Paul Washington Moves To New Challenges

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The New York City Council has many exceptional people working within its ranks, as exemplified by Paul Washington, the esteemed Chief of Staff to Council Member Charles Barron. Throughout the four years he’s held that job, his razor-sharp intellect and ability to get inside a problem and bring it to clarity are just two of the many qualities he's brought to the City Council – qualities that will now be sorely missed as he moves on to other challenges. For as of August 12th, Washington is leaving the council to become Program Director at Medger Evers College and an adjunct lecturer at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Washington will lecture on Introduction to Philosophy, focusing on the African American philosophic tradition that has existed in this country for years but that hasn't been highlighted. “I will try to unearth the contributions that philosophers of color have made to this nation and the world,� Washington stated. “Out of all the 35,000 philosophers in this country, only 1% are African American. I think that's an abomination. Yet, there has been a philosophic tradition that dates back to Frederick Douglass, who stated that we all should be philosophers in thought and action.� Paul Washington went on to say that it will be a challenge because he’s developed so many friendships and relationships while working in the City Council; however, this will give him the opportunity to grow and broadens his horizons.

Members of the City Council wanted to send Washington off in style, so at its most recent meeting, the council presented him with a proclamation. Calling him “a man of great humility and quiet strength� and pointing to his “integrity and deep intelligence,� the proclamation speaks of Paul Washington’s “passionate dedication to principles of social justice that has helped him become a thunderous force for social change.� It concludes, “Paul has greatly enriched the New York City Council with his presence, and it is with gratitude and joy that we wish him the very best in all his future endeavors.�

In presenting the proclamation, Council Member Charles Barron told of Washington’s long history in the struggle and the important legacy of social activism begun by his family, which has made great contributions to some of the nation's most important leaders for social change.

Council Member David Yassky voiced the sentiments of all the council members when he said, “Medger Evers’ gain is the Council's great loss. Paul Washington is a tremendously valuable part of the City Council infrastructure, and I'm sorry to see him go.� Also in attendance were Washington’s wife, Peggy and daughter Tylibah.


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