Issues: Civil Rights

What if Malcolm X were alive today? - Senator Sanders Holds Community Discussion

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village) marked the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Malcolm X as so many others did, by attending a memorial commemoration in Harlem at the educational center named after the slain human rights leader. It was the site of the former Audubon Ballroom, the location where Malcolm X was gunned down. A single blue spotlight illuminated the area where he drew his last breath.   During his remarks Senator Sanders recalled how much the Muslim minister known as  El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz had influenced him on a personal level and how his impact on the world can still be felt today.  

February 26, 2015
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Sen. Sanders Speaks at 50th Memorial Commemoration of Malcolm X

State Senator James Sanders speaks about the legacy of Malcolm X at the 50th Anniversary Memorial on February 21, 2015 at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

February 24, 2015
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State Senator James Sanders Jr. meets with Ilyasha Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, at 50th Anniversary Memorial

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village) had the opportunity to speak with Ilyasha Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, at a memorial commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of the human rights leader. Shabazz is a motivational speaker and author, perhaps best known for her memoir “Growing Up X.” Senator Sanders delivered some brief remarks during the event on February 21, 2015, at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Harlem. He recalled how much Malcolm X had influenced him on a personal level and how the slain Muslim minister's impact on the world can still be felt today.  

February 24, 2015
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Press Release: Senate Dems Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Honors Civil Rights Pioneer & Centenarian Dr. Olivia Hooker of Greenburgh During Black History Month

(Albany - February 24th) In honor of Dr. Olivia Hooker’s 100th Birthday which falls during Black History Month, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced a Senate Resolution and nominated Dr. Hooker for a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators. The award and a copy of the Resolution were presented to Dr. Hooker during an event in her honor held by the Yonkers Human Rights Commission at the Hudson River Museum on February 21st.

February 24, 2015
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Senator Stewart-Cousins Recognizing Black History Month

(Albany - February 10th) Noting the strides made by African-Americans in our nation, our state and even in positions of leadership in the New York State Legislature, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Minority Leader, spoke on the Senate Resolution designating February as Black History Month. “With this resolution, I wanted to make sure we understood there are leaders that change our lives. Obviously, nationally noted, and then right in our communities; even right here in our legislature.”

February 11, 2015
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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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Senator Marc Panepinto Issues Statement on MLK Day

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Marc Panepinto released the following statement:

"Half a century since the historic March on Washington, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. His dream of justice, equality, and freedom is the American dream. On this day, we should reflect not only on Reverend Martin Luther King’s legacy, but on the lasting promise of justice that he sought. Dr. King himself said, ‘We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.’ Today, on January 19, 2015, may we still heed that call."

January 19, 2015
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 19, 2015

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 web site.

January 16, 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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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 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.”

-30-

November 7, 2014
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SQUADRON SLAMS JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT JAILS INNOCENT NEW YORKERS FOR YEARS AT A TIME

Senate Codes Ranker Says Injustice of Kalief Browder Case Requires System Review and Broad Reform

Squadron: Jailing Innocent New Yorkers for Years is Unjust and Un-American

NEW YORK— In response to an October 6 article in the New Yorker, State Senator Daniel Squadron, ranker on the Senate Codes Committee, issued the following statement: 

"Kalief Browder was accused of stealing a backpack in May 2010. Browder asserted his innocence and refused to plea to a lesser charge. He was held in pre-trial detention at Rikers Island for three years before prosecutors ultimately moved to dismiss his case. Any system that jails the innocent for years at a time is both unjust and un-American. Kalief Browder spent three years locked up at Rikers because the system failed him. Broad reforms to the entire system are clearly necessary, and I intend to undertake a thorough review to identify changes that can address these crucial issues. The system must work better for everyone."

October 6, 2014
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SENATORS SQUADRON AND HOYLMAN STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR CUOMO’S TRANSGENDER RIGHTS LETTER

NEW YORK – Today, State Senators Daniel Squadron and Brad Hoylman, sponsors of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), issued the following statement in response to Governor Cuomo’s letter to the Empire State Pride Agenda:

August 21, 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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Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz Introduces Bill Giving the Right to Sue When Videotaping is Prevented

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2014

Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz Introduces Bill Giving the Right to Sue When Videotaping is Prevented

New York State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz (D-Bronx) has introduced Senate Bill S.7932 to strengthen New York State's civil rights law permitting civilians to videotape uniformed personnel in the course of carrying out their duties. This new legislation will provide recovery for a person who is prevented from videotaping by uniformed personnel in the amount of $25,000.

July 31, 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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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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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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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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