Chief of Staff; Ass’t. Commissioner, Intergovernmental Affairs • N.Y.C. Dep’t. of Small Business Svcs. • N.Y.C. • Age: 33
As he carved a career for himself, Larry Scott Blackmon was determined not to exploit the name of his father, Larry Blackmon, lead singer and founder of Cameo, the funk and R&B group known for the 1986 hit “Word Up!” “I never wanted anyone in politics to say I achieved anything because of my father,” he says. Blackmon lived with his grandparents in Harlem from the time his mother died when he was 12, but he often joined his father on the road with the band. Today, the chief of staff and assistant commissioner for intergovernmental affairs for the New York City Department of Small Business Services. He is known for his advocacy for minority and women owned businesses and the City’s M/WBE program, which works to build their capacities and increase their access to City contracting opportunities. He graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1996 with a B.A. in liberal arts, and will receive a master’s in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York this month.
Blackmon worked at EMI Records and Island Black Music from 1996 to 1998, then launched his own independent promotions firm. He helped to “promote” C. Virginia Fields’ campaign to become Manhattan borough president in 1998. successfully using “guerrilla marketing” tactics that he did in the music business. “We took a sound truck all up and down the avenues, and stuffed flyers in people’s doorways all over Harlem and Northern Manhattan. In the districts that we worked, she won by a ratio of 12-to-1,” he says. Word of his work quickly spread in political circles and he subsequently worked again with C. Virginia Fields and with U.S. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer, Former City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, The New York Jets NFL Team, as well as with Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his successful re-election campaign.
In his spare time, Blackmon plays with his band, Hit and Run.