Issues: Human Rights

Action to Combat Human Trafficking -- A Big Step Forward for Women’s Equality

My colleagues and I in the New York State Senate kicked off the 2015 Session by approving our Women's Equality Agenda -- a vitally important series of bills designed to ensure greater equality and opportunities for women throughout our state.

March 16, 2015


“Meeting the Needs of Minority Communities during this Budget Season 

New York, NY – The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus led by Chair Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, outlined the major priorities from their annual report “The People’s Priorities 2015”. Standing in support with them was New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), Hunger Action, American Heart Association, YMCA, and other labor unions, advocacy groups, and clergy. The Caucus formally announced their agenda which ensures that the budget and other pieces of legislation positively affect and provide equal access for low income and minority communities. 

March 12, 2015

Senator Hamilton marches in commemoration of 1965 Civil Rights protesters in Selma

(Brooklyn - March 7, 2015) In honor of the bravery of Civil Rights protesters 50 years ago today, Senator Hamilton marched across the Brooklyn Bridge with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, elected official colleagues, and human rights advocates.

The New York Daily  News reported, "Hundreds of people — black and white — walked across the Brooklyn Bridge... Their arms linked, former Mayor David Dinkins and other political and civil rights leaders led the singing, sign-holding procession of marchers."

March 9, 2015

New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative (Public Hearing) on Criminal Justice Reform

Joint – Assembly Standing Committee on Codes
Chair: Assembly Member Joseph Lentol
Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary
Chair: Assembly Member Helene Weinstein
and New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus
Chair: Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry
Public Hearing: Criminal Justice Reform
Place: Hamilton Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Contact: Juan Gabriel Genao (518) 455-4313
Media Contact: Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888

March 11, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Senator Hamilton meets with advocates for the homeless

Senator Hamilton meets with advocates for the homeless.

March 3, 2015

African American Heritage Committee Black History Month Luncheon

(Yonkers - February 28th) The Senator was the keynote speaker at the African-American Heritage Committee Black History Month Luncheon which was hosted at the Nepperhan Community Center. The honorees were Shawyn Patterson Howard and Paula Crawford. Congratulations for all of your hard work - well-deserved recognition!

March 2, 2015

Press Release: Senate Dems Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Honors Civil Rights Pioneer & Centenarian Dr. Olivia Hooker of Greenburgh During Black History Month

(Albany - February 24th) In honor of Dr. Olivia Hooker’s 100th Birthday which falls during Black History Month, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced a Senate Resolution and nominated Dr. Hooker for a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators. The award and a copy of the Resolution were presented to Dr. Hooker during an event in her honor held by the Yonkers Human Rights Commission at the Hudson River Museum on February 21st.

February 24, 2015

Senator Stewart-Cousins Recognizing Black History Month

(Albany - February 10th) Noting the strides made by African-Americans in our nation, our state and even in positions of leadership in the New York State Legislature, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Minority Leader, spoke on the Senate Resolution designating February as Black History Month. “With this resolution, I wanted to make sure we understood there are leaders that change our lives. Obviously, nationally noted, and then right in our communities; even right here in our legislature.”

February 11, 2015

Family Planning Advocates Rally

(Albany - January 26th) Minority Leader Stewart-Cousins has dedicated her career to promote the health of women and their families and to secure access to confidential, quality reproductive health care for all New Yorkers. Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke at a news conference in support of Family Planning Advocates who continue to fight to ensure that women’s health, safety and equality be protected by state law. In line with her dedication to progressive, common sense approaches to ensuring that safe reproductive health care is always available to the women of New York, the Leader eloquently described how far we have come since the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

January 26, 2015

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(35th Senate District - January 19th) Senator Stewart-Cousins spent the day remembering the life and contributions of our nation's most beloved civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her first stop was the annual MLK Day Breakast in Yonkers at the Nepperhan Community Center, followed by a stop at the James Harmon Community Center in Hastings where she participated in the singing of "We Shall Overcome," and later, at Tarrytown at the Foster Memorial AME Zion Church MLK Day Celebration.

