“My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Council Member Tom White; his mother Marie White, his children: Bryan D. White, Lucile Precious Middleton, daughter-in-law Seleste White and grandchildren Lamar White and Jacob. Tom spent most his life serving the people of Southeast Queens, working to support communities that faced great challenges. As chair of our Economic Development Committee he fought for programs that helped many of these neighborhoods on the path to recovery.

“He searched for ways to break the cycle of poverty and violence. He fought for job training and placement programs, and investments in long term economic growth. He had a particular soft spot for women and minority business owners, pushing for additional resources to help them stay afloat and create good jobs for their neighbors.

“Throughout a government career that spanned two decades, he balanced his work on the City Council with public service of another variety. As Executive Director of one of the largest substance abuse programs in the state, he cared for New Yorkers who have often been marginalized, forgotten, and incarcerated from an early age. He gave them hope, a shot at redemption, and a chance to build a better life.

“Though Tom has left us, he remains present in the lives he touched and the impact he made on the face of our city. The thousands of New Yorkers he helped shepherd away from the jaws of addiction; the small business owner given a chance to build her own American dream here in the five boroughs; the working family that can now afford to stay in the home they built; the child who will grow up with cleaner air and safer streets.

“The New Yorkers whose lives have been made better, in ways both large and small, thanks to the laws Tom sponsored and the causes he championed. It is through them that Tom White will truly be memorialized.”