THE BRONX - Carl Heastie was elected to one of the most powerful and influential positions in state government, and now he says he is planning to use his leadership role to make a difference.

Despite making history as the first African-American to be elected New York state Assembly speaker, Heastie says that he doesn't want his race to define his legacy.

"I don't want that to be what I'm known for; it's great to be a footnote in history, but that's not what I want to be known for," he says.

In the almost four months he has been speaker, Heastie says that his work has been nonstop, taking on the position just weeks before a state budget was due.

What Heastie says matters is knowing how his influence can make advancements in the Bronx.

"Not to say that every county is just as important to me, but I've not been shy in telling people that the Bronx is going to be first among equals. This is my home, it's where I've lived my entire life," he says.

He says that his goals still remain the same - fighting for education and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Heastie plans to take a statewide tour of New York in July.