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Legendary Community Leader George K. Arthur Honored as Citizen of the Month by Legislator Betty Jean Grant


George K. Arthur & Betty Jean Grant

Buffalo, NY - At the session of the Erie County Legislature held in “Old County Hall” on Thursday, February 23, 2017, Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) presented renowned political leader George K. Arthur with the Erie County Legislature’s Citizen of the Month Award for February 2017.  The award comes during Black History Month, and family, friends, and the community at large congregated at Old County Hall to celebrate black history and Mr. Arthur’s award.

            The Erie County Legislature’s Citizen of the Month Award was established in 2012 to recognize individuals who have achieved great heights in their professions, have retired from distinguished careers, have demonstrated excellence in arts and sports, or have made extraordinary contributions to the quality of life or quality of place in Erie County.

George K. Arthur served Buffalo and Erie County in several roles, first on the Erie County Board of Supervisors, the predecessor to the Erie County Legislature, and later on the Buffalo Common Council where he would go on to become Councilman-at-Large and President.  Arthur would ultimately run for Mayor of Buffalo as the Democratic Party nominee in 1985, becoming the third African American to do so.

Legislator Betty Jean Grant stated, “Mr. Arthur is rightfully a beloved and respected figure, and the Erie County Legislature is proud to recognize him for his years of dedication and commitment to Buffalo and Erie County.”  Legislator Grant would also add, “there is absolutely no question or doubt about the positive impact George Arthur has had on our community.  He is a perfect role model and mentor for our youth and I’m honored to present him this award.”

During the ceremony, Mr. Arthur was enthusiastically and warmly embraced by the crowd and given two standing ovations.  In his acceptance speech, Mr. Arthur thanked the Legislature for the award and reminisced about his time on the Erie County Board of Supervisors, noting that 2017 is the 50th Anniversary of his last year as a member.

Community organizations Mr. Arthur has been a part of include memberships with Kleinhans Music Hall, Ellicott Homes, Shiloh Housing, First Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Goodwill Industries, AFSCME-Council #82, and CEPA Gallery.  

Mr. Arthur also serves as President of the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation which preserved and re-opened the Rev. J. Edward Nash home as a museum and research center.  In addition to his dedication and commitment to public service, Mr. Arthur is known for his passion for photography and jazz and was the second African American to receive a photography degree from Seneca Vocational High School.