Issues: Human Rights

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(35th Senate District - January 19th) Senator Stewart-Cousins spent the day remembering the life and contributions of our nation's most beloved civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her first stop was the annual MLK Day Breakast in Yonkers at the Nepperhan Community Center, followed by a stop at the James Harmon Community Center in Hastings where she participated in the singing of "We Shall Overcome," and later, at Tarrytown at the Foster Memorial AME Zion Church MLK Day Celebration.

January 22, 2015
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Standing Up for Our Second Amendment Rights

“The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed”

Dear Friend,

These words, penned by our founding fathers so many years ago, are not hard to understand… and they should never be up for debate. For over 40 years, I made a career in our community under the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and I believe our Second Amendment rights are just as important. That’s why one of my first official acts as your State Senator was to sign-on to S.1193, a bill to fully repeal the SAFE Act.

January 20, 2015
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Remembering the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For more information on how New York State is paying tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., please visit the New York State Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Memorial Observance website.

January 16, 2015
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Senator Gallivan Announces Senate Passes Bills to Protect and Enhance Women's Rights

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announces the New York State Senate has passed eight pieces of legislation as part of the Senate’s Women’s Equality Agenda, enhancing the rights of women while protecting from abuse and discrimination.  The bills, which Senator Gallivan co-sponsored, would ensure equal pay for equal work; combat sexual harassment on the job; end gender discrimination in employment, housing and credit decisions; strengthen laws against human trafficking, make reasonable work accommodations for pregnant women and better protect victims of domestic violence.

January 13, 2015
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Senator Funke’s video reaction to the passage of the Senate Women’s Equality Act

Senator casts first legislative votes for historic package of eight laws; Equal pay for equal work, expanded protections from harassment & discrimination pass bipartisan Senate.

January 12, 2015
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FUNKE HELPS PASS SENATE WOMEN’S EQUALITY ACT

Senator casts first legislative votes for historic package of eight laws; Equal pay for equal work, expanded protections from harassment & discrimination pass bipartisan Senate

January 12, 2015
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Senate Passes Women's Equality Package

In its first legislative act of 2015, the New York State Senate today approved a comprehensive Women’s Equality Agenda that would enhance the rights of women and protect those who are most vulnerable to abuse and discrimination.

January 12, 2015
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SENATOR GEORGE AMEDORE ANNOUNCES PASSAGE OF COMPREHENSIVE WOMEN’S EQUALITY AGENDA

Senator George Amedore today voted to approve a comprehensive women’s equality agenda that would ensure equal pay for equal work, and provide women much-needed protections against discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

“I’m happy that these important pieces of legislation were the Senate’s first order of business; I’ve said all along they need to be a priority,” said Senator Amedore. “These bills have bipartisan support, and women in New York have waited long enough – they deserve these protections. It’s time for our colleagues in the Assembly to put women’s health and safety above politics and pass this package of bills.”

The bills passed by the Senate today would:

January 12, 2015
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RITCHIE PRAISES PASSAGE OF WOMEN’S EQUALITY MEASURES

Legislative Package Aims to End Discrimination, Combat Sexual Harassment and Stop Domestic Violence

State Senator Patty Ritchie today is praising passage of legislation that will provide females across New York State with new protections when it comes to discrimination, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

The historic measures passed Monday mark the first legislative act of 2015 and are the components of a comprehensive Women’s Equality Agenda, made up of bills that would stop human trafficking; ensure equal pay for equal work; combat sexual harassment in the workplace; end gender discrimination in employment, housing and credit decisions; make reasonable work accommodations available for pregnant women; and provide stronger protections for domestic violence victims. 

“In every corner of our state and across our nation, women are breaking glass ceilings and reaching new heights. However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the things that often hold them down—namely the discrimination, harassment and abuse that often happen in the workplace and in our society at large,” said Senator Ritchie.

January 12, 2015
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Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta, Lead Sponsor Of The NYS DREAM Act, On President Obama's Executive Order

"The good news is that millions of upstanding, hardworking undocumented immigrants will now be able to continue contributing to our economy without having to live and work in fear of deportation.

"The bad news is that millions of other upstanding, hardworking undocumented immigrants will remain in the shadows of our economy and society.

"President Obama is to be applauded for taking a strong first step toward long-overdue reform of our broken immigration system.  Like the president, we in New York should not wait on Congress to make additional necessary repairs.

