Bill Perkins, Democrat—Working Families, was re-elected to the New York City Council in a Special Election on February 14th, 2017.
During the previous decade, Bill Perkins represented the 30th Senatorial District which is part of New York County and encompasses Harlem, the great preponderance of East Harlem, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights. A lifelong resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins started his political career as a community activist and is known for his tenacious and unyielding commitment to serving the community. The young, elderly and the most vulnerable New Yorkers have always been Bill’s legislative priorities.
From 1998-2005, Bill Perkins served on the New York City Council. During his initial tenure, he was the third highest ranking member of the Council serving as the Deputy Majority Leader. As Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Perkins was the prime sponsor of the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004 which protects children from the deadly effects of lead paint in their homes. Thanks to his efforts, New York has the strongest lead paint prevention law in the country.
A strong advocate of public education, Bill Perkins has fought to provide every child equal access to a quality education. He advocated for and allocated funding for computer technology, public libraries and the rehabilitation of school playgrounds. He helped fight for and won increased funding for the City University of New York (CUNY) scholarships, full-time staffing and college preparatory courses. Bill is one of the leading voices on maintaining the public university’s mission of access and excellence.
Senator Perkins knows the importance of early cancer detection. He has been successful in establishing early detection programs increasing awareness of colon and other cancers in city hospitals so cancer patients stand to have a better chance at survival and recovery. He helped safeguard the health of children and adults by fighting against conditions that trigger asthma like pesticide use, diesel buses and rats. In response to a myriad of health concerns in our community, Bill was the leader in the fight to combat the high rates of infant and maternal mortality, and has worked tirelessly on essential issues such as the crusade to end HIV/AIDS and the fight to enact universal, single-payer healthcare in New York State, forever putting “Patients Before Profits.”
A strong voice in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties, Bill Perkins originally introduced the Patriot Act Resolution in the City Council which mandates that anti-terrorism laws and policies be implemented in New York City in a manner that does not infringe on the fundamental rights and liberties of New Yorkers. He also opposed racial, ethnic and religious profiling. He sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities. He was instrumental in leading the fight for the Living Wage to provide a minimum wage that was also a living wage, for all.
As a youth, Bill Perkins recognized the importance of a quality education. He worked hard and was awarded a scholarship to Collegiate Preparatory School in Manhattan and later a scholarship to Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1972 with a BA in Political Science, Bill returned to New York and dedicated himself to giving back to his community through activism and public service. Bill Perkins has continued on that mission ever since and remains committed through this very day to fight for fairness, justice, equity and improving the lives of those he represents.