Issues: Women

Geri Spino Honored as Woman of Distinction

Senator Joe Robach will recognize Geri Spino of Greece with the New York State Senate’s 2014 Woman of Distinction Award in Albany.

May 14, 2014
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Senator Valesky Names Judy O’Rourke New York State Senate Woman of Distinction

Syracuse– State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) announced today that Judy O’Rourke, director of undergraduate studies at Syracuse University, has been selected as the 53rd Senate District’s 2014 Woman of Distinction. O’Rourke was recognized for her work in developing the Pan Am 103 Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars programs at SU, which honor the memory of the 35 students lost in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

May 14, 2014
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News and Views with the Junior League of Rochester

I was recently joined by Chelsea Betterton and Sarah Heisman of Junior League of Rochester on News and Views to discuss the Trafficking Victim Protection and Justice Act. Members of Junior League were in Albany to push for support of this bill, which would help put a stop to human trafficking, something that unfortunately has become a problem in New York State.

May 14, 2014
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2014 Woman of Distinction

Cindy Abbott Letro was named Senator Grisanti's 2014 Woman of Distinction award recipient.

May 14, 2014
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Senator Young Honors Woman of Distinction Dorothy Button

Ashford resident honored for distinguished service and accomplishments 

ALBANY – For a lifetime of service, Town of Ashford resident Dorothy Button was honored today as a New York State Senate 2014 “Woman of Distinction.” Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) selected Mrs. Button as the 57th Senate District’s honoree for her long and distinguished record of accomplishments that include service in the U.S. Coast Guard, years of dedicated work on behalf of fellow veterans, and decades of volunteerism as a firefighter and EMT.

May 13, 2014
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Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Speaking on 2014 Women of Distinction Resolution

On May 13th, the Senate passed a resolution congratulating the 2014 Women of Distinction in honor of Women's History Month. Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is the sponsor of the resolution, spoke in honor of these accomplished women, saying, "Today is one of those days that we get to celebrate women... who inspire women of the future." Leader Stewart-Cousins then cited several women from New York State whose past accomplishments paved the way for women today, women like Sojourner Truth, Hillary Clinton, Sonya Sotomayor and Eleanor Roosevelt. The Senator thanked those present for being part of this great celebration and concluded, "Let's make sure we uplift, honor and applaud these women."

May 13, 2014
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Grisanti Names Cindy Abbott Letro 2014 'Woman of Distinction'

Cindy Abbott Letro will be honored in Albany on Tuesday, May 13 as part of a ceremony that recognizes female residents of New York who were recognized as part of the state's celebration of Women's History Month. 
  
Cindy Abbott Letro is committed to strengthening the fabric of our community through volunteerism, philanthropy and leadership. Lending her expertise developed over 25 years as a broadcast/marketing professional, Ms.

May 12, 2014
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Peralta discusses bills to fight sex trafficking

As reported by The Times Ledger:  

Few politicians aspire to bring the ambiance of Times Square to their districts, but state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said a stretch of Roosevelt Avenue that has grown saturated with prostitution could use some of the sterilization that transformed Times Square in the 1980s.

While speaking at Queensborough Community College April 3, Peralta described various legislative endeavors to crack down on sex traffickers and prostitution businesses and fund organizations that provide pathways out of the industry for victims.

The senator said afterward he believed recruiting Disney to open a store in Times Square anchored commercial development and ushered in an era of strict policing.

“We don’t need to bring in the big, big box store on Roosevelt Avenue — a mid-size box store,” Peralta said, noting he wanted to “keep the flavor of the mom-and-pop shops” nearby.

But the senator emphasized that wooing Disney took assistance from federal, state and local officials, and he is hoping Mayor Bill de Blasio would join him and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) in scouting for a Roosevelt Avenue anchor.

As Times Square spurned prostitution, the industry migrated along the No. 7 train line, and Peralta said businesses began offering free car service to patrons from midtown to Corona and Jackson Heights.

For full article, click here 

April 14, 2014
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Peralta decries human trafficking

As reported by The Queens Chronicle:  

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) addressed an audience of over 200 students and faculty at Queensborough Community College in Bayside last Thursday on “Human Trafficking in Our Own Backyard,” drawing a near-capacity crowd.

The talk was the culminating event of a three-week-long ongoing series of related activities, all part of the college’s Common Read Initiative, inspired this year by the featured text, “The Road to Lost Innocence,” the true story of a Cambodian woman who overcame great obstacles and used her experiences to help others stand up for human rights.

The book, written by Somaly Mam based on her own life of abuse in Cambodian brothels, had become a shared reading experience by some 1,300 students and over 35 faculty members from across academic disciplines.

The senator focused on problems relating to human trafficking which, he indicated, runs rampant along Roosevelt Avenue, particularly between 69th and 112th streets.

So-called chica cards, featuring what Peralta described as “degrading pictures of women,” are commonly distributed in the area, so commonplace that “children trade them like baseball cards.”

Peralta indicated that “many women from around the world are brought to Queens and enslaved. The victims are very afraid,” and sometimes seen by the law as criminals. He pointed out that some members of the taxi industry are known to have been “involved in moving these women along. There are those bad apples that perpetuate this crime.”

