Bill Text: NY K00020 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Mourning the death of George K. Arthur, prominent political leader, distinguished citizen and a major figure in the African-American community

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-0)

Status: (Passed) 2021-01-20 - adopted [K00020 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-K00020-Introduced.html

Assembly Resolution No. 20

BY: M. of A. Peoples-Stokes

        MOURNING  the death of George K. Arthur, prominent
        political leader, distinguished citizen and a  major
        figure in the African-American community

  WHEREAS,  It  is  with  profound  sorrow  and  deep regret that this
Legislative Body, representing the people of the State of New  York,  is
moved this day to pay tribute to an eminent man of indomitable faith and
dedication  whose  public  service  and  countless  accomplishments will
forever stand as a paradigm and inspiration for others; and

  WHEREAS, George K.  Arthur,  a  true  pillar  in  his  community  of
Buffalo,  New York, died on Friday, December 25, 2020, at the age of 87;

  WHEREAS, A longtime former  Common  Council  president  and  onetime
mayoral  candidate,  George  K.  Arthur was active in local politics for
more than 55 years and was a dominant force particularly  in  the  city,
where he fought for equality in housing and education; and

  WHEREAS,  This  renowned Buffalo native also worked to promote unity
in the city, advocated for economic and community development,  defended
the  interests  of  the  Black  community,  and  sought to help cultural
institutions such as the Nash House; and

  WHEREAS, George K. Arthur served on the Common Council for 26 years,
including a dozen as president before his retirement;  he  continued  to
work  for  Buffalo  well  into his 80s as a member of the Buffalo Fiscal
Stability Authority; and

  WHEREAS, Throughout his illustrious career, George K. Arthur  was  a
mentor   to  many  aspiring  young  politicians;  he  also  successfully
cultivated and won  support  throughout  the  city  as  well  as  across
demographics and the political aisle; and

  WHEREAS,  A  friendly and personable gentleman, George K. Arthur was
also tough as nails and fought hard for what he believed in; and

  WHEREAS, Born on June 29, 1933 to  William  and  Jayne  Arthur,  the
future   politician   attended  School  32  and  graduated  from  Seneca
Vocational High School in 1951, with a  major  in  photography;  he  was
drafted into the United States Army in 1953, proudly serving his country
as  a member of the Signal Corps until 1955, when he began night classes
at the University of Buffalo's Millard Fillmore School; and

  WHEREAS, George K. Arthur worked for nine months at Bethlehem  Steel
and  then  as a photo technician at PhotoTech Studios in Buffalo, before
entering  the  political  sphere  in  a  race  for   the   position   of
committeeman; and

  WHEREAS,  In  1964, George K. Arthur won election to the former Erie
County Board of Supervisors  as  the  Fifth  Ward's  representative;  he
served  on  that  board until 1967, when he turned his attention to city

politics after the county  board  was  replaced  with  the  Erie  County
Legislature; and

  WHEREAS,  George  K.  Arthur  lost  his  first attempt at the Common
Council in 1967, but came back three years later to  take  the  Ellicott
District  seat,  which  he  held  from  1970  to  1978,  when  he became
Councilman-at-Large; during this time, he also  worked  as  a  narcotics
counselor  for  the  state  Office  of Drug Abuse from 1970 to 1976, and
obtained a bachelor's degree in  political  science  from  Empire  State
College in 1977; and

  WHEREAS,  Perhaps  most  notably,  George  K.  Arthur  took  on  the
inequalities he saw in the city's education system as the lead plaintiff
in a school desegregation lawsuit, Arthur v.  Nyquist,  that  was  filed
against the city in 1972; this federal lawsuit was decided in 1976, with
the court ruling in his favor; and

  WHEREAS, With a tireless and unwavering commitment to his community,
George K. Arthur devoted his entire life to making the City of Buffalo a
better place for all people; and

  WHEREAS,  This  extraordinary  man lived an immensely beautiful life
built on compassion, kindness,  and  respect  for  others;  he  will  be
remembered  as  one  of the most significant and enduring government and
political leaders in the history of the City of Buffalo, and his insight
and strength will forever serve as a beacon of  love  and  hope  to  the
countless lives he touched; now, therefore, be it

  RESOLVED,  That  this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death  of  George  K.  Arthur,  and  to  express  its  deepest
condolences to his family; and be it further

  RESOLVED,  That  a  copy  of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of George K. Arthur.