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Press Release


April 17, 2014



Kate Childs Graham
cell 202/615-2424


AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Passing of Basil Paterson

WASHINGTON— Statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten on the death of Basil Paterson, the father of former New York Gov. David Paterson.

"Basil Paterson was a fighter for justice—he championed civil rights, voting rights and labor rights. He was our long-time counsel, in the truest sense of the word, for the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation Teachers. He worked tirelessly to make sure working families and their children got the respect and dignity they deserve. We are proud and grateful for his efforts on behalf of our members.

"For me, personally, Basil was my counselor, my friend and my mentor. A lion of the movement for justice and equity, he will be sorely missed. We take solace in knowing that his legacy will endure by those continuing the struggle in Harlem, across New York and across the country."


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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.