Issues: Human Rights

Senator Jesse Hamilton and NYC City Council Member Carlos Menchaca Launch LGBTQ Advisory Committee

(Brooklyn, NY  - July 23, 2015) Senator Jesse Hamilton, working in partnership with NYC Council Member Carlos Menchaca, launched an LGBTQ Advisory Committee last night. Hosted at Senator Hamilton's District Office in Crown Heights, a wide array of groups were represented at the meeting including the NYC Public Advocate’s Office, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, AXA Advisors, the AIDS Housing Advocacy Network, Brooklyn Pride, Caribbean American Pride, the Center for Anti-Violence Education, Empire State Pride Agenda, Gay Men of African Descent, Lambda Independent Democrats, Make the Road New York, and Voices Of Community Advocates & Leaders (VOCAL-NY).

July 23, 2015

Senator DeFrancisco Announces the Passage of Legislation that Would Enable Persons Who are Deaf to Receive Realtime Court Reporting Services

Senator John A. DeFrancisco today held at press conference at the Onondaga County Courthouse to announce the passage of his bill (S5533-B) by the Senate and Assembly, and to urge Governor Cuomo to sign the bill into law.

The legislation would require that state-funded courts provide Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through CART, everything said during a court proceeding would be translated through a software feed into real-time captioning, then displayed on a computer or monitor for the hearing impaired person. The bill awaits signing by Governor Cuomo.

July 17, 2015

Senator DeFrancisco Holds Press Conference to Announce the Passage of His Universal Visitability Tax Credit Bill

On July 6, 2015, Senator John A. DeFrancisco joined disability rights advocates at ARISE Syracuse to urge Governor Cuomo to sign his bill (S2967-A) into law. The bill, which passed both the Senate and Assembly, would help to increase accessible and adaptable housing for people with disabilities in the State of New York.

If signed into law, the bill would provide a tax credit of up to $2,750 for a newly constructed or retrofitted principal residence that achieves universal visitability. The term visitability often refers to a single-family home that is designed so that it can be lived in or visited by people with limited mobility, featuring such elements as step-free entrances and wide doorways.

July 6, 2015

Senator Ortt's Week in Review

June 23, 2015 - Take a minute to catch up on what's been happening in Senator Rob Ortt's Senate district. He rallied alongside Metro and Paratransit riders to speak out against the NFTA, supported local firefighters in a parade, cut the ribbon on a major bridge project and much more. 

July 2, 2015

Senator Jesse Hamilton Lauds Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Same- Sex Marriage

(Brooklyn, NY) – Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) said, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges marks a historic day for equality in America, continuing in a tradition of righting wrongs and recognizing the circle of inclusion encompasses LGBT families. While we celebrate nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage, we must also remember there are yet more steps to take in realizing the equal human dignity everyone deserves. Here in New York State, we have more work to do to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act.

June 26, 2015

Senator Jesse Hamilton Joins Brooklyn Elected Leaders and Human Rights Advocates in Solidarity with Dominicans of Haitian Descent

(Brooklyn, NY – June 26, 2015) This afternoon, Senator Jesse Hamilton joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, New York City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, 51st Assembly District Leader Arelis Martinez, clergy and human rights advocates on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall for a press conference and rally in solidarity with Dominicans of Haitian descent threatened by deportation from the Dominican Republic. In his remarks Senator Hamilton emphasized the importance of finding common ground and demonstrating how we can work together to advance human rights.

Common themes across the speeches included dignity and respect for Dominicans of Haitian descent  and advancing the cause of human dignity in partnership with one another.

June 26, 2015

Senator Hamilton Speaks Out on Dominican Republic Deportations

(Brooklyn, NY - June 24, 2015) In response to planned Dominican Republic deportations of people of Haitian descent, Senator Hamilton calls for the "Dominican government to respect basic rights guaranteed to all people under international law," at Kings County Politics today. 

June 24, 2015


Broken System Forces Defendants to Endure Significant Delays Before Trial

Electeds: The Experience of Kalief Browder Must Be A Call To Action

ALBANY — State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry announced legislation (S.5988) to fix New York State's "speedy trial" law following the recent death of Kalief Browder, who spent three years in pre-trial detention at Riker's Island. Kalief's Law closes a legal loophole that forces defendants to endure significant delays before trial, even while in jail, despite the time limits established by law. This change will limit delays by prosecutors and the court, so that defendants are afforded their constitutional right to a speedy trial.