He said that often these women who come to this country to live the American dream instead “live that American nightmare.” There is a need, he said, to “toughen laws.”

For full article, click here.

April 11, 2014
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Higher Heights For America Conversation: "Harnessing Black Women's Political Power And Leadership Potential"

Senator Stewart-Cousins took part in the conversation about Black women in political leadership at the Higher Heights For America Conversation event on Saturday, April 13th. Higher Heights For America is a non-profit organization that "seeks to elevate Black women’s voices to shape and advance progressive policies and politics".

April 11, 2014
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In the News: Women's Groups: Let Cities and Counties Increase Minimum Wage (Source: LoHud.com)

Women’s rights advocates and legislators released a letter Monday urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support a bill that would allow cities and counties to increase their own minimum wage.

“Failing to adequately raise the minimum wage has hampered our state’s economic growth and kept over 1.1 million hard-working New Yorkers in poverty,” State Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said in a statement. “A majority of minimum wage earners are women, many of whom are desperately trying to provide for their families and make ends meet.”

April 8, 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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In the News: Campaign Finance Reform Benefits Women (Source: LoHud.com)

New York state is on the cusp of making history — and that's a good thing for women.

Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a proposal for the public financing of state elections in his budget. The plan creates a system where public funds match citizens' small campaign contributions to reduce the influence of big money in politics.

March 24, 2014
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Celebrate Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month; a good time to reflect on the contributions of women to our state and nation’s history. Take the opportunity to learn more about the inspiring New York women whose lives continue to influence and teach us, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman.

March 21, 2014
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New York State Senate Inducts St. Marianne Cope into Historic Women of Distinction Exhibit

ALBANY--To celebrate Women’s History Month, the New York State Senate is hosting an exhibit honoring historic New York women whose achievements in arts, science, government, military, labor, education, and social reform have earned them recognition as Women of Distinction.

This exhibit inducts American Saint and health care pioneer St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918), of Syracuse and Utica. In 1869, she became one of the founders of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. She was a pioneering advocate for patients’ rights, sanitation, and hygiene, and believed that no distinction should be made for patients due to their religious beliefs, nationality, or color.

March 18, 2014
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HONORING NEW YORK’S NOTABLE WOMEN

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

What started as a small-town school event in California held over the course of a week in 1978, Women’s History Month has grown tremendously.  Today, throughout the entire month of March, the world’s focus turns to women and the significant contributions they have made to our history, culture and society. In recognition of Women’s History Month, the New York State Senate has developed its “Women of Distinction” program which celebrates females from the Empire State. 

This year, three women have been added to the Senate’s Historic Women of Distinction exhibit, including an individual with ties to Central New York.  Mother Marianne Cope, O.S.F. was a German-born American and a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York.  Known for her charitable works and compassion, she spent much of her life caring for lepers in the Hawaiian Islands.  Despite her close contact with those who had the disease, Cope was never afflicted by it—considered by many to be a miracle in itself.  In 2005, Cope was beatified by  Pope Benedict XVI and in 2012, she was declared a saint.  Mother Marianne Cope now joins the ranks of other remarkable women who are being celebrated through the Women of Distinction program, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Estee Lauder, Harriett Tubman and many others.

March 17, 2014
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Senator Stewart-Cousins Remarks on Women's History Month

“It is up to the women,” was the theme of Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins' remarks on the floor of the State Senate as a resolution she sponsored in honor of Women's History Month was adopted. "It's important to celebrate the other women in the Chamber, [as well as] the unsung heroines like mothers, including my own mother," said the Senator. She also recognized various women throughout history, like Eleanor Roosevelt who not only served as First Lady but also was a great leader who fought for human rights.

March 6, 2014
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RITCHIE SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR 2014 “WOMEN OF DISTINCTION”

Nominees to be Honored at Event on May 1st

State Senator Patty Ritchie is now accepting nominations for the New York State Senate’s 2014 “Women of Distinction” program. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A NOMINATION FORM

The program honors women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing outstanding leaders and everyday citizens from the present who are making a difference.

“Each and every day, women in our region are doing amazing things and throughout the years I’ve had the opportunity to recognize dozens of them through the New York State Senate’s ‘Women of Distinction’ program,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m truly excited to once again honor the women of our region who are making a difference.” 

Women living in the 48th Senate District, including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties are eligible for nomination. All nominees will be invited to a local recognition ceremony to be held on May 1st.  One individual from each State Senate district will be selected to travel to the Capitol to be honored at a special reception on May 13th.  

March 6, 2014
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O'Mara kicks off Women's History Month by accepting local nominations for Senate's 17th Annual 'Women of Distinction' program

Elmira, N.Y., February 28—Kicking off New York State’s celebration of Women’s History Month throughout March, Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) announced that he is accepting nominations for the Senate's 17th annual "Women of Distinction" program to honor local women making outstanding contributions to area communities.

The deadline for submitting a nomination is Monday, March 24, 2014.

February 28, 2014
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