Issues: Civil Rights

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

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 ( – 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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Syndicate content