Nassau Executive Blakeman says he seeks to have diverse staff to honor MLK
On the day set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, newly elected Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said he's going to honor the civil rights icon and his fight for racial equality - by hiring people of color.
Blakeman was among the dozens of people who gathered to honor the life and legacy of King at the Joysetta and Julius Pearse African American Museum of Nassau County.
"In the three weeks I've been county executive, this has been the highlight, to be with you today," Blakeman said.
Blakeman, who also took a tour of the museum, said he first learned about King when he was a little boy, watching him give speeches on television about the fight for racial equality.
"Dr. King is a personal hero of mine," he said.
In addition to talking about the personal impact of King, Blakeman said as county executive, he plans to ensure there is a professional impact as well when it comes to diversity and inclusion in his administration.
"I'm going to have senior people on my staff that are people of color from every race, every religion, every ethnicity. I think that my administration should reflect the diversity of the community," Blakeman said.
Blakeman said the museum on Franklin Street, which is dedicated to the history of African Americans through artwork, artifacts, exhibits and stories, will be one of the first places to benefit.
"I'm making a financial commitment to the museum. We're going to have more staff and, quite frankly, I'm also going to appeal to the private sector to contribute to the museum like they contribute to other arts and cultural institutions. Why not here at this museum?" Blakeman said.
A spokesman for Blakeman said there will be announcements later this week about senior staff appointments.