Saturday, August 10, 2013

Political World Marks Bill Lynch's Passing

Bill Lynch, 72, Democratic Strategist in New York,...

Condolences are flooding in with word of the passing of veteran strategist and former Deputy Mayor Bill Lynch, who died Friday afternoon at age 72. Here is a sampling of words from those who mourn him:
bill lynch and david dinkins.jpgFormer President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton: "Bill Lynch had a heart even bigger than the city he served. Whether he was fighting for working families at AFSCME or running political campaigns or working in City Hall, Bill always put people first. He was a friend to both of us over many years. We admired his integrity and his generosity, including his support for scores of community and philanthropic organizations. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mary and their family. New York has lost a champion and they have lost a loving husband and a devoted father."
Mayor Bloomberg: “Bill Lynch stood at the center of one of our city’s most important moments, the election of David Dinkins as New York City’s first African-American Mayor. He sought to better our city by bringing people together and served as Deputy Mayor because he wanted to make a difference for New Yorkers. He spent his life passionately pursuing his ideals – civil rights and social justice. Many of the most influential political leaders – here in the city and also on the national level – sought his counsel. He lived a remarkable life, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Former Mayor David Dinkins: "Over eight years, four as Manhattan borough president and four as mayor, much that was accomplished was because of Bill Lynch.
"It was he who persuaded me, in 1989, to run for Mayor, and I shall be eternally grateful for that which he helped me accomplish. Bill, who was sometimes referred to as the 'rumpled genius,' was the architect of so much that I’m credited with having accomplished during our administration. He had a genius for connecting people of common interests and goals, and for the political game and behind-the-scenes strategy. He was a genius but, more than that, he was a dear friend and I will miss him dearly."
NYC Controller John Liu: "Bill Lynch is a true friend and mentor to generations of countless mentors, leaders, trailblazers, organizers and activists. Words cannot express the deep grief felt throughout New York, including the Team Liu Family of which Uncle Bill is the patriarch. I would not be where nor who I am today without Bill Lynch."
NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio: “Bill Lynch was a giant in New York City politics, and – on a personal level – a mentor and a friend to me for the last 25 years. Sometimes we were on the same side, sometimes we were on opposite sides, but he was always on the side of economic and social justice for New Yorkers. He inspired two generations of activists and public servants to make a difference in this city. He will be sorely missed by many, including Chirlane and myself. Our hearts go out to his entire family.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn: “Today, we mourn the loss of true champion for progressive causes and one of the sharpest minds that New York government and politics has ever seen. Bill Lynch dedicated his life to making New York City a better place. As a Deputy Mayor under Mayor Dinkins, Bill played a critical role in facilitating Nelson Mandela’s historic visit to New York City in 1990.  Bill was a fighter for equality and the embodiment of a New Yorker: tough, smart, and fiercely loyal to the City he loved. Bill was my friend - he was a one of a kind New Yorker, and he will be sorely missed.”
bill lynch windows.jpgManhattan Borough President Scott Stringer: "Bill Lynch was a giant in so many ways, and the news of his passing brings sadness to all of us who knew him, who worked with him and respected his enormous achievements. He was a prominent and historic figure in New York politics, an immensely talented political consultant who guided David Dinkins to victory in his 1989 mayoral race. He built an extraordinary coalition in that campaign, and the ability to forge consensus became a hallmark of his multi-faceted career: He served Mayor Dinkins as Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Relations, becoming his chief aide and adviser; he helped bring the Democratic National Convention to New York City in 1992, and he organized the City’s welcome ceremony for Nelson Mandela.  Bill Lynch fought long and hard for racial justice, and he was a tireless champion of the City’s working men and women. We will miss his courage, his intelligence and his commitment to serving the people of New York. Like many, I have lost a dear friend today – and my thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.: "Peggy and I are among the countless New Yorkers who lost a friend, a teacher and a member of our extended family today with the passing of Bill Lynch. Bill worked relentlessly and until his final days to make New York a fairer and more open place. His accomplishments forever changed the landscape of New York for the better, and he will be deeply, deeply missed across our city."
Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright: "New York and the entire nation lost a true virtuoso yesterday, whose impact and legacy will live on for generations. It was Bill who gave me my first job in politics, running the Harlem Office of then-Borough President David Dinkins. Since then, I can recall strategizing with him on most any topic. Bill was also the engineer behind my father's successful campaign for Supreme Court in 1979, of which Harlem, the City of New York and the Black Community is forever grateful. Our friendship withstood many years of politics and I loved him dearly. A brilliant football player, an invaluable mentor and one of the greatest labor organizers that will ever be, Bill Lynch will be missed by many."
Former Controller Bill Thompson: "I lost a friend today. And the city lost a giant. Bill Lynch was a brilliant strategist and thinker - that was unmistakable from the moment he entered a room. And his body of work, including his tireless effort to help elect political leaders across New York City, most memorably David Dinkins, tells his powerful story. But Bill always understood that politics is about people. He didn't just help elect leaders full of heart and vision and know-how, Bill served. He had a deep belief that government could be a tool to improve the lives of New Yorkers. Bill Lynch lived by that belief. No matter what the challenge, he persevered. Even though he left us today, Bill and his voice will continue to guide our city and its people to a better place."
The Rev. Al Sharpton: "National Action Network and I are heartbroken over the passing of Bill Lynch. We lost a brilliant political strategist and the 'Godfather'of the Harlem political establishment. Bill was not only one of the most astute political minds in the country, he was a political father to many and worked with National Action Network for over twenty years on some of the most pertinent issues of our time. Bill believed in mentoring young people and it came easy for him because he believed in putting people and community first and said: 'When you do that, you always win.' Bill Lynch personally mentored countless young strategists who now hold key positions including National Action Network's own National Field Director LaMon Bland. Bill has been a revered advisor to some of the great humanitarians and elected officials of our time."
Bertha Lewis, President, The Black Institute: “I am heartbroken. Today, a great man has passed and I am deeply saddened by the loss of yet another mentor and friend to our community. A lot of what I know about Politics and Organizing, I learned from Bill Lynch. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest political minds of our era, and will forever be known as a giant in politics. He was a legend on the gridiron and on the gritty streets of Harlem and his passing creates a huge chasm in our City and our Nations political fabric. I am honored to have known, learned and worked with him. Bill was a master political architect who was a key link between the Civil Rights Movement and electoral politics. The effects of his genius touched as far as South Africa and its abolishment of Apartheid and the world mourns his passing. The hearts and minds of The Black Institute are with his family and our friends at Bill Lynch Associates.”
Hector Figueroa, President, 32BJ/SEIU: "32BJ joins the many others across the country saddened by the passing of our brother, comrade, and friend Bill Lynch. Our movement lost a singular warrior today. Bill's years of visionary work with labor, political leaders and the black community are unparalleled, and the fruits of his many endeavors will live far beyond him. Bill believed in the transformative powers of democracy and political engagement and was an unwavering champion in the ongoing fight to get unheard voices heard. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones. Bill, we will miss you."
Scott Levenson, The Advance Group: “It is with heartfelt condolences and deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Bill Lynch. He was a mentor, teacher and leader to so many of us. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family and our colleagues at Bill Lynch Associates.”
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