New York City officials and community members gathered in Harlem on Saturday morning to pay tribute and celebrate the legacy of the city’s first Black Mayor, David Dinins, who died this week at the age of 93.
Rev. Al Sharpton, president of The National Action Network, said, “We didn’t think that the Harlem community and the people around it should live the weekend without showing love, affection and admiration for a man who changed the course of history . ” The country’s major civil rights organization, which hosted the event.
Following two high-profile racially charged cases under the previous administration of Mayor Ed Koch in 1989, Dayin was elected mayor: the death and rape of a white jogger in Central Park and the prejudicial murder of a black teenager in Bensonhurst. He then lost his election to Rudy Giuliani in 1993.
“There’s a generation of people who believed they could make a difference because they saw that David Dinkins had done it before. He has a human heritage. You can feel it right here in this room,” Mayor Bill D. Said Blasio, who worked at Dinkins. And attended the event along with New York City’s first lc Adele Chirlane McRae.
New Nelson Mandela made New York City his first stop in the US in 1990, during Dinkins’ administration. Dinkins was a longtime critic of apartheid in South Africa.
Former Congressman Charles Rangel, who was part of Harlem’s influential African-American political alliance known as the “Gang of Four” with Dinkins, paid tribute on Saturday, saying that the greatest pride of the Dinquins was then When he was able to convince Nelson Mandela to come to Harlem. “
De Blasio said, “He helped Nelson Mandela to the presidency of South Africa. He regarded him as the head of state.
“In honor of Nelson Mandela, the city changed the world,” he said.
Di Blasio also credited Dinkins for his efforts to cast Beacon youth and after school programs. “They said, if we are going to be safe, it should be after school programs.”
McCray, who worked under Dinin as a part of the Commission on Human Rights and also as a speech writer, said that while her “heart is heavy because she is no longer with us, I cannot help but I feel tremendous pleasure to know him. “
“He found joy in the work he did,” McRae said. “This joy was generated, energy and enthusiasm, safe roads, fighting for new community centers, opening our public libraries six days a week for our children, beacon schools.”
Dinkins poured a significant amount of resources into Bradhurst, a 40-square-block neighborhood in North Harlem, and worked with local churches and nonprofits to revitalize the decaying neighborhood. He helped set up a supermarket on 125th Street in Harlem at a time when reviving the area seemed like an unattainable dream. That road is now the backbone of Harlem’s economy.
“David Dinkins was a fist fight for what was right,” Sharpton said.
The New York Times reported that during his single term as mayor, Dayin rebuilt lower-income housing and neighborhoods in the city than his successor Giuliani, while the economy was in better shape. His administration teamed up with then-Governor Mario Cuomo to provide housing providing support for mentally ill people, effectively establishing a model that would be adopted nationally. The asylum population fell to its lowest point in the last 30 years under his tenure.
Dinkins administration officials played a key role in the revival of Times Square, assuring Walt Disney Corp to rehabilitate the 42nd Street Theater. Dinins also hired more police officers and raised taxes under the “Safe Streets, Safe City” plan to counter the rising murder rate in New York City.
“He was faced with many crises in his first and only term, which the city had not seen in years,” said New Yorkshireumber Inge Dickens. During the incident, Dinkins faced the crisis as “a warrior who knew how to fight without picking up a gun.”
“His words were his bullets and we should learn from today,” she said.
The Associated Press has contributed.