Vice President Al Gore once referred to Arthur O. Eve as "a leader on just about every issue that's important to families." A former Democratic member of the New York state Assembly, Arthur Eve represented districts in Buffalo for 35 years - longer than any other incumbent member. In that time, he was an indefatigable champion for society's underserved, supporting programs in economic development, education, job training, social services, crime prevention and parole reform, day care and housing.
Arthur Eve served as Deputy speaker of the New York state Assembly for more than 20 years, making him the highest ranking African American in the state Legislature at that time. During his first term, he initiated a movement to establish higher Educational Opportunity Programs (HEOP) throughout New York, providing economically and educationally disadvantaged residents the possibility of a college education. Now celebrating its 40th year, HEOP is one of the most highly regarded and successful programs of its type in the nation having benefited thousands of new York students, including many who have attended Hobart and William Smith. HEOP has since been named for Arthur Eve in recognition of his leadership.
Arthur Eve also led the New York state Black and Puerto Rican Legislative caucuses and was the first African American to win the Buffalo mayoral Democratic Primary. During the 1971 Attica Prison riot, he led a committee of public officials to resolve the conflict. He later was appointed by Gov. George Pataki to the Attica task force that met with families of surviving Attica prison employees and negotiated reparations.
After retiring, Arthur Eve established Freedom, Justice and Hope, a non-profit organization advocating for children and families of New York State.