Several area lawmakers have released reactions to yesterday’s death of Pete Seeger:
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“Today, I join with New Yorkers to mourn the loss of a New York icon and folk music legend, Pete Seeger. Pete used his music to make our society and state a better place. He was a champion of civil rights, labor, peace and the environment who used his influence to try and improve the country we live in. As we continue to make New York State the progressive capital of the nation, we are proud to have been the place Pete called home. While he is no longer with us, Pete’s lyrics will continue to live on to inspire future generations. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
New York State Senator Terry Gipson, a Democrat from the Hudson Valley:
“I’m saddened by the news of Pete Seeger’s passing, but grateful to have been touched by his celebrated life. His music provided a soundtrack to decades of change in our nation and his advocacy provided a voice for so many important causes including labor, civil rights and protecting our environment, especially our beloved Hudson River.
“Pete Seeger will certainly be missed, but his music and his legacy will live on in the Hudson Valley and around the world.”
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from the Hudson Valley:
“Today is especially sad for those of us in the Hudson Valley who had the honor of calling Pete Seeger a neighbor and a friend. As a legendary musician and advocate for social and economic justice, Pete dedicated his life to fighting for folks who needed a champion - his legacy will live on through his music for generations to come.”
Ulster County Legislative Chairman John Parete:
“Pete brought a gentle wave of awe and inspiration as he entered a room. Just his presence at a rally could unite people. When voices united in his songs, it would bring that power of one to affect the whole. His music and message lives on.”
Ulster County Legislator David Donaldson:
“He continued to fight for the down trodden all his life. Pete will be greatly missed. The last time I saw him, he was singing at a labor organization meeting. It gave chills up and down the spine just to think of all the history that he presented that day.”
Ulster County Legislator Manna Jo Greene:
"What was so special about Pete Seeger was that in a time of discord and pollution, he had the vision to understand that, if we all work together, we can create a world that works for everyone -- where people live in harmony with each other and the environment. He had the creativity to realize that by connecting people to the river they would realize the importance of protecting it and restoring it to its natural beauty. In the late 1960's, when the Sloop Clearwater was built, the river was a fouled from one end to the other with raw sewage and industrial waste. In the early 1970's, Pete and his friends sailed up and down the river, using the power of song to draw people to the river and inspire them to action. They collected many thousands of signatures calling for the passage of the Clean Water Act, then sailed down to Washington DC and held an impromptu concert in the halls of Congress. This was considered the tipping point in the passage of the landmark environmental legislation that is responsible for the much improved quality of life we enjoy today. Whether it was workers rights, civil rights, world peace or environmental protection -- right through to calling for a ban on fracking -- Pete Seeger was at the forefront of every major movement for social justice and the environment in the past 75 years. His contribution is of global proportions and we were very blessed to have had him living and working right here in the Hudson Valley as he championed these many causes. Now that he has passed, it is up to all of us to be sure his legacy continues."
Paul Ellis-Graham, President of Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation:
"The Labor Movement lost a vocal giant today with the passing of Pete Seeger. Pete was a man who supported the working man, wanting to fix the wrongs of society. Pete stood up for individuals, for humans rights and for workers rights everywhere. Pete walked the walk and he sang the talk at many of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation events."
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus:
“We mourn the passing of Hudson Valley native and folk pioneer Pete Seeger. His music and message will continue to inspire future generations.”