way for people of more color in careers of public service across this state. Basil, himself a public servant of Grenadian descent, spent decades serving the people of this city and state, including as the first black to serve as Secretary of State for the State of New York, as Deputy Mayor for the City of New York, and as longtime labor attorney who represented the interests of those who are long ignored in this economy. He was one of the original 'Gang of Four'- pioneering black Harlem politicians who opened to door for so many more than four decades ago. Although I only had the pleasure of speaking to him just a few times, he always spoke words of encouragement as if he had known me for years. I extend my prayers for peace and comfort to former Governor David Paterson and the entire Paterson family at this difficult time."