By: Sophia Brewer
From digging ditches to waiting on tables, to working in his father-in-law’s liquor store at night, Mayor David Dinkins’ most enjoyable job was becoming the 106th Mayor of New York City in 1989. Dinkins presented his new memoir, A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic at Barnes & Nobles in Union Square on Sept 27th.
The former American politician who made history by becoming NYC’s first black mayor, stood in front of a diverse audience while donning one of his signature bow-ties, to give recognition to those who have helped him along the way and to discuss highlights from the book.
Dinkins spoke on defeating Rudy Giuliani in a run-off election by a margin of 50,000 votes. At the time, no African-American had ever become mayor in a big city with a majority white population.
Under his administration, Dinkins implemented the Safe Streets, Safe City Program in 1991. The model plan was aimed to reduce crime in the city and expand opportunities for the youth. The successful program resulted in crime decreasing dramatically more than any other time in NYC on his watch.
Dinkins also expressed taking blame for the Crown Heights Riot and credited the NYPD with being the best in the world at controlling riot situations, but acknowledged he did not do a sufficiently good job for that occasion.
The former mayor has made peace with losing the 2nd election by 44,000 votes to Giuliani. He did not deny the fact of Giuliani running a racist campaign, but says that was not the only reason why he lost.
Kevin Woodhouse, Chairman of the Concourse Village Youth and Cultural Arts Committee, attended the signing because he saw it as a historical moment.
“I met Dinkins on a number of occasions and I believe he has made a contribution to the city,” said Woodhouse.
Although memoirs are written for prosperity, Dinkins says his purpose for writing the book was to encourage young people to become part of the process and to remind them that our country is only as good as its leaders.
“We need more young people to run for office and become leaders,” said Dinkins.
About the Author, Sophia Brewer
Sophia Brewer is a transplant to NYC from Atlanta, Ga. She obtained a M.A Journalism from Columbia College in Chicago and received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Clark Atlanta University. Throughout her studies, she interned at top news stations in Chicago and Atlanta. In addition, she served as a Publicity Assistant for a NFL player.