Longtime Bedford Stuyvesant resident Henry Butler has a notable history of service to the community. Recently elected as State Committeeman and District Leader in June 2020 for the 56th District, he is responsible for staffing polling sites for election days; working with the Board of Elections to select polling sites; vetting potential judicial candidates; and working on the Kings County Democratic Party platform.
Henry Butler is also District Manager for Community Board 3 of Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn. In this role, he must maintain strong relationships with elected officials and city commissioners. Mr. Butler is a liaison who coordinates and monitors the delivery of services from various city agencies to the community of Bedford Stuyvesant. As such, he plays an essential role in preparing the Board’s annual capital and expense budget request to the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, Mr. Butler currently serves as President of the influential Vanguard Independent Democratic Association Club. Mr. Butler formerly served as the Chairman of the Labor Committee for the Brooklyn NAACP.
Mr. Butler was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn. After earning a degree in Political Science from Hunter College, he began his career in public administration as Assistant Director of Lafayette Gardens Community Center under the New York City Housing Authority. Mr. Butler then served as a Case Worker for the Office of Child Support Enforcement. He was a member of Local 371 while employed by NYCHA and ACS. Mr. Butler went on to become a conductor for the New York City Transit Authority. During his 14 years with the MTA, Mr. Butler was an active member of his union, TWU Local 100, serving as a Shop Steward in support of his fellow union members. Mr. Butler would later take on an even greater role serving as the union’s Political Organizer and Community Outreach Liaison for Brooklyn. A position in which his proudest achievement was organizing and delivering relief efforts to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Mr. Butler has volunteered much of his time to his community. In 2006, he took on the role of Block President, and began serving as a member of Community Board 3. Mr. Butler served as Vice President of the Police, Fire & Safety Committee and as Financial Secretary to the Board. Prior to becoming the Board’s District Manager, he served as Chairperson of the Board from 2008 to 2013. Under his tenure, Mr. Butler was successful in procuring funding for several capital projects, including the funding for elevators at the Utica Avenue train station and the reconstruction of the Nostrand Avenue thoroughfare. Mr. Butler led the successful fight to save the B25 bus that runs through the heart of community board 3 along Fulton Street. Additionally, in 2012 Mr. Butler as Chair of community board 3 was able to get Bedford Stuyvesant north rezoning passed by the New York City Council. As District Manager Mr. Butler was successful in procuring funding for the construction of a new sanitation garage in Community Board 3. He also was successful in procuring funding for the Bed-Stuy Housing Initiative, which will build over 600 units of truly affordable housing.
As a result of his unfailing commitment to community service, Mr. Butler had the honor of receiving the Community Appreciation Award from Brooklyn Neighborhood Services, the Merit Award from former Congressman, Edolphus “Ed” Towns, the People’s Community Empowerment Hero Award from State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and Citations from Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Robert Cornegy at the Brooklyn Best Honor’s Award. Mr. Butler was also honored to be elected as a Hillary Clinton delegate for the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and was most recently elected as a delegate for the historic Biden/Harris ticket in 2020.
In addition to his many roles in the community, Mr. Butler has been a mentor in the Big Brother Program, and an entrepreneur, adding to the local economy as one of the former owners of Brooklyn Burger and Brew Restaurant. However, Mr. Butler would argue that his most important role will always be husband to his wife Lalena of 18 years, and father to their two boys Kevin and Miles.