Issues: Human Rights

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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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
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Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On Washington State Legislature’s Passage Of DREAM Act

“Washington is on the verge of becoming the fourth state to provide college financial aid to undocumented immigrants, after the legislature there last night passed the state’s own DREAM Act with strong bi-partisan support.

“Here in New York, making the DREAM Act a reality will also require support across conferences.  Fortunately,  there is a growing consensus among business, labor and Republican and Democratic leaders across the country, both on the need for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of reform.  We saw evidence of that last night in Washington.

“That consensus is building because of the growing recognition that the DREAM Act is an investment in the workforce of tomorrow that would pay for itself many times over in increased tax revenues; and that with the demand for higher-skilled workers increasing, it only makes sense to encourage our young people to pursue higher education

“There is also an increasing realization that the young people who would benefit from the DREAM Act are as American as Thanksgiving.  They arrived at an early age and don’t know any country but the United States.  Their hearts are here and so are there futures.

“Let’s help them better provide for themselves and their families, contribute more to the economy and fully integrate into the American mainstream.”

-30-

February 19, 2014
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"Building A Leadership Pipeline For Women" Discussion Panel

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, along with Assemblywomen Robinson and Titus, hosted a discussion panel during Caucus weekend in Albany about roles of women in society, and how women helping women can make a bigger impact in the workforce. The panel also discussed some of the hardships of being a woman in the professional world and the choices that professional women have to make about family and career. Panel participants included Jackie Williams (State & Broadway), Jennifer Jones Austin (FPWA), Leecia Eve (Verizon), Mylan L. Denerstein (Counsel to the Governor), Carolyn McLaughlin (Albany City Council), and Mecca Santana (Chief Diversity Officer of the State of New York).

February 17, 2014
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Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Catholic bishops back state DREAM Act for financial aid

As reported by the Daily News:

ALBANY — Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the state's Catholic bishops have come out strongly in favor of creating a state DREAM Act allowing state financial aid to go to the college kids of undocumented immigrants.

"It's one of our top priorities this year," state Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust said.

The Catholic Conference, a strong advocate for national immigration reform, views the DREAM Act legislation sponsored by Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Queens) as something the state can do in the interim.

For full article, click here.

February 10, 2014
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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
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United Way Women's Leadership Council Breakfast

Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke about the importance of having more women in the legislature, as well as leveling the playing field in the overall workforce and how the job still is not done at the United Way Women's Leadership Council Breakfast January 31st.

February 3, 2014
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SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES FELDER’S & LENTOL’S LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION IN MEMORY OF HOLOCAUST RESCUER RABBI MICHOEL BER WEISSMANDL

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) introduced a Legislative Resolution in Albany yesterday -- which was passed unanimously -- honoring the memory of Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl, who is credited with saving countless European Jews, especially Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz, during the Holocaust. The ceremony took place in the Senate Chamber in Albany and was attended by members of Rabbi Weissmandl’s family and the Jewish community.

According to some accounts, Rabbi Weissmandl is credited with rescuing approximately two-thirds of the Holocaust survivors living in Brooklyn today. Senator Felder spoke about Rabbi Weissmandl’s valiant efforts saying,

"וכל המקיים נפש אחת, מעלין עליו כאילו קיים עולם מלא

January 28, 2014
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Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Memorializing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Tremendous Contribution To Civil Rights

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins memorialized the life and achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a resolution, commenting on how much he had accomplished in his brief life of 39 years. In Senator Stewart-Cousins remarks, she stressed that Dr. King's belief in nonviolence changed the world, and how it is still relevant today, reminding us that he died speaking for jobs and freedom, and argued that Dr. King would be working for those who work hard and still don't have sufficient opportunities if he was alive today. Senator Stewart-Cousins concluded her remarks by reminding the chamber of all the work that still needed to be accomplished for those people, and for Dr.

January 27, 2014
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Sen. Parker Implores President Obama for Capital Infusion for Brooklyn Hospitals via Medicaid Waiver

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Senator Kevin Parker (D 21) describes the magnitude of Brooklyn's health care crisis, its looming fiscal challenges, and requests of the President that Brooklyn receives its $10 billion in waiver money from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) which has not yet been granted. 

Please clink on the pdf link below to view the letter in its entirety. 

File: 
Letter to President Obama re CMS waiver monies for Brooklyn

January 27, 2014
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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
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Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Mourning the Death of Nelson Mandela

On the Senate Floor, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins spoke to mourn the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. The Senator praised Mandela's commitment to nothing less than the complete emancipation of his people, and reminded the chamber that he refused to exit prison for 27 years until this dream was realized. The Senator concluded her remarks by encouraging her colleagues to abide by the same courage and ideals of equality that Nelson Mandela cherished.

January 15, 2014
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Senator Perkins Sponsors Resolution That Chronicles And Celebrates The Legacy Of Nelson Mandela In New York | Passes Senate Unanimously

Today, the Senate passed a Resolution—Prime Sponsored by Senator Perkins—that chronicles and celebrates the New York legacy of Nelson Mandela, specifically how his speech to the people of Harlem on June 22nd, 1990 was a source of inspiration that represented a commonality of struggle, singularity of hope and unity of cause in fighting racism and oppression the world over. The full text of the resolution can be found here.

On the Senate Floor, Senator Perkins delivered the following remarks:

January 14, 2014
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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
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Advocates push to give undocumented New York immigrants driver's licenses

As reported by the Daily News:

Believing the political climate is now in their favor, advocates are launching a major push to allow undocumented immigrants to get New York State driver’s licenses.

Members of more than 50 organizations met Tuesday with an