June 17, 2015

Hoylman Passes Bill To Expand New York Hate Crimes Law to Include Gang Assaults

Legislation to Close “Gang Assault Loophole” Comes After Ringleader in Vicious Anti-Gay Gang Assault Evades Hate Crime Charges

Hoylman: “Hate crimes are on the rise in New York. We need to do everything in our power to combat them and ensure those who commit these heinous crimes bear the full weight of justice under the law” 

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) praised the vote on his legislation (S.497) that would close a loophole in the law to include gang assault in the first and second degrees as prerequisite offenses that could be charged as hate crimes. The bill passed the Senate on a 58-2 vote.

June 8, 2015


ALBANY – State Senator Daniel Squadron, Senate sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), released the following statement after the Assembly passed the legislation for the eighth time today:  

June 2, 2015

Senator Valesky Hosts Community Resources Fair

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is hosting a Community Resources Fair on Thursday, June 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to raise awareness of the many community services available through various governmental and nonprofit organizations. The agencies listed below will have tables at the fair and provide important information on health care and health insurance, financial planning for college, emergency preparedness and fire safety, family planning, housing, voting, small business development, veterans services, and more, as well as offer giveaways. A representative from the Office of the State Comptroller will assist attendees with Unclaimed Funds searches.

May 28, 2015

Hoylman Blasts Senate Vote to Commemorate Boy Scouts of America with Official State License Plates

Hoylman: “This is a license to discriminate.”

ALBANY - State Senator Brad Hoylman said: “This is a ‘license to discriminate.’ New York State should not be commemorating the Boy Scouts of America with official state license plates while this organization continues  to ban gay adults from being troop leaders and is under investigation by the State Attorney General for its employment practices.

May 20, 2015

NARAL Lobby Day

(Albany - May 5th) Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins addressed an impassioned crowd at the NARAL Lobby Day in Albany. In her speech, the Leader mentioned the fact that the Senate has been going to sleep when it relates to legislation regarding women, women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights. She stressed how imperative it is for members of the legislature to be bipartisan about these issues to protect women across New York State. She closed by urging the crowd to go back to their districts after the lobby day is over, and energize the base of support to foster a more progressive state.

May 5, 2015

Family Planning Advocates Day of Action

(Albany - May 4th) "You think you are lobbying for bills, and you are, but it’s bigger than that," said Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins at the Family Planning Advocates (FPA) rally Monday morning. As a long-time proponent of women's reproductive health rights, the Leader came out to support the efforts of FPA and its members who continue to fight to protect and expand access to a full range of reproductive health services. "You are lobbying a legislature that refuses to allow women self-determination, refuses to allow women equality, refuses to allow women to say, I know what I need.

May 5, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr.Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony

(Albany - April 29th) An unveiling of a new glass sculpture titled “Seeds of Enlightenment” took place on Wednesday morning at the Empire State Plaza as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr.Memorial Re-dedication Ceremony. The original sculpture designed by artist Eric Hilton was dedicated in 2000 but badly damaged in July 2014. Corning Inc. and The Corning Museum of Glass decided to replace the memorial sculpture with a new one that bears the same title as the original. The Senator took part in the unveiling and said in a press release about the event, “I’m honored to join the Office of General Services, Corning Inc., and The Corning Museum of Glass for the re-dedication of this beautiful memorial honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 30, 2015

Torture or safety mechanism? Lawmakers looking closely at the use of solitary confinement in state prisons

By DANYAL MOHAMMADZADEH, Legislative Gazette Staff Writer |04.27.2015


Senator Perkins was a proud co-host of a recent public education event concerning the HALT Solitary Confinement Act, A.4401 | S.2659.  The Senator’s message was clear: 


“We have a human rights crisis here in New York State; over 4,000 individuals—many of the most vulnerable and defenseless among us—are subject to state-sanctioned torture, in the form of solitary confinement.


In 2011, the United Nations Special Rapporteur agreed with this assessment, calling solitary confinement “torture”—plain and simple.


April 30, 2015

Gianaris renews call to end ‘conversion therapy’

In the wake of President Barack Obama’s recent comments condemning “conversion therapy,” State Sen. Mike Gianaris has renewed his call to ban the practice in New York.

Check out this Sunnyside Post report for more details.


April 30, 2015
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