Issues: Human Rights

GENDA SPONSOR SQUADRON: TIME IS NOW TO BRING BILL TO SENATE FLOOR FOR VOTE AFTER ASSEMBLY PASSAGE FOR SEVENTH TIME

ALBANY—Today, the New York State Assembly has passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) for the seventh time. Senator Daniel Squadron, lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate, issued the following statement:

June 10, 2014
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Sen. Parker Interviews Jonathan E. Gradess, Executive Director, NYS Defenders Association, Inc.

Based in Albany, New York, the New York State Defenders Association is a non-profit, membership organization, that provides direct services and training programs to the 6,000 lawyers who represent family or criminal court cases for low income people.

For direct assistance, visit their website at www.nysda.org or call 518-465-3524.

Further, two Brooklyn-based organizations provide similar services:

June 4, 2014
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Senator Bill Perkins Pays Tribute And Homage To The Incredibly Inspiring Life Of Dr. Maya Angelou

On Tuesday, June 3rd Senator Perkins offered the following remarks on the life of Maya Angelou, acclaimed African-American poet, influential memoirist and playwright:

I rise to honor perhaps the greatest and most inspiring renaissance woman that ever lived:  Dr. Maya Angelou.  I thank my colleagues, especially Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senators Parker, Sanders, Hassell-Thompson and Montgomery for co-sponsoring this Resolution alongside me. 

 

June 4, 2014
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Sen. Krueger, Advocates Applaud Passage of “Boss Bill” in Senate Labor Committee, Call for Floor Vote Before End of Session

Sen. Krueger applauded the Senate Labor Committee’s passage today of her legislation banning employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their personal reproductive health decisions (S. 6578B). Sen. Krueger called on the Senate majority’s co-leaders to follow up on this positive step by allowing a floor vote on the bill before the close of the 2014 session.

June 3, 2014
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Press Release: Senate Democratic Conference Members Hold Public Forum On The New York State DREAM Act

Albany, NY - The Senate Democratic Conference today held a public forum on the New York State DREAM Act. This legislation will would provide access to state-funded financial aid (TAP) and scholarships to qualifying undocumented youth as they seek to attend higher education institutions. Forum participants were provided testimony by fiscal and education experts, as well as undocumented youth who would qualify for education aid if the DREAM Act passed into law.

May 29, 2014
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After Sterling, NY lawmakers stand with Oneida Indian Nation call to ban R-word from NFL

By Michelle Breidenbach on May 05, 2014 at 5:20 PM, updated May 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM

UPDATE: Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, has added his name to the list of New York state lawmakers who stand with the Oneida Indian Nation against the Washington Redskins.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Albany lawmakers will join Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter tomorrow to call on professional sports teams to stop using dictionary-defined racial slurs as mascots, according to a press release from the Oneida Nation.

May 22, 2014
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Senator Parker, Legislators and Veterans Groups Advocate for Bill to Guarantee Veteran Amputees Latest Prosthetic Technology

(Brooklyn, NY) – Yesterday, Senator Kevin Parker joined Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo and veterans groups advocate to announce their bill, A6820/S5390, which clarifies that amputee veterans who have lost a limb due to their military service, and who have private insurance to supplement their Veterans Administration benefits, cannot be denied replacement of their outdated artificial limbs when new and more advanced prosthetic technology is available.

May 22, 2014
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR KEVIN PARKER ON BROWN V BOARD OF EDUCATION 60TH ANNIVERSARY

(Brooklyn, NY) - "Sixty years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its unanimous ruling in Brown v the Board of Education. As we all know, the Court's decision made it crystal clear that not only were the racially segregated school systems of the day unequal and illegal, but that segregated schools could never be equal and therefore violated the U.S. Constitution.

May 19, 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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Senate Passes Sen. Parker’s Bill Enhancing Penalties on Bias-Related Graffiti

(Brooklyn, NY) – Yesterday, the State Senate passed Senator Kevin Parker’s bill, S951A, which increases the penalties arising from bias related graffiti to make it even clearer that hate crimes must end in New York. In 2012, the number of hate crimes in New York increased by 30%, and in 2014 barely a week has passed without an account of anti-Semitic graffiti on privately owned vehicles or public buildings, such as the anti-Jewish graffiti rampage of last weekend in Central Brooklyn.

 

May 13, 2014
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April 16, 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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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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In the News: Senate Dems To Cuomo: Dream Act Will Pass If It’s In The Budget (Source: NY State of Politics)

The Dream Act will be approved if it is folded into the 2014-15 state budget, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Queens Democrat Jose Peralta wrote in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The letter send on Thursday comes several days after the Senate voted down the measure by two votes, 30-29.

Click here to read the full article.

March 21, 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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Senator Parker Passes A Bill to Honor Our Fallen Veterans

(Brooklyn, NY) - Earlier today, State Senator Kevin Parker’s bill (S1615B) passed the Senate’s Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. The bill, which will take effect November 11, 2015, ensures the remains of a cremated American veterans’ body are properly and respectfully disposed of if not claimed, thereby allowing for proper acknowledgment of those who have served to protect the life and liberty of our nation. 

February 26, 2014
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