Issues: Families


State Senator Patty Ritchie recently joined community members at the Children’s Home of Jefferson County’s SoZo Teen Center, to celebrate the donation of 16 computers to the center by UnitedHealthcare. 

October 23, 2013


State Senator Patty Ritchie joined Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County staff and board members as well as local community members recently to cut the ribbon on the organization’s new shelter.

Serving the community since 1979, the Victims Assistance Center assists and provides direct services to victims of violence and crime in Jefferson County. 

October 23, 2013


Close to 200 people, including senior citizens and families, participated in Senator Felder’s free flu shot event today at the Senator’s office in Midwood. Constituents from across Senator Felder’s district received the 3-in-1 flu shot administered by nurses from Beth Israel Medical Center.  

October 8, 2013

Senator O'Brien recognizes "Domestic Violence Awareness Month"


ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien joined Alternatives for Battered Women, the Rochester and Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium and other local elected officials in recognizing October as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

“Domestic and dating violence is a scourge that must be confronted and eliminated,” Senator O’Brien said. “Throughout their lifetimes, domestic and dating violence will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men, and many incidents continue to go unreported. We must continue to insist that such violence will not be tolerated in our community.”

“I was proud to support the Domestic and Dating Violence Housing Rights law during my time in the Monroe County Legislature, and in the State Senate, fight for

October 8, 2013

Senator Parker Expresses Concern for the Victims of the Federal Government's Shutdown

(Brooklyn, NY) - “Speaker Boehner and Congressional Republicans’ actions last night in shutting down the federal government will create significant hardship for New York’s working families. Starting today, the families of over 50,000 federal employees in New York City will not be able to pay their bills. As the temperature cools, families that receive support from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be hurt. In addition, federal grants that fund elder abuse protection, senior services, veterans, and child care will not be disbursed, leaving our vulnerable populations without vital services. Additionally, children from low-income families who attend Head Start will lose access to this important childhood development program.

October 2, 2013

State Answers Senator Kennedy's Call for Investigation into Erie County Child Protective Services in Response to Tragic Death of Eain Brooks

Five-year-old Eain Clayton Brooks was murdered last week on Buffalo’s West Side. Family members say they reported abuse to CPS on several occasions, but apparently no actions were taken after they determined the complaints were unfounded.

Kennedy called on the state Office of Children and Family Services to investigate Erie County CPS.

September 26, 2013

Police identify man found shot near Jax Hgts stabbing

As reported by the Times Ledger:

Two days after state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) described Roosevelt Avenue as the city’s new version of once crime-ridden Times Square, a 33-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds to his head and neck just steps away from where the legislator had stood.

“The Police Department has done great with the limited resources they have, but we need more,” Peralta said at a news conference at the corner of 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue Sept. 18. Peralta and western Queens officials - Councilman Daniel Dromm, Comptroller John Liu, Assemblymen Michael Den Dekker and Francisco Moya - had gathered to denounce the fatal stabbing of 69-year-old Ever Orosco at the same intersection Sept. 16.

For full article, click here. 

September 26, 2013

Senator Klein and UFT President Michael Mulgrew Announce $700,000 Grant for 16 ‘Community Learning Schools’ Citywide

BRONX, NY – Standing in front of the steps of P.S. 83 on Rhinelander Avenue in the Bronx, Senator Klein and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew announced a $700,000 grant, secured by the State Senate in the 2013-14 budget, for the New York City Community Learning Schools Initiative. This grant will be used to fund 16 community learning schools during the 2013-14 school year, including P.S. 83, P.S. 14 and the International School for Liberal Arts in the Bronx. The grant was advocated and secured by Senator Klein and his colleagues in the 2013-14 State Budget.

September 25, 2013

Swift Fix To EI Program Billing Needed

ONEONTA, 09/24/13 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced his strong support for a swift solution to a billing situation that has placed Early Intervention Program services for hundreds of special needs children at risk.

“Worried parents and dedicated providers alike have contacted me in regard to the newly created complexities in the Early Intervention (EI) Program payment system,” said Senator Seward.  “Providers are not being paid, and, more significantly, children in need of vital services are going without the care they desperately need.   Swift action must be taken to correct this detrimental situation.”

September 24, 2013

Senator Kennedy Calls for Comprehensive State Investigation into Death of Eain Clayton Brooks and CPS Response, Operations

Five-year-old Eain Clayton Brooks was murdered this week on Buffalo’s West Side. Family members say they reported abuse on several occasions, but CPS reportedly found those complaints unfounded. 

Kennedy wants the state Office of Children and Family Services to investigate the child’s death and to conduct a comprehensive study into state and county systems for Child Protective Services.

