Tribute to Arnold Pinkneyby Representative Marcia L. Fudge
Posted on 2014-01-16
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Ms. FUDGE. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the citizens of the Eleventh
Congressional District of Ohio, I rise today to recognize a great
Ohioan, Arnold Pinkney, who passed away Monday, January 13, 2014, at 83
years of age.
Arnold Pinkney was an extraordinary political strategist and mentor to generations of elected leaders, including me. He had an innate understanding of people's needs and knew how elected officials could best articulate and pursue policies that achieved the common good.
Mr. Pinkney managed the Cleveland mayoral campaign of Carl Stokes, who in 1967 became the first African-American mayor to lead a major American city. Mr. Pinkney went on to manage successful campaigns for the Honorable Louis Stokes. He also co-managed Ohio gubernatorial campaigns of Dick Celeste.
Arnold managed the 1984 presidential campaign of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. Notably, the strategy used in Rev. Jackson's campaign resulted in the significant presence of delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The presence of Rev. Jackson and his delegates allowed for their meaningful input into the party's focus and priorities for the election cycle and beyond, and opened a door that eventually culminated in the election and re-election of President Barack Obama over 20 years later.
Mr. Pinkney was elected to and served many years on the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board of Education, including time as its president. He also helped the school district pass levies critically needed to educate the city's children and provided successful strategic advice to other local public office candidates.
What I remember most about Arnold is his passion to use the talents with which he was blessed to improve our community. His love of politics was inspired and nurtured early on by the great Hubert Humphrey, having served as deputy manager for the Vice President's 1968 presidential campaign. Vice President Humphrey once said, ``The moral test of a government is how it treats those who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.'' Mr. Pinkney kept those words close to heart as he strategized with and advised so many of us.
Mr. Pinkney was also an astute businessman. He was the first African American agent for the Prudential Insurance Company, and later co- founded the Pinkney-Perry Insurance Agency, which remains a thriving business in northeast Ohio today.
Financial success did not blind Arnold Pinkney to the needs of the people and the need of government to serve all people. He lived his life to the fullest, and left the world a better place than he found it.