William Smith- July Member of the Month

Member of the Week // Uncategorized // Policy // Young Gets It Done

WilliamPSmith Photo

Aside from having a fantastic name, William has been an active member of MYD for the last year. Last year, William became an elected member of the New York County Democratic Committee after petitioning on his own and collecting over 100 signatures in his election district! This past May, he represented MYD at the New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) Convention in Yonkers.

William’s love for politics began at an early age. A lifelong resident of East Harlem, William wrote his Congressman (Charlie Rangel) every year since he was 6 years old. After majoring in political science at the City College of New York, William yearned to further his knowledge and experience in public service. He decided to serve as an Intern Staff Assistant in Congressman Rangel’s office, and at the conclusion of the internship, he decided that he wanted to become more involved politically. Since then, William has certainly lived up to that goal: he served as the Manhattan Field Organizer for Bill Thompson’s 2013 mayoral campaign, he ran for and became an elected member of the NY County Democratic Committee, and he now currently serves as the Community Liaison to NYS Assembly Member, Keith Wright.

An issue that is near and dear to William’s heart is the efficient use of public capital in improving our infrastructure:

The efficient use of public capital in improving our infrastructure is a vital component to the success of NYC, NYS and our nation as a whole. We have seen how this issue has evolved over the past few years. With the Obama administration making infrastructure one of its main policy initiatives, we must examine this issue further. With the push in emerging markets for the privatization of ports, airports and core transportation assets, I believe it is time to examine how it could work in the United States specifically with major municipalities. With municipalities’ fiscal outlook not improving and the federal government appropriating less money, the only way to maintain and enhance our infrastructure is by privatizing certain assets and sourcing private investment. The use of public-private partnerships to ensure our infrastructure needs are met is imperative to our economic and hurricane sustainability. We must also put in place stronger safeguards to ensure any private sector partners have stricter MWBE requirements. We must have stronger federal and state government support in subsidizing vocational training to ensure that our citizens have the necessary skills and experience to compete for potential job opportunities that would arise from enhanced infrastructure spending.

William’s favorite thing about being a young New Yorker is living in a city that is both vibrant and filled with possibilities.

The greatest part about being young in New York is that there are so many professional opportunities available to you if you work hard, have a vision for your career and are ready to put in the work to accomplish your goals. New York is the most diverse place, and it helps foster economic and social advancement like no other place in the country. I would not say there’s a worst part about being young in New York. Being young in New York teaches you the value of hard work, patience and the understanding that you have to earn respect through perseverance. Therefore I wouldn’t say there’s a “worst” part about being young in New York, you are just able to learn many valuable life lessons sooner than in other states or cities.

You can meet William and other active MYD members tonight at the 2nd Annual Demmy Awards and at MYD’s 6th Annual, Young Gets It Done event.

Learn more about how you can become involved in MYD on our membership page.