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Remembering a Champion: Senator Cordell Cleare Pays Tribute to Bill Perkins for his Unyielding Service to Harlem and the State

Posted June 7, 2023

Senator Cleare, community leaders, local officials, and members of the media gathered at the Senate Chamber in Albany, NY, on Wednesday, June 6th, 2023, to honor the late Bill Perkins in a Senate Resolution Ceremony. Perkins, a highly respected and long-serving elected official from Harlem, dedicated 25 years of his life representing Harlem, first in the City Council from 1998 to 2005, then in the State Senate from 2007 to 2017, and finally returning to the Council from 2017 to 2021.


Throughout his career, Perkins, known as a community activist, tenant leader, and elected official, tirelessly advocated for justice, equality, and the empowerment of his constituents. He played a pivotal role in supporting crucial initiatives such as the Exonerated Central Park Five and the Childhood Lead Pain Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004, which aimed to protect children from the harmful effects of lead in their homes.


Perkins' recent passing has left a significant void in the Harlem community. Senator Cordell Cleare, who worked for him for nineteen years, was grateful to have Perkins at her recent community inauguration and recognized the importance of providing an opportunity for the community to see him publicly one last time. Senator Cordell Cleare remarked, "Bill Perkins, a true luminary of Harlem, dedicated his life's work to championing justice, equality, and empowerment. His tireless efforts served as a guiding light for our community, igniting a spark of hope and inspiring transformative change. As we gathered today to honor his profound legacy, let us carry forward his torch, continuing the vital work he started, and shaping a future that embodies the principles he fought so passionately for Justice. Equality. Empowerment."


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