RECALLING HIS COMPASSION AND STRONG SENSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE MOURNS THE PASSING OF MAYOR DINKINS
David Norman Dinkins, 93, was an American politician, lawyer, and author who served as the 106th Mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993. He was the first and, to date, only African American to hold that office.
Dinkins died Monday evening at his residence on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in Manhattan
As a member of the “Gang of Four” — an informal group that included longtime US Rep. Charles Rangel, the civil rights attorney Percy Sutton and Basil Paterson, New York’s first Black secretary of state — he was part of a new wave of Black leadership that came to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s and greatly increased Harlem’s political influence in the city.
National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial today issued the following statement in response to the passing of former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins:
“Today we mourn the passing of David Dinkins, New York City’s first and only Black mayor, and a true public servant who was guided by his compassion and strong sense of social justice.
“He took office during a time of great challenges in the city – high crime, economic recession and racial unrest. While these conditions often steer mayors to make decisions that further marginalize and victimize vulnerable communities. But Mayor Dinkins was able to resist these pressures in some important ways. Homelessness fell to a 20-year low during his administration. He rebuilt more of the city’s dilapidated buildings, in its poorest neighborhoods, in his single term than his predecessor did in two. He was a pioneer of community policing, even using the subtitle “Cops And Kids” for his “Safe Streets, Safe City” program that triggered a historic drop in violent crime.
“As a teenager barred from using his school’s pool and a young Marine turned away from a public bus in the South, he brought to his public a deep understanding of the legacy of racism.
“He will be remembered for his compassion, his gentle demeanor, and his dignity. Our deepest sympathy is with his children, David Jr. and Donna, and his grandchildren.”