January 22, 2015

Standing Up for Our Second Amendment Rights

“The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed”

Dear Friend,

These words, penned by our founding fathers so many years ago, are not hard to understand… and they should never be up for debate. For over 40 years, I made a career in our community under the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and I believe our Second Amendment rights are just as important. That’s why one of my first official acts as your State Senator was to sign-on to S.1193, a bill to fully repeal the SAFE Act.

January 20, 2015

Remembering the Legacy of 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 website.

January 16, 2015

Senator Gallivan Announces Senate Passes Bills to Protect and Enhance Women's Rights

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announces the New York State Senate has passed eight pieces of legislation as part of the Senate’s Women’s Equality Agenda, enhancing the rights of women while protecting from abuse and discrimination.  The bills, which Senator Gallivan co-sponsored, would ensure equal pay for equal work; combat sexual harassment on the job; end gender discrimination in employment, housing and credit decisions; strengthen laws against human trafficking, make reasonable work accommodations for pregnant women and better protect victims of domestic violence.

January 13, 2015

Senator Funke’s video reaction to the passage of the Senate Women’s Equality Act

Senator casts first legislative votes for historic package of eight laws; Equal pay for equal work, expanded protections from harassment & discrimination pass bipartisan Senate.

January 12, 2015


Senator casts first legislative votes for historic package of eight laws; Equal pay for equal work, expanded protections from harassment & discrimination pass bipartisan Senate

January 12, 2015

Senate Passes Women's Equality Package

In its first legislative act of 2015, the New York State Senate today approved a comprehensive Women’s Equality Agenda that would enhance the rights of women and protect those who are most vulnerable to abuse and discrimination.

January 12, 2015


Senator George Amedore today voted to approve a comprehensive women’s equality agenda that would ensure equal pay for equal work, and provide women much-needed protections against discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

“I’m happy that these important pieces of legislation were the Senate’s first order of business; I’ve said all along they need to be a priority,” said Senator Amedore. “These bills have bipartisan support, and women in New York have waited long enough – they deserve these protections. It’s time for our colleagues in the Assembly to put women’s health and safety above politics and pass this package of bills.”

The bills passed by the Senate today would:

January 12, 2015


Legislative Package Aims to End Discrimination, Combat Sexual Harassment and Stop Domestic Violence

State Senator Patty Ritchie today is praising passage of legislation that will provide females across New York State with new protections when it comes to discrimination, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

The historic measures passed Monday mark the first legislative act of 2015 and are the components of a comprehensive Women’s Equality Agenda, made up of bills that would stop human trafficking; ensure equal pay for equal work; combat sexual harassment in the workplace; end gender discrimination in employment, housing and credit decisions; make reasonable work accommodations available for pregnant women; and provide stronger protections for domestic violence victims. 

“In every corner of our state and across our nation, women are breaking glass ceilings and reaching new heights. However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the things that often hold them down—namely the discrimination, harassment and abuse that often happen in the workplace and in our society at large,” said Senator Ritchie.

January 12, 2015

Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta, Lead Sponsor Of The NYS DREAM Act, On President Obama's Executive Order

"The good news is that millions of upstanding, hardworking undocumented immigrants will now be able to continue contributing to our economy without having to live and work in fear of deportation.

"The bad news is that millions of other upstanding, hardworking undocumented immigrants will remain in the shadows of our economy and society.

"President Obama is to be applauded for taking a strong first step toward long-overdue reform of our broken immigration system.  Like the president, we in New York should not wait on Congress to make additional necessary repairs.

"The DREAM Act is sensible, compassionate public policy.  It is the law in Texas, a red state, California, a blue state, and New Mexico, a purple state.  Here, the New York DREAM Act is supported by editorial boards throughout the state, including those at newspapers as different as the New York Post, The New York Times and the Daily News.

"Let’s follow the bipartisan example of the five states that have already passed a DREAM Act.  Let's collaborate in New York on making an investment in our young people, our economy and our state’s future that will pay for itself several times over."


November 21, 2014
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