It is with great sorrow that I learned of the passing of former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all of those he inspired over the years.
Mayor Dinkins was a trailblazer. A man of great courage and conviction, he led our gorgeous mosaic of a city with grace and dignity. He gave a voice and a vision to so many young people of color, like me, and made things that seemed impossible, possible. He knew and was an example that although you may be the first, you must push open the doors for those who will come after you. And when I became speaker of the New York State Assembly more than five years ago, I personally thanked Mayor Dinkins because his experiences no doubt would make my role as the first person of color to lead this chamber a little easier.
Mayor Dinkins was such a warm, kind and caring person. I will always remember his words to me whenever our paths crossed – “Hey buddy, how’s my speaker doing?” Rest in power, Mayor Dinkins.