Issues: Civil Rights

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

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

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

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


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

Celebrating Nelson Mandela

New York Amsterdam News article, December 12, 2013, photos by Bill Moore, Memorial Service held in Harlem to honor and pay respect to the tremendous life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. Please click the link to view photos and read full story.

December 16, 2013

Commemorating Our Departed World Leader Nelson Mandela

Senator Perkins Mourns the Loss of and Celebrates the Monumental and Unprecedented Life and  Legacy of Nelson Mandela.

December 6, 2013

Public Hearing: Examination of the Laws Governing the Age of Adult Criminal Responsibility

Joint – Assembly Standing Committee on CodesChair: Assembly Member Joseph R. LentolAssembly Standing Committee on JudiciaryChair: Assembly Member Helene E. WeinsteinAssembly Standing Committee on Children and FamiliesChair: Assembly Member Donna LupardoAssembly Standing Committee on EducationChair: Assembly Member Catherine T. Nolanand New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative CaucusChair: Assembly Member Karim CamaraPublic Hearing: Examination of the Laws Governing the Age of Adult CriminalResponsibilityPlace: Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, New York, New YorkTime: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Rebecca Mudie (518) 455-4313Media Contact: Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY

December 6, 9:45 AM - 12:45 PM

Buffalo News: New York Bill Aims to Protect Interns Against Sexual Harassment

Sen. Krueger today announced her introduction of legislation to protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. The Buffalo News' Tom Precious reports:

Days after a federal judge said an unpaid intern did not have the same protections as paid employees against workplace sexual harassment, a state lawmaker has introduced legislation to end what has been described as a dangerous loophole in the state’s human rights laws. Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, wants to end sexual harassment episodes in which employers have escaped without penalty solely because the victim was an intern.

October 15, 2013

Sen. Krueger Introduces Bill to Protect Interns from Sexual Harassment, Discrimination

Sen. Krueger today announced her introduction of new legislation to ban workplace sexual harassment of unpaid interns in New York State (S. 5951). Loopholes in local, state, and federal laws have hampered interns’ attempts to seek redress for sexual harassment through the courts.

October 15, 2013

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Great March on Washington

On Wednesday, August 28th, Senator Stewart-Cousins commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Great March on Washington D.C. outside the Westchester County Courthouse by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, recalling Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech that changed the meaning of equality for all. Click here to view Senator Stewart-Cousins statement on the historict event

September 4, 2013


The 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” was organized in support of civil rights legislation, and also to call attention to significant economic inequalities. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic “March on Washington”, inspired by its victories (the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965), we must also acknowledge that there is still much progress to be made as a society and pervasive inequalities that must be addressed.

August 28, 2013

Statement from Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on the Anniversary of the Historic March on Washington

“Today is the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. The fact that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s vision is being marked by the first African-American President reminds us all of the power of his words and the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who joined his call for equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addressing the crowd and the nation, spoke of a time when peace would reign and when compassion and understanding between all races would be a reality. He taught us that violence never brings permanent peace, hate never brings ever-lasting change, and only compassion, civility, and togetherness will rebuild a broken community.

August 28, 2013

Senator O'Brien reflects on 50th anniversary of March on Washington, Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien joins millions of Americans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the delivery of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“Dr. King's speech still captivates us today through his courage and hopeful vision for a better future for the next generations. However, the struggle for equality among many sectors of the population continues,” said Senator O’Brien.

August 28, 2013

Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Capital Tonight to Discuss Women's Equality Agenda (Source: YNN)

Source: YNN

In recognition of Women's Equality Day on August 26th, Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins appeared on Capital Tonight last night to discuss how pushing for ALL 10-points of the Governor's Women's Equality Agenda can continue to make New York the leader in Women's Rights.

Click here to view the full video.

August 28, 2013

Honoring the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.


August 28, 2013

Statement from Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Women's Equality Day

“Today is Women’s Equality Day when we commemorate the historic passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. We have made great strides in achieving full equality for women here in New York but we still have much more work to do. I commend the Governor for his Women's Equality Act legislation. It is unfortunate that the Senate was unable to pass the entire 10-point Act.

August 26, 2013

Senator Kevin Parker Celebrates Federal Judge Scheindlin Finding the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy to be Unconstitutional

(Brooklyn, NY) “Today, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin concluded that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s Stop-and-Frisk program has violated the Fourth and 14th Amendment constitutional rights of potentially millions of Blacks and Latinos in New York City.

August 14, 2013

The NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus Applaud Stop and Frisk Ruling

Reforming Stop and Frisk has been a top priority 

Albany, NY- Reforming "Stop and Frisk" has been one of the top priorities of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus for at least the past decade. We strongly support and applaud Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s decision on the New York Police Department’s Stop and Frisk Program. In 2012, the Caucus traveled to D.C. to lobby the Department of Justice to investigate NYC’s Stop and Frisk practices. While in D.C. the Caucus also briefed the Congressional Black Caucus on the status and implications of this controversial program.

August 12, 2013
Syndicate content