This panel of government leaders, featuring Michael Steele and David Paterson, will focus on how perceptions of African Americans, and black men in general, shape the national political will necessary to address a variety of public policy and fiscal challenges in which African Americans have a significant stake. Exploring this conversation from the Left and the Right, we will examine the shifting sands under identity politics, changes in demographics, and the possibility of building interest-based coalitions thereby driving public policy to have positive outcomes for black men and boys.
Moderator Maya Wiley, President, Center for Social Inclusion, talks with Michael Steele, Former chairman GOP (AMJ), and David Paterson, Former Governor NYC (AMJ).
As New York’s 55th David A. Paterson led the movement to create permanent reforms to the way health care is delivered in New York State to rationalize the State's Medicaid reimbursement system and provide increased investment in primary and preventative care. He overhauled the Rockefeller Drug Laws for the first time in more than 30, and introduced landmark civil rights legislation to end legal discrimination against same-sex couples in New York
In June 2012, Governor Paterson joined the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board after being nominated by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in April, 2012. His work on the Board is informed by his time as Governor.
In 1985, at the age of 31, Governor Paterson was elected to represent Harlem in the New York State Senate, becoming the youngest Senator in Albany at the time. In 2003, he became the first non-white legislative leader in New York's history when he was elevated to Minority Leader of the Senate. He made history again in 2004 when he became the first visually-impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention and again in 2007 when he became New York's first African- American Lieutenant Governor. As Lieutenant Governor, he led the charge on several crucial issues including legislation for stem cell research, working to prevent domestic violence, putting forth a statewide renewable energy strategy and championing the expansion of minority and women-owned businesses in New York.
Governor Paterson is nationally recognized as a leading advocate for the visually and physically impaired. He is a member of the American Foundation for the Blind and he serves on the Board of the Achilles Track Club.
Michael Steele is chairman of the Republican National Committee. Previously, Steele was lieutenant governor of Maryland, the first African American elected to statewide office. He also served as chairman of GOPAC and held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform. President George W. Bush named Steele a member of the US delegation to the investiture of Pope Benedict XVI and as a member of the delegation to the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII in Tanzania. He is a regular contributor to Fox News and regular host of the Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated “Morning in America Show.” Steele is the founder of The Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and Politico among others.
Ms. Wiley is a civil rights attorney and policy advocate. A graduate of Columbia School of Law, she has litigated with the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and US Attorney’s Office. She has lobbied the U.S. Congress and developed programs for the Open Society Foundation to promote racial inclusion in the U.S.and in South Africa. She founded and for the last ten years has led the Center for Social Inclusion, a national policy strategy organization building solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems, working directly with communities of color and national leaders. Ms. Wiley was named one of 20 Leading Black Women Social Activists Advocating Change, by the Root.com (2011) and a NY Moves magazine Power Woman (2009).