|Name||William B. "Sam" Hoyt, III|
Buffalo, New York , United States
|| January 09, 1962
Oct 09, 2012 02:24am
|Info||Born and raised in Buffalo's west side, William B. (Sam) Hoyt III has represented the neighborhoods of Buffalo's Lower West Side, Black Rock-Riverside, and portions of North Buffalo, Parkside, and the City's University District, as well as the town of Grand Island, since 1992. Sam has dedicated his career to advancing the ideals of public service and progressive community change. |
Sam counts the development of Western New York's economy as his highest priority. He has introduced nationally recognized, groundbreaking legislation to encourage a Smart Growth approach to combating urban sprawl. He champions legislation to reform industrial development agencies (IDAs), and allow for local government consolidation. He has been one of the Legislature's leading opponents of legalizing casino gambling, which he views as an economic threat to the region. Sam has helped pass more than 150 tax cuts, is working to expand Buffalo's Empire Zone, and has helped direct millions of state economic development dollars into Buffalo's and Grand Island's business districts.
Sam is an ardent fighter for education. He's not afraid to rock the status quo with proposals to reform tenure for principals while increasing compensation incentives to attract the best. He has proposed introducing merit pay for teachers, and voted to pass charter schools into law. Sam has also worked with the entire Western New York legislative delegation to increase funding for Buffalo's and Grand Island's public schools and fight proposals to reduce state aid under the cloak of increased spending flexibility. Sam has doggedly fought against funding cuts and tuition hikes for the State University of New York (SUNY) system. He passed legislation, vetoed by Governor Pataki, requiring that a minimum number of alumni sit on the SUNY Board of Trustees. He also helped eliminate the sales tax on text books for all college students in New York. In 1992, he received the SUNY Chancellor's Recognition Award.
At a time when officials in Washington have seemingly declared war on the environment, Sam continues to fight for a cleaner, greener New York. He is a chief proponent of renewable energy sources, green building technologies, cleaning up brownfields, parks protection, urban reforestation and alternative fuel/low emissions vehicles. He has a near-perfect environmental voting record, and has been honored by many environmental advocacy organizations for his leadership in the area. In 2001 alone, he won the William B. Hoyt Environmental Award from the National Audubon Society (named in honor of Sam's father, who preceded Sam in the Assembly) and the League of Conservation Voters' Creating a Greener New York Award.
In 2001, Sam was named to chair the Assembly's committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. He immediately jumped into the battle to reform New York's draconian Rockefeller era drug laws. Sam is not only a leading advocate of drug law reform, but he introduced legislation to re-direct savings from reforming the drug laws into increased funding for drug treatment and prevention. He has won several awards for his leadership in this area, including recognition in 2001 for his commitment to increasing public understanding that addiction is a preventable and treatable disease and for putting a face on recovery by the WNY Chemical Dependency Consortium. In 2001, Sam received recognition from the NY Council on Problem Gambling for his work to prevent and treat gambling addiction.
Sam's fight against alcoholism and drug addiction is linked to his commitment to fighting crime. He helped craft and pass legislation designed to make schools safer and crack down on heinous sexual crimes. He helped pass several laws toughening penalties against various violent crimes and has introduced bills designed to reduce vandalism, dangerous dogs, high-speed police chases, arson, professional dealers of illegal fireworks, and many other crimes. Sam is not afraid to stand up against ineffective panaceas designed to sound tough and, as such, has always opposed the death penalty.
Sam was named the State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers' 1997 Public Citizen of the Year because of his leadership role in fighting for responsible and fair state budgets, particularly on behalf of health, mental health, senior, addiction and education services. He is active in the area of social justice, recently joining other urban legislators in declaring a state of emergency in the fight against HIV/AIDS in minority communities. He is committed to combating all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity and race, and religion.
As one of the Assembly's leading advocates on issues involving women, children, and the elderly, he has sponsored important legislation on domestic violence, elder abuse and health clinic access, in addition to supporting educational initiatives to combat teen pregnancy. Sam is staunchly pro-choice. He has received several awards in recognition of his work on behalf of issues related to social service, including the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association's Distinguished Public Service Award in 2000, the National Association for Mental Illness Public Service Award in 2000, and the PEF Quality Service Award in 1999.
Sam is proud to represent one of the most diverse districts in upstate New York. He is a leading advocate on issues of concern to the Hispanic, gay and lesbian, and immigrant communities, all of which help make up the richness of the district.
Sam strongly advocates for historic preservation of significant architectural landmarks and has fought for funding on behalf of such Western New York treasures as Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, the Darwin Martin House, H.H. Richardson's gothic towers of the Buffalo State Asylum, and the classic Kleinhans Music Hall, designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen.
As a member of the Assembly Energy Committee, Sam fights to promote energy conservation, lower business and residential energy costs, and lower energy taxes. He has introduced legislation to help the economically disadvantaged pay for rising heating costs, and helped reduce the Gross Receipts Tax.
Sam's other Assembly committee assignments include Transportation; Children and Families; Tourism, Arts and Sports Development; and Government Operations; as well as membership on the Assembly Task Force on Women's Issues and honorary membership on the Assembly Puerto- Rican/Hispanic Task Force. Sam co-chairs the Assembly Task Force on High Speed Rail and is the Legislature's leading passenger rail advocate.
A graduate of Buffalo's Park School, Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the State University College at Buffalo (Buffalo State). In 1996, he was inducted into the Buffalo State College United Student Government's Hall of Fame. Prior to entering elected office, Sam served as Western New York regional director for U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and was marketing and promotions director for Buffalo Bisons Baseball.
Sam resides on Buffalo's Lafayette Avenue with his wife, the former Constance Gallivan, and their sons, Clayton and Griffin.