Dyjuan Tatro has been appointed as the new senior advisor for diversity and inclusion by the House Democrats’ campaign branch.
Tatro said in a statement upon his hiring
“This past election cycle has emphasized how electoral politics affects the daily lives of each and every American as well as the centrality of the African American vote to winning elections. I am honored to be joining the DCCC to work on a number of issues at the nexus of politics, diversity, and equity & inclusion.”
Let’s check him out in his top facts.
1. He is a reformed criminal
Dyjuan Tatro is regarded as an ex-gangster. He served a six-year sentence for racketeering conspiracy. At the time of that 2011 conviction, Tatro had already been doing time for shooting two rival gang members in 2006. He served a total of 12 years.
He belonged to the Original Gangsta Killas street gang that terrorized Albany. In addition to the shootings, Tatro confessed to “razor slashing” another victim in 2002. Additional crimes include, dealing with drugs.
He pleaded guilty in December 2010, admitting he made at least $12,000 a month dealing drugs and conspired to traffic more than 50 grams of crack cocaine.
2. He appeared in a PBS docuseries
Tatro is known for appearing in the 2019 PBS documentary series “College Behind Bars,” about a group of inmates trying to earn their degrees through New York state’s Bard Prison Initiative. College Behind Bars can be found on Netflix.
3. He earned a degree while in jail
Thanks to the College Behind Bars program, Dyjuan Tatro obtained a bachelor’s degree while serving a six-year sentence. By the time he got out of prison, he had finished a mathematics major and earned a bachelor’s degree from Bard College.
4. He help defeat a Harvard debate team
Tatro previously made headlines for defeating Harvard men. While in the program himself, Tatro was part of a three-inmate debate team from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility in the Catskills that famously defeated the Harvard undergraduate debate team.
5. He is a criminal justice advocate
The former gangster is nowadays a high-profile criminal justice advocate. Tatro was freed in 2017 and has since become an advocate for increasing educational opportunities for inmates through BPI.
Dyjuan is currently BPI’s Government Affairs and Advancement Officer. He works on securing funding, advocates for the restoration of TAP financial aid and PELL grant eligibility for incarcerated students.
6. His hiring is quite controversial
According to reports, the fact that Dyjuan Tatro, a former murderous gangster has been given the prominent position with the DCCC; will only reinforce criticism that Democrats are soft on crime.
7. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has defended Tatro
It was Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney who named Tatro in the new position and said about hiring him
“Dyjuan is a formerly incarcerated person who has worked hard to change the trajectory of his life through education and service to his community,”
“He has served his time for the crimes he committed and is now a national leader in the bipartisan movement to reform our criminal justice system and bring meaningful improvements to the education system in American prisons. Such critical work breaks cycles of recidivism by making sure more people leave prison with the skills to hold down a job and contribute to their communities.”
8. He and Maloney have history
After prison, Tatro started working as government affairs and advancement officer for BPI. He’s also worked on Maloney’s campaigns. He is in addition a Board Member at The Fortune Society.
9. He is active on social media
Dyjuan Tatro is currently based in New York and often posts on his Instagram account where he has over 2k followers. He describes himsefl as a Consultant.
10. His father did drugs
35-year-old Dyjuan is originally from Albany, N.Y. I He grew up in a single-parent household, the child of a disabled mother. According to his own account, his father was in Vietnam, came home drug-addicted and never really recovered from that.