Issues: Civil Rights

Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide

An article by The New York Times talks about the stop-and-frisk police tactic, which has garnered significant criticism from minority lawmakers and citizens. Senator Gianaris introduced legislation with Assemblymember Camara that would make it illegal for police departments to impose quotas for a certain number of stops officers make.

ALBANY — Black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are battling what they say is a racial divide as they push legislation to rein in the practice.

 

March 26, 2012
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Senate Democrats Walk Out to Protest Stop to Redistricting Debate

Fox 23 was at the capitol for the redistricting vote. The Democratic Conference walked out, refusing to participate in midnight votes resulting from backroom deals, without even the opportunity for review and debate.

Video: Fox 23

March 15, 2012
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Statement on Censorship of Debate and Late-Night Passage of Reapportionment Plan, Other Legislation

Albany, NY – The following statement can be attributed to Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan):

Last night, around midnight on the morning of the Ides of March, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I refused to support a backroom deal on redistricting that protects incumbent legislators by disenfranchising minorities, discriminating against voters from New York City and Long Island, and blatantly violating the Voting Rights Act.

 

March 15, 2012
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Public Hearing: "Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2012-2013 Executive Budget Proposal: Topic "Public Protection / Criminal Justice /Judiciary"

Public Protection / Criminal Justice /Judiciary

Hearing Room A-LOB

 

Assembly

Senate

Joseph Lentol (Co-Chair)

Stephen Saland (Co-Chair)

Helene Weinstein

Elizabeth Little

March 15, 12:00 PM - 12:33 PM
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SENATE PASSES 2012-13 BUDGET RESOLUTION

Gallivan: “Senate Plan Cuts Taxes, Reforms Medicaid, Protects Seniors and Schools.”

The New York State Senate voted to approve its 2012-13 Senate Budget resolution, continuing its focus on state spending, job creation, and structural reform to government.

The Senate budget, at just under $132.5 billion, keeps the total state spending increase below two percent, and spends less than the Executive Budget. The budget closes a $2 billion budget deficit and builds on last year’s successes in putting the state’s fiscal house in order.

March 13, 2012
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Pol bid to halt cop-tix quotas

The New York Post wrote an article about a new law, proposed by Senator Gianaris, that would outlaw police quotas for arrests and tickets.

Police brass pushing arrest and ticket quotas could find themselves in jail for up to a year under a bill that state Sen. Michael Gianaris plans to introduce tomorrow.

Backed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the bill would make it illegal for supervisors to require cops to make a certain number of arrests over a specified period.

Noting that good officers are being punished, Gianaris (D-Queens) said, “This bill would increase the penalties when quotas are used to evaluate performance.”

March 12, 2012
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Oppenheimer Celebrates Women's History Month

Senator Oppenheimer pays tribute to generations of women who have pioneered equal rights and opportunities for women

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today marked Women’s History Month by reflecting on how women have shaped our society, government, culture and all aspects of our lives.  But despite the accomplishments of the past century, inequalities remain, such as the absence of equal pay for equal work and restrictions on a woman’s reproductive rights.

March 1, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at Community Awards Ceremony for Black History Month

Senator Gianaris was proud to speak at Councilmember Van Bramer's Community Awards Ceremony for Black History Month at the Jacob Riis Center.

February 28, 2012
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Redistricting Plan Gets Scornful Reception

The Queens Gazette reported on a redistricting hearing in Queens, where elected officials and community leaders were given the opportunity to voice their disapproval of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal. Senator Gianaris spoke at the hearing and gave several examples of how the new district lines are being used to break apart minority communities in order to control district representation.

February 15, 2012
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Republican Restricting Plan Angers Queens Neighborhoods

Greek News posted an article about the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and the harsh criticism it has received from minority groups for being partisan and for ignoring the needs of minority communities.

This time the Republicans have really done it! Their redistricting plan for redistricting has angered all ethnic groups living in New York City and suburbs and received tons of criticism as partisan and racist. On Tuesday more than 100 people gathered in a disproportionately small room at the Queens Borough Hall, for a town hall meeting to discuss LATFOR’s (Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment) proposed redistricting lines.

 

February 14, 2012
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Gianaris: Pairing lines with amendment is ‘surrender’

Capital Confidential wrote an editorial about a potential deal by Senate Republicans that would delay redistricting reform until the next census in 2022 in exchange for allowing the Republicans to carry out their current redistricting proposal and help them gain an extra state Senate seat. Senator Gianaris criticizes the deal for not providing a solution to the current redistricting problems.

In something of a preemptive strike, Sen. Mike Gianaris blasted the idea of redistricting reform based mostly on a constitutional amendment that, while improving on the set of draft maps released last week, would leave redistricting in the hands of legislators until 2022.

[...]

February 13, 2012
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New lines, same game

This New York Post editorial reports on the Senate Republicans' redistricting plans, calling them out for blatantly promoting the Republicans' agenda by giving them control over appointment of state Senate seats.

Every state goes through reapportionment following each federal Census, when changes in political district lines must be made to reflect population shifts.

It’s never a pretty process, but rarely does it get more ugly than in New York — suffering a decades-long decline in population and burdened, as it is, with a particularly odious political class.

Each time, legislative bosses draw lines that essentially protect their incumbent members as well as their respective majorities in each house.

February 13, 2012
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Albany Redistricting Plan Faulted as Unfair to Minorities

The New York Times wrote an editorial about the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and some of the critics of the proposal who say the maps are overly partisan and that they undermine the needs of minority communities.

A proposed redrawing of New York State’s political districts came under intense criticism on Monday, as civil rights leaders said the maps did not fairly represent blacks and Hispanics in an increasingly diverse state, and Democrats said they would file a lawsuit asking a judge to intervene.

February 13, 2012
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Legislators Seek Independent Watchdog Over The NYPD

For Immediate Release: February 9, 2012 

(Albany, NY) Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblyman Karim Camara have introduced legislation that establishes an independent inspector general for the New York City Police Department. In recent years we have witnessed serious abuses by the NYPD, whether for racially and religious discriminatory policies such as stop and frisk, the wholesale surveillance of the Muslim community in New York City and other jurisdictions, and the mistreatment of the Occupy Wall St. protesters. In some of these situations the public was given misinformation and even deliberately misled.

February 10, 2012
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Senate Passes Resolution Proclaiming February 7, 2012 as Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

The New York State Senate passed a Legislative Resolution proclaiming February 7, 2012 as  Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day in New York. Senator Velmanette Montgomery is a sponsor of the the Resolution that reads as follows:

February 8, 2012
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Proposition 8 Is Ruled Unconstitutional, Via the 'Narrow Route'

By Azi Paybarah

Capital New York

A federal panel voted 2-1 today to overturn a voter-approved referendum in California banning same-sex marriage in that state. The ruling was hailed by advocates and lots of New York officials.

Manhattan Borough President and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer said he was "elated" a court found "this ballot measure was an unconstitutional violations of Americans' right to marry whom they choose."

State Senator Liz Krueger said that the court found that the proposition "unconstitutionally singled out gay and lesbian Americans and denied them their civil rights."

February 7, 2012
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Elderly Passengers Upset About TSA’s Strip Search Denials

CBS posted a video with Senator Gianaris' comments on the TSA's response admitting some wrongdoing. 

Watch the video here.

January 20, 2012
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