Celebrating William “Bill” Perkins

The Honorable


Sunrise: April 18, 1949

Sunset: May 16, 2023

“Bill Perkins was a fierce advocate for justice and a steadfast voice for his community throughout his career.”

Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York

“All New York today tips its hat to Bill Perkins, a true public servant. Bill always stood up for what he believed and was a fierce champion for Harlem in City Hall and Albany, and he leaves an indelible legacy across our city and our state.”

Chuck Schumer, New York U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader

“Bill Perkins was a fierce advocate for the people of Harlem and a stalwart progressive leader, both on the New York City Council and in the State Senate.”

Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator

“Harlem has lost a giant. Bill Perkins was a legend of New York government. He was also a good friend. I will miss his company and his counsel.”

Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City

“In our darkest hours, when it seemed like the whole world was against us, Bill Perkins bravely stood behind and with us. His bravery and commitment to justice were unwavering, and he is a big reason why we were eventually exonerated. Rest in Power, Bill Perkins.”

Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five

“As a councilman and state senator, he fought for higher wages, health care, gay rights and sought justice for the Central Park Five.”

Sam Roberts, The New York Times

“Bill Perkins has never forgotten where he came from.”

West Side Spirit

“It took the stamina of a long-distance runner to prevail against the city's powerful landlord lobby, which has resisted stronger lead paint removal laws for decades.”

Juan Gonzales, NY Daily News

The Nation Magazine recognized Bill Perkins as one of eight “Progressive City Leaders” for their effectiveness addressing local and national issues.

“A legislator who has no fear and limitless empathy for life's casualties.”

Jack Newfield, NY Sun

“Mr. Perkins , whose eclectic history includes a childhood on welfare and a degree from Brown University, appears uniquely suited to unite the often-feuding factions of liberal New York.”

Ben Smith, NY Sun

“Harlem state senator Bill Perkins didn't budge when New York's Democratic establishment pushed him to back hometown gal Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries. Perkins, himself a former tenant organizer, liked what he saw and heard from another ex-organizer, Barack Obama…Now they're both winners.”

Tom Robbins, Village Voice

“The first in line to vote at 110th St. and Fifth Ave. Tuesday was an actual political hero, the very first elected official in our city to endorse Barack Obama.”

Michael Daly, NY Daily News

“Perkins is a strong believer in the community in which he serves and has always fought for what he believes is right.”

Amsterdam News

In lieu of flowers, the Perkins family requests donations in honor of Bill be sent to:

CaringKind, The Heart of Alzheimer’s Caregiving

360 Lexington Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10017
(646) 744-2900


Please direct all questions to RememberBillPerkins@gmail.com