Antoine Thompson is an experienced leader in community organizing, public policy and creating laws that improve the quality of life for people in his community. He understands what it takes to grow a business, promote entrepreneurship, protect our environment from a lens of environmental justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a former Legislative Assistant for the Buffalo Common Council, former Buffalo City Council Member, former New York State Senator, and former co-chair of the New York Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, first African-American Chair of the NYS Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, first African-American Deputy Majority Whip for the New York State Senate, and former Chair and Co-Chair for the Buffalo Common Council MWBE Committee, and the NYS MWBE Taskforce, he works hard, but most importantly, Antoine gets things done!  Antoine knows how to listen, learn, and lead.

A Leader that Gets Things Done

Antoine passed significant and groundbreaking legislation in his political career as a City of Buffalo Council Member and as a NYS Senator. He has received over 100 awards for his legislative leadership and service. Some of the key pieces of legislation he sponsored and/or co-sponsored that became law are:

  • City of Buffalo’s Fair Housing Law
  • City of Buffalo MWBE Law (25% MBE, 5% WBE)
  • MWBE goals for $1 billion Buffalo Schools construction project
  • NYS MWBE Mentor/Mentee Protégé Law
  • Green Jobs/Green New York
  • Underground Railroad Heritage Area for Niagara Falls, NY and Buffalo, NY
  • Toxic Free Baby Bottles
  • Electronic Recycling
  • Sustainable Energy Loan Programs
  • Historic Building Rehabilitation Tax Credit
  • Living Wage Legislation
  • Worker’s Compensation Reform (Expediting and streamlining payments)

A Champion for MWBEs

As a business executive, real estate agent and serial entrepreneur, Antoine is a steadfast  champion of closing the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship.  His vision for our community includes creating a Maryland MWBE Mentor Protégé program to help our businesses grow and increase supplier opportunities with state government.  Maryland has struggled for decades to meet its supplier diversity goals; a Maryland Mentor Protégé law would aim to expand capacity, technical knowledge, and participation of MWBEs in state contracting opportunities.    Antoine created a similar supplier diversity law while serving as a NYS Senator in 2010.  Other policy priorities include:

  • Expediting Maryland MWBE Certification Process.
  • Increasing access to small business grants and loans from state and local governments.
  • Increasing real estate development opportunities for MWBEs on state funded projects.

An Advocate for Education

As a child, Antoine was fortunate to benefit from the federal HeadStart program and the free lunch program from pre-k to High School. He was able to attend and graduate from SUNY Brockport as a result of admission to college through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) for socially and economically disadvantaged students.  Antoine credits his education, family, village, faith, and lots of prayer for propelling him from poverty to public and community servant.  Antoine wants to do more to reduce the high dropout rate of our youth from schools, recruit more teachers from regional and national colleges, and provide greater funding for after school and anti-violence initiatives.  Other policy priorities include:

  • Increase student loan forgiveness to $100,000 in exchange for teaching 5 years in certain school districts.
  • Expand Maryland homeownership programs for teachers that live in certain neighborhoods for 7 years.
  • Maryland Serves Program – individuals that commit to volunteer at nonprofit organizations servicing disadvantaged communities in Maryland would have a portion of their student loans forgiven.      
  • Improve access to career and technical education for students to meet the current needs of industry and the new economy. 

A Leader for Closing the Wealth and Health Gaps

Antoine is keenly aware of the racial disparities in housing and health care, locally, regionally, and nationally. During his time as a Buffalo Council Member, Antoine was the author of the city’s Fair Housing Law. He has also served as the National Executive Director of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) for six years, the oldest Black real estate trade association, leading efforts to combat discriminatory lending and appraisal practices.  Currently, he is Board Chair of Housing Options Planning Enterprises (H.O.P.E.), a local community development corporation, and President of the Black Housing Policy Network.  

He is committed to combating the racial disparities in mortgage lending in Prince George’s County, the State of Maryland and across the country.  Antoine also wants to see minority builders and developers have more opportunities for construction of both single and multi-family homes.  Other policy priorities include:

  • Increase amount of state funded down payment assistance for homeownership.
  • Bring impact investors to Maryland to help with socio-economic initiatives and projects.
  • Increase penalties for redlining in mortgage lending, auto and homeowners’ insurance, and require the publication of an anti-redlining annual report to be submitted to the Governor and General Assembly by relevant state agencies.
  • Increase funding to expand emergency room services to reduce patient wait times and improve health care services in our hospitals.
  • Increase funding to create more community health care clinics in neighborhoods inside the Prince George’s County beltway
  • Prescription drug pricing controls and reforms to make it easier for seniors and families to afford their medications. 

A Leader for Clean Energy, Transportation and Jobs

Antoine continues to lead with innovative ideas, policies, and projects to improve our environment, reduce energy costs, and protect our youth, seniors and the disenfranchised from respiratory illnesses that stem from transportation which overwhelmingly negatively impacts Black and Latino communities.  As a member of the Buffalo City Council cleaning up toxic waste sites, and his time serving as the first African American Chair of the NYS Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, Antoine has been a voice on energy and transportation issues that matter.  He testified before the General Assembly in support of Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now and Clean Cars II, two laws focused on improving our environment.  He understands that racial equity is key to making sure that communities of color are not left behind. Antoine was recently appointed by Governor Wes Moore as a Commissioner to the Maryland Commission on Transportation Revenues and Infrastructure Needs (TRAIN), which looks at the future of transportation in Maryland.  Other policy priorities include:

  • Create Green Jobs, Green Infrastructure Bond Act.
  • Increase funding for more air monitors in EJ Communities.
  • Public Awareness Campaign for EV Adoption.
  • Increase state funding for repowering and retrofitting heavy duty vehicles that are difficult and/or too expensive to electrify, which are an immediate threat to public health.