Issues: Civil Rights



BPRHA Budget Equity 2015.pdf

March 20, 2015

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Remarks on the "Bloody Sunday" Resolution

(Albany - March 17th) Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced a State Senate Resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,”  when, on March 7th, 1965, civil rights protesters marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in the fight for voting rights. That fateful day, over 600 men, women and children were beaten as they attempted to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke about the courage of the marchers and their firm belief that justice and equality would prevail. The brutality these unsung heroes faced sparked awareness that allowed for the right things to happen to minorities across the nation.

March 18, 2015


“Meeting the Needs of Minority Communities during this Budget Season 

New York, NY – The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus led by Chair Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, outlined the major priorities from their annual report “The People’s Priorities 2015”. Standing in support with them was New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), Hunger Action, American Heart Association, YMCA, and other labor unions, advocacy groups, and clergy. The Caucus formally announced their agenda which ensures that the budget and other pieces of legislation positively affect and provide equal access for low income and minority communities. 

March 12, 2015

Senator Hamilton marches in commemoration of 1965 Civil Rights protesters in Selma

(Brooklyn - March 7, 2015) In honor of the bravery of Civil Rights protesters 50 years ago today, Senator Hamilton marched across the Brooklyn Bridge with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, elected official colleagues, and human rights advocates.

The New York Daily  News reported, "Hundreds of people — black and white — walked across the Brooklyn Bridge... Their arms linked, former Mayor David Dinkins and other political and civil rights leaders led the singing, sign-holding procession of marchers."

March 9, 2015

New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative (Public Hearing) on Criminal Justice Reform

Joint – Assembly Standing Committee on Codes
Chair: Assembly Member Joseph Lentol
Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary
Chair: Assembly Member Helene Weinstein
and New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus
Chair: Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry
Public Hearing: Criminal Justice Reform
Place: Hamilton Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Contact: Juan Gabriel Genao (518) 455-4313
Media Contact: Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888

March 11, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Sanders Supports Religious Garb Bill to Prevent Workplace Descrimination

ALBANY, N.Y., March 3, 2015- Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) and the Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group held a press conference on the Bangladeshi-Americans Annual Lobby Day to support the passing of Senate Bill S3263 and Assembly Bill A2049, which would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against attire that is worn for a religious purpose.

March 4, 2015

African American Heritage Committee Black History Month Luncheon

(Yonkers - February 28th) The Senator was the keynote speaker at the African-American Heritage Committee Black History Month Luncheon which was hosted at the Nepperhan Community Center. The honorees were Shawyn Patterson Howard and Paula Crawford. Congratulations for all of your hard work - well-deserved recognition!

March 2, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”


November 7, 2014


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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