September 20, 2013

Strengthening Women's Rights in New York

For the second year in a row, I am proud to report that the New York State Senate passed its Women's Equality Agenda, a momentous package of bills to further protect and ensure the rights of women in New York.

These landmark measures will empower women and break down barriers that perpetuate violence, discrimination, and inequality.

Unbelievably though, the State Assembly left Albany without even bothering to vote on these important bills, and they can't become law until the Assembly acts. We need YOUR help to move the Assembly to action!

September 18, 2013

September 2013 Newsletter – Back to School

Please click the file below to view the Back to School newsletter. 

Back to School

September 17, 2013


On September 11, we paid tribute to those who lost their lives 12 years ago, on September 11, 2001. We remember their lives and the devotions they had to their families and friends. We will never forget.

On this 12th anniversary of 9/11 and in all years to come, it’s important that we share the lessons of that fateful day to our children. This morning, I attended a ceremony at an elementary school in the Seventh Senate District. Every student at the ceremony was either not yet born or just born when 9/11 took place. Yet, they should know the stories of bravery, heroism and sacrifice. They should know the stories of those who lost their lives and the resiliency of their families. They should know the lessons of tolerance and the ramification of hate.

September 12, 2013

Portable Cribs Available for Families in Need

New York State is offering portable cribs, also known as playards or playpens, for families in need. In keeping with the continued efforts to promote safe sleep practices for infants, the Office of Children and Families Services (OCFS) will purchase 2,142 GRACO Pack ‘n Play portable playards that will be made available to counties and community-based programs, benefitting families without the resources to obtain safe sleep furniture for children in their care.

September 9, 2013

Senator Diaz hosts Annual Family Day at Concourse Village!

Come join the residents of Concourse Village at their annual family day hosted by State Senator Ruben Diaz. There will be free food, entertainmente and music for the entire community!

Everyon is invited! Bring a friend!

September 6, 2013

New Public-Private Partnership to Prepare More Than 6,000 Students for High-Skill Jobs

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced 16 winners of a statewide competition to form public-private partnerships that will prepare more than 6,000 New York high school students for high-skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and healthcare. Students will earn an associate degree at no cost to their families and will be first in line for jobs with participating companies when they graduate.

August 30, 2013


The 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” was organized in support of civil rights legislation, and also to call attention to significant economic inequalities. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic “March on Washington”, inspired by its victories (the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965), we must also acknowledge that there is still much progress to be made as a society and pervasive inequalities that must be addressed.

August 28, 2013

Dads Take Your Child to School Day is Tuesday, Sept. 17 -- Encourage your child's school to get involved!

The Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance have worked together for the last several years to encourage and support the development of a statewide focus on responsible fatherhood. As part of New York State’s commitment to promote responsible fatherhood, one day in September has been set aside for fathers and father-figures to take their children to school as a way of becoming more involved in their child’s education throughout the year.

August 27, 2013

Senator Gianaris’ Bill to Protect Children from Sun Overexposure Becomes Law

(Albany, NY) Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill authored by Senator Michael Gianaris and carried in the State Assembly by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, which will increase cancer prevention and reduce the dangers of sun poisoning for children. The law will strengthen existing regulations regarding the application of sunscreen in schools and summer camps to ensure that children are able to apply sunscreen when spending time outside.

The New York State Department of Education and the Federal Food and Drug Administration include sunscreen on their list of over-the-counter drugs, previously requiring a note from a doctor before a child would be allowed to use it during school hours. Summer camps also follow these guidelines.

Understanding how important it is for children to protect themselves from sunburn and overexposure to the sun, Senator Gianaris’ newly passed law will only require a note from a parent.

“Our first responsibility is to protect our kids, and we fail to do that when illogical regulations force schools to put our children in danger. Our schools should be encouraging sunscreen use, not preventing it,” said Senator Gianaris. “I am pleased Governor Cuomo signed this common sense measure into law, allowing us to rest assured that our children will not be at risk when they play outside at school or at summer camp.”  

August 19, 2013

The NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus Applaud Stop and Frisk Ruling

Reforming Stop and Frisk has been a top priority 

Albany, NY- Reforming "Stop and Frisk" has been one of the top priorities of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus for at least the past decade. We strongly support and applaud Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s decision on the New York Police Department’s Stop and Frisk Program. In 2012, the Caucus traveled to D.C. to lobby the Department of Justice to investigate NYC’s Stop and Frisk practices. While in D.C. the Caucus also briefed the Congressional Black Caucus on the status and implications of this controversial program.

August 12, 2013
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