Issues: Civil Rights

Senate Passes Sen. Parker’s Bill Enhancing Penalties on Bias-Related Graffiti

(Brooklyn, NY) – Yesterday, the State Senate passed Senator Kevin Parker’s bill, S951A, which increases the penalties arising from bias related graffiti to make it even clearer that hate crimes must end in New York. In 2012, the number of hate crimes in New York increased by 30%, and in 2014 barely a week has passed without an account of anti-Semitic graffiti on privately owned vehicles or public buildings, such as the anti-Jewish graffiti rampage of last weekend in Central Brooklyn.

 

May 13, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014
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Senator Bill Perkins Joins The New York Branch of The NAACP Phenomenal Women’s Award Ceremony | Honoring The Mothers Of The Central Park Five

Senator Bill Perkins Joins The New York Branch of The NAACP Phenomenal Women’s Award Ceremony | Honoring The Mothers Of The Central Park Five

 

On Sunday, March 23rd, Senator Bill Perkins joined with NAACP New York Branch President Randy Tucker in honoring the mothers of the "Central Park 5" (Gracie Cuffee, Linda McCray, Milagros Nelson {posthumously}, Sharonne Salaam and Delores “Dee” Wise) at the NAACP New York Branch Phenomenal Women's Award Ceremony.  The well attended event took place at St. Luke's AME Church in the presence of a crowd of community supporters and leaders, parishioners, family and friends. 

 

March 24, 2014
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR KEVIN PARKER ON THE SENATE VOTE ON THE NEW YORK STATE DREAM ACT

(Brooklyn, NY) - “Today, I stood with 29 other New York Senate Democratic Senators to vote in favor of the NYS DREAM Act.

This piece of progressive legislation was brought to the floor earlier this evening and if passed, would have ensured immigrant children, in search of the American dream through educational access and financial aid, the road map to success.

Senate Republicans failed our young people. Not a single member of the Republican Conference voted yes. Not a single member of the Republicans voted yes for opportunity or yes for equality.

March 17, 2014
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1917-2014 A Look at the History of the Legislators of Color

It is with honor that I present to you this up-to-date chronicle of men and women of color who have served in the New York State Legislature.

This book reflects the challenges that resolute men and women of color have addressed and the progress that we have helped New Yorkers achieve over the decades. Since this book was first published in 1977, new legislators of color have arrived in the Senate and Assembly to continue to change the color and improve the function of New York State government.

February 21, 2014
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Senator Kevin Parker Calls for Support of Legislation to Improve Emergency Responses Involving ‘Emotionally Disturbed’

(Brooklyn, NY) –  Today, State Senator Kevin Parker stood in solidarity with Communities for Crisis Intervention Teams (www.ccitnyc.org) – a coalition of 50 behavioral health providers and concerned citizens, and Brooklyn Borough President and retired New York Police Department Captain, Eric Adams, on City Hall steps to urge the Governor and Mayor to support the creation of specially trained Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs). The proposed CIT training would enable the NYPD to better respond to the 100,000 ‘emotionally disturbed person’ (EDP) calls received annually.

February 19, 2014
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Senator Stewart-Cousins Remarks on Black History Month

Senator Stewart-Cousins acknowledged the many accomplishments and contributions made by African Americans in the Senate Chamber for Black History Month.

February 6, 2014
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Central Park Five Want Justice

The New York Amsterdam News | By Cyril Josh Baker | February 6th, 2014 

Senator Bill Perkins stands shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart with the Central Park Five—Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise and Yusef Salaam—as they ask for the City to finally do the right thing and settle the case so these men can commence to heal and find closure.

Please follow this link to the full story.  

 

February 6, 2014
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Senator Perkins Questions Mayor de Blasio Regarding Justice For The Central Park Five

At the Local Government Legislative Public Hearing On The 2014-2015 Executive Budget Proposal, Senator Bill Perkins questioned Mayor Bill de Blasio concerning an issue of essential importance:  justice, compensation and closure for the Central Park Five-Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise and Yusef Salaam.  

The transcript of the exchange follows:

February 6, 2014
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Members Of "Central Park Five" Call On City To End Lawsuit

Time Warner Cable | NY 1 News Story | February 4th, 2014

Senator Bill Perkins stood on the steps of City Hall in solidarity with Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise and Yusef Salaam to demand a measure of justice, compensation, closure, humanity and healing from the City and the Police Department that stole their youth, trampled their rights and has exacerbated the decades long impact—on these five men, their families and the surrounding community—by refusing to officially and formally atone for their unjust and unlawful actions.  

Please follow this link to the full story and video.

February 6, 2014
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Remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Reflecting on the memory of Dr. King, Senator Smith said: "When I think of Dr. King, I remember that iconic image of him with his hand outstretched towards the sea of people at the 1963 March on Washington, but he was so much more than a man with a dream. He became the voice and embodiment of the civil rights movement in America and he gave hope to millions of black people across this country that a better future was possible. His belief of bringing about change through non-violent methods is a lesson we would be well-advised to carry with us today."

January 22, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #3: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Jr. often witnessed the worst of the human condition, yet still saw reason to be optimistic.

Dr. King lived with honorable purpose, in a way that ensured his teachings about peace, faith and service would endure long after his death.

Many of us will pause from work to honor Dr. King, who would have turned 85 last week.

In times of great turmoil and tension, Dr. King’s call for passive disobedience rose above the rest. He rejected, as extreme, the belief that African Americans could only achieve equality through violent means. Dr. King urged his brethren to win hearts and minds through nonviolent measures, and remained steadfast in that philosophy even when facing great societal pressure.

January 20, 2014
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The New York State Senate Honors 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 web site.

January 17, 2014
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The Wall Street Journal: 'Gay Conversion' Ban Sought in New York

January 14, 2014 : By Mike Vilensky 

ALBANY—Gay-rights advocates and their legislative allies are making a push this year to ban so-called gay conversion therapy in New York, in hopes that a similar move by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie provides momentum.

"Gay conversion therapy" refers to efforts by mental-health professionals to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual through psychological treatment sessions.

The practice is banned for minors in California and New Jersey and has been condemned by the American Psychiatric Association. Opposition to the bans has been strong in some evangelical Christian communities.

January 16, 2014
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Senator Valesky Co-Sponsors Resolutions Honoring Nelson Mandela

ALBANY, N.Y.-- State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) announced that the New York State Senate passed two resolutions this week commemorating the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

January 14, 2014
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CAUCUS CHAIR, THE REVEREND AND ASSEMBLYMAN KARIM CAMARA RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR CUOMO’S 2014 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

It was a great pleasure and honor to deliver the Invocation at the State of the State. In his address Governor Cuomo outlined the positive trajectory of the state due to his leadership and the leadership of the legislative leaders. Over the past few years we have demonstrated that New York State government can work in a bipartisan fashion for the betterment of the State. 

January 8, 2014
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