In Politics, THE PEOPLE'S NEWS, WORD ON THE STREET on November 28, 2008 at UTC.08.30.

David Paterson was  born May 20, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York. Paterson was born legally blind as he has ‘Optical Atrophy.’ He was born with no sight in his left eye and severely limited vision in his right eye. Mr. Paterson received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1977 and his Jurist Doctorate from Hofstra Law School in 1982. At present, Mr. Paterson is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School for International & Public Affairs.

Mr. Paterson was elected Lt. Governor on November 7, 2006. However, he has been sworn in as the Governor of New York since Eliot Spitzer resigned from the position amid role in soliciting prostitutes. On the other hand, Paterson has a long history of public service, in 1985 he was elected to the New York State Senate representing Harlem.

In 2002, he was elected Minority Leader of the State Senate. As a matter of fact, he still lives in Harlem with his wife Michelle and their two children Ashley and Alex. He is the son of Basil Pateson who was the 1st African American Secretary of State of New York State. Mr. David Paterson was the the 1st African American vice-chair of the National Democratic Party. He is just the 4th African American to hold the position of Governor in the U.S. The first, governor P.B.S. Pinchback in Louisiana in 1872; 2nd, Douglas Wilder Virginia in 1990; 3rd, Deval Patrick currently in Massachusetts 2007; and 4th, David Paterson currently in 2008.

Among his other accomplishments, he is a member of the American Foundation for the Blind, Democratic National Convention, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Board of the Achilles Track Club as a member he competed and completed the New York City marathon in 1999. He received national critical acclaim for his role to preserve an African American burial ground discovered at a Federal building in Manhattan. Through his leadership he was able to secure Federal funding for the project in 1997. He states; “through the discovery of the African American burial grounds, our history has at last come to the surface for all of us to know and respect.”

Although, some of his critical analysis has been controversial. For example, Paterson was the one who led the successful legislative effort to have a voter approved bond for 1 billion dollars in 2007 for stem cell research. In addition, he has been a vocal advocate for strong action to combat domestic violence. Also, he is the primary champion fro women and minority owned business in N.Y. He has also demanded statewide alternative energy strategies. In addition, he is the leading advocate for the visually and physically impaired. Through all of his accomplishments Mr. Paterson hasn’t forgotten where he comes from.

In his own words; “You never get to any level of leadership where your race is not a factor.” Although he adds; You don’t want to be the first; you want to be the first of many.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: