Retired WAMC CEO Alan Chartock honored by New York state Assembly
Democratic Assemblymember Deborah Glick of Manhattan introduced the resolution late Tuesday. It came just after Chartock’s retirement in May following more than four decades running WAMC/Northeast Public Radio.
As Glick told fellow lawmakers, the New York state capitol was always key to Chartock’s career and focus, including interviews with governors, Assembly Speakers and Senate Leaders, commissioners, the rank-and-file, and advocates.
“Here in Albany, you can listen to the Capitol Connection, which focuses on us in the Capitol, the Congressional Corner, which reaches across the Northeast to having various congressional members. I know I've been interviewed, I know that our majority leader has been interviewed by Alan,” she said.
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo, a frequent “Capitol Connection” guest, also paid tribute.
“I appreciated his style of questioning. I know we're going to lose not having him on the scene anymore. He would ask you a question. You know, most times reporters already know what the answer is they want to hear from you. And if they don't hear it, they ask you another question. He would actually accept the answer that you gave him and allow that to be the answer to the question that he asked. And I have a lot of respect for that,” she said.
Republican Keith Brown of the Assembly’s 12th district on Long Island says Chartock even indirectly helped his political career get going.
“When I was at Albany, I did the internship back in 1990 and Alan Chartock was nice enough to place me with Senator Norman Levy. And it was that internship that made me want to run for the Assembly some 30 years later,” he said. “So I appreciate very much my professor Chartock has done for this town, for SUNY New Paltz, for SUNY Albany, and for the legislative process here and enlightening so many of us through the ‘Legislative Gazette.’”
Democratic Assemblywoman Didi Barrett represents the 106th district.
“WAMC covers my entire district,” Barrett said. “It's one of the important and continuing news sources and programming for many, many people. During all of their Fund Drives, I would always hear my constituents calling in and making contributions.”
Echoing those sentiments was Albany Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy of the 109th district.
“Forty years is impressive in any profession, but certainly he was known as being tireless and known for his energy and as Member [John] McDonald and I would often say, also known as a character,” she said.
Fahy said Chartock deserves credit for inspiring young people to take an interest in state government and policy.
Democrat Chris Burdick represents the 93rd Assembly district in Westchester County and recalled his wife listening to WAMC in Chartock’s adopted hometown of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
“She said, ‘You have to listen to this. He is unbelievable.’ And I couldn't agree more. He was captivating. He always had a great sense of humor, and really got to the essence of things without being deprecating or insulting to the people he interviewed. And I, too, became a devotee of his programs. So I commend the sponsor for bringing this resolution and join in the accolades for Alan Chartock. So well deserved.”
Lawmakers approved the resolution by voice vote.