Issues: Human Rights

Press Release: Senator Stewart-Cousins Statement on the 50th Anniversary of Signing of the Civil Rights Act

It is hard to believe that it has only been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law, following hundreds of years of discrimination against black Americans in the most basic human rights including education, housing, and employment.

Today serves as a reminder to all Americans that the Civil Rights movement and this landmark legislation opened the doors of inclusion regardless of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.

July 3, 2014
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Central Park 5: Beyond The $40 Million Settlement And The Impact On Pending, Future Cases

Demetria Irwin | The Grio | June 28th, 2014

This important in-depth story highlights the spectrum of compelling reasons to immediately pass Senate Bill 1267 which would require the videotaping of interrogations in New York State.  The article--which can be found here--quotes Senator Perkins at length:  

“We want to guarantee that any confession is acquired in a legal manner without coercion. This bill could end coercion, “ said Perkins.

July 1, 2014
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Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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Central Park Five — Wrongfully Convicted In 1989 Rape — Settle With City For $40 Million

The New York Daily News | By Michael Feeney & Ginger Adams Otis | Thursday, June 19th, 2014

 

Senator Perkins recognizes and commends New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his leadership team for coming to terms on a settlement with the Central Park Five--Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

 

While no amount of money, nor admission of injustice on the City’s behalf can ever make the Central Park Five—who had their youth stolen away from them by a total system failure that allowed for coerced confessions to be illegally and immorally obtained from them—whole again, this settlement is an absolute and necessary step in the healing process.

 

June 25, 2014
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Westchester County African-American Heritage Celebration

In celebration of Juneteenth, a national event commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, Senator Stewart-Cousins attended the Westchester County African-American Heritage Celebration which was held at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla on Sunday, June 22nd. The Westchester County African-American Heritage Celebration is organized and operated by various community leaders and organizations of African-American decent and origin to showcase the many talents and accomplishments of African-Americans in the Westchester

June 23, 2014
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Forum/Town Hall: Community Town Hall On Solitary Confinement In New York & The HALT Solitary Confinement Act

Please join Senator Bill Perkins, Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry and New York Campaign For Alternatives To Isolated Confinement (CAIC) for an importnat Community Town Hall On Solitary Confinement In New York & The HALT Solitary Confinement Act.  

July 12, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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The Compassionate Care Act

On the last day of the 2014 session, I was honored to have the opportunity to speak on the floor of the Senate regarding my vote in favor of the Compassionate Care Act. I am proud to have been part of a bill that will bring relief to people suffering from serious illnesses.

June 20, 2014
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Meeting Grace Rutagengwa, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide

Grace Rutagengwa is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide which claimed the lives of her parents and three siblings.  As one of her last acts, Grace’s mother hid three year old Grace under her skirt, to protect her from their attackers.  

A neighbor – who was named Providence -- found Grace and provided shelter for her until she could be safely transported out of the country, hidden in a large suitcase.

June 18, 2014
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Senate Passes Women's Equality Measures

The New York State Senate today completed action on all of the measures that make up its Women’s Equality Agenda. Three bills passed by the Senate would stop sexual harassment at work, allow for the recovery of attorney’s fees by victims of gender discrimination, and enable domestic violence victims to obtain orders of protection electronically. Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos called on the Assembly to act immediately on the women’s equality bills passed by the Senate. Over the past week, the Senate has approved eight bills of the nine-bill equality agenda. One of the bills was enacted into law last year. 

June 18, 2014
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SENATE PASSES VALESKY BILL TO COMBAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE AND OTHER WOMEN’S EQUALITY LEGISLATION

ALBANY—The State Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that strengthens laws against sexual harassment. This bill enacts part of the New York Women’s Equality Agenda, helping to break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender.

The legislation (S5873) would ensure that all employees are protected from sexual harassment by applying existing protections to businesses of all sizes.

June 18, 2014
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Krueger Bill to Protect Interns from Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Passes Both Houses

This evening, the New York State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Krueger to ban workplace sexual harassment of unpaid interns in New York State (S. 5951A). Loopholes in local, state, and federal laws have hampered interns’ attempts to seek redress for sexual harassment through the courts.

June 18, 2014
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Senate Passes Women's Equality Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed three bills – all part of the Senate’s Women’s Equality Agenda – that would prevent employment discrimination against people with families, stop housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence, and ensure women receive equal pay for equal workSenate Majority Co-Leader Dean G.

June 16, 2014
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Senator Valesky Celebrates Juneteenth

Senator David Valesky joined Congressman Dan Maffei, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Syracuse City Common Councilors, and area residents for a Juneteenth Flag Raising at City Hall on Friday, June 13.

June 13, 2014
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Senate Passes Bill to End Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

The New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation today, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with pregnancy-related medical conditions.

June 12, 2014
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Senator Kevin Parker Remembers the Award-Winning Actress and Civil Rights Icon Ruby Dee

(Brooklyn, NY) - “Today, America lost Ruby Dee, an award-winning actress and icon of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Senator Kevin Parker. “Ruby Dee died at the age of 91, after a life spent as a star of stage and screen, and as a civil rights activist with her husband the late Ossie Davis, with whom she shared the duty of Master and Mistress of Ceremonies at the 1963 March on Washington.”

June 12, 2014
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GENDA SPONSOR SQUADRON: TIME IS NOW TO BRING BILL TO SENATE FLOOR FOR VOTE AFTER ASSEMBLY PASSAGE FOR SEVENTH TIME

ALBANY—Today, the New York State Assembly has passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) for the seventh time. Senator Daniel Squadron, lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate, issued the following statement:

June 10, 2014
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Sen. Parker Interviews Jonathan E. Gradess, Executive Director, NYS Defenders Association, Inc.

Based in Albany, New York, the New York State Defenders Association is a non-profit, membership organization, that provides direct services and training programs to the 6,000 lawyers who represent family or criminal court cases for low income people.

For direct assistance, visit their website at www.nysda.org or call 518-465-3524.

Further, two Brooklyn-based organizations provide similar services:

June 4, 2014
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Senator Bill Perkins Pays Tribute And Homage To The Incredibly Inspiring Life Of Dr. Maya Angelou

On Tuesday, June 3rd Senator Perkins offered the following remarks on the life of Maya Angelou, acclaimed African-American poet, influential memoirist and playwright:

I rise to honor perhaps the greatest and most inspiring renaissance woman that ever lived:  Dr. Maya Angelou.  I thank my colleagues, especially Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senators Parker, Sanders, Hassell-Thompson and Montgomery for co-sponsoring this Resolution alongside me. 

 

June 4, 2014
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Sen. Krueger, Advocates Applaud Passage of “Boss Bill” in Senate Labor Committee, Call for Floor Vote Before End of Session

Sen. Krueger applauded the Senate Labor Committee’s passage today of her legislation banning employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their personal reproductive health decisions (S. 6578B). Sen. Krueger called on the Senate majority’s co-leaders to follow up on this positive step by allowing a floor vote on the bill before the close of the 2014 session.

June 3, 2014
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