Bill Perkins (politician)

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Bill Perkins
Bill Perkins NLN.jpg
Bill Perkins speaking at Times Square in New York City, 2008.
Member of the New York City Council from the 9th District
Assumed office
March 1, 2017
Preceded by Inez Dickens
In office
January 1, 1998 – December 31, 2005
Preceded by C. Virginia Fields
Succeeded by Inez Dickens
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 30th district
In office
January 1, 2007 – February 28, 2017
Preceded by David Paterson
Succeeded by Brian Benjamin
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Brown University

Bill Perkins is the Council member for the 9th District of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat. The district includes portions of Harlem in Manhattan. Perkins formerly represented the same seat from 1998 to 2006, and was a member of the New York State Senate from 2007 to 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Perkins was born and raised in Harlem, New York, and attended Collegiate School (New York City) before receiving a scholarship to Brown University, where he graduated in 1972.[citation needed]


In 1997, Perkins was first elected to the New York City Council, winning the seat easily after losing the Democratic nomination for the Council three times previously. On the Council, Perkins served as Deputy Majority Leader, and championed the lead paint laws that required New York City residences to be tested for hazardous conditions.[1]

Term-limited from the Council in 2005, Perkins opted to seek election to the New York State Senate in 2006, where he won.[2] He was re-elected five times, and served a total of ten years, before resigning to retake his seat on the New York City Council. Perkins also ran briefly to succeed Charles Rangel in the United States House of Representatives in 2016, but later dropped out.[3]

Perkins was one of the few New York lawmakers who endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary over Hillary Clinton.[4]

New York City Council[edit]

In 2016, Councilmember Inez Dickens, who had succeeded Perkins on the Council, announced that she would forgo her last year on the Council before term-limits to run for a vacant seat in the New York State Assembly. That seat had become open because long-time Assemblymember Keith Wright opted to also run for Congress, eventually losing the primary to Adriano Espaillat. While he could have run for his Assembly seat again, he opted not to.[5]

With Dickens eventually winning that seat, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called a special election for the Council district on February 14, 2017, or Valentine's Day. Perkins announced that he would be a candidate, along with eight others who had never held elected office. In the end, Perkins won the election with over 33% of the vote. He was sworn into office on March 1, 2017.[6]

Perkins will have to run for a full, four-year term in the regularly scheduled election in 2017.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
inez Dickens
New York City Council, 9th District
Succeeded by
Preceded by
C. Virginia Fields
New York City Council, 9th District
Succeeded by
Inez Dickens
New York State Senate
Preceded by
David Paterson
New York State Senate, 30th District
Succeeded by
Brian Benjamin