"The DREAM Act is sensible, compassionate public policy.  It is the law in Texas, a red state, California, a blue state, and New Mexico, a purple state.  Here, the New York DREAM Act is supported by editorial boards throughout the state, including those at newspapers as different as the New York Post, The New York Times and the Daily News.

"Let’s follow the bipartisan example of the five states that have already passed a DREAM Act.  Let's collaborate in New York on making an investment in our young people, our economy and our state’s future that will pay for itself several times over."

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November 21, 2014
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On NYC Human Rights Commission

"I applaud the mayor's decision to bring in new leadership at the Human Rights Commission.  Instead of tackling the thousands of citizen-initiated complaints it receives annually, for the past several years HRC was disproportionately focusing its limited resources on fining businesses for using unintentionally gendered language in job recruiting advertisements," (i.e. posting an ad for a ‘waitress’ or ‘hostess’).

“Of the 53 discrimination settlements reported by the Commission in 2014, 18, or more than a third of all settlements, are for this sort of case.  Of those 18, only two appear to have been tested to show actual discriminatory intent. There is a similar pattern in 2012 and 2013, where employment ads allegedly showing gender discrimination made up 40% and 30% of total settlements respectively and only a few were tested to prove actual discriminatory intent.

"Many of the cases don’t come out of actual complaints, but rather from college students getting paid by HRC to troll on-line classifieds. 

"It is extremely troubling that this kind of questionable case comprises a third or more of the Commission’s enforcement output when so many complaints of actual discrimination go unanswered.

“New Yorkers expect and deserve a Human Rights Commission that helps bring justice to those who have been wronged, not one focused on generating revenue through petty fines.”

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November 7, 2014
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Times Union: Open Internet access imperative

By Martin Malave Dilan, CommentaryThe Federal Communications Commission is struggling to reach an agreement on if, and how much your Internet access provider can limit your access to online content and what content it can limit. In a nutshell, that's the Net Neutrality debate. And the FCC has opened that debate as it weighs the merger America's top two broadband Internet service providers.I proffer the following: There is no acceptable business model for the control over access to information; and there is no acceptable policy with regards to who deems, or what they deem, as "commercially acceptable" or "preferential" regarding information and access to it.

October 1, 2014
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Seward Secures Grant Funds To Aid Domestic Violence Victims

ONEONTA, 09/03/14 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today that $75,000 in grant funds he secured will go to local domestic violence programs.

“These community programs provide vital services for those in dire need, who often have nowhere else to turn,” said Senator Seward.  “The U.S. Surgeon General has identified domestic violence as the number one health problem affecting American women.  We are fortunate to have so many local organizations providing help to vulnerable individuals, and I am pleased to assist them in their efforts to make our communities safer.”

The funding was set aside in the 2014-2015 state budget.

September 3, 2014
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Senator O’Brien, women’s rights advocates announce bill to minimize harmful impact of Hobby Lobby decision

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien, joined by leading women’s rights advocates from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, announced his co-sponsorship of legislation that would require employers to notify their employees before changing their insurance plans to restrict access to contraception. The bill comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision allowing corporations to exclude certain forms of contraception from their health care coverage.

August 18, 2014
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Falsificación de identidad en NY (Parte 2)

Según ha informado Telemundo 47:

Liz González y el equipo de Telemundo 47 Responde investigan la cruda realidad de este negocio clandestino en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Para el vídeo completo, haga clic aquí.

July 25, 2014
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Roosevelt Avenue Is 'Epicenter' of NYC Sex Trafficking, Officials Say

As reported by DNA Info:

QUEENS — Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights is “a mecca of human trafficking” where women from countries including Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are being sexually exploited, elected officials said Thursday.

And Queens is the center of the city's trafficking problem, with nearly 60 percent of the city's victims who come forward looking for help.

Roosevelt Avenue has a number of brothels, state Sen. Jose Peralta, who represents Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, said at a press conference where he discussed an initiative to provide foreign-born victims of sex trafficking with free legal representation on immigration issues.

“Roosevelt Avenue is a mecca of human trafficking in Queens and throughout the five boroughs,” Peralta said.

For full article, click here.

July 22, 2014
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Ayuda Para Víctimas de Tráfico Humano

Según ha informado Univision 41:

La organización Sanctuary for Families busca ayudar a víctimas de tráfico humano en Nueva York. Hablamos con una de las víctimas.

Para el vídeo completo, haga clic aquí.

July 22, 2014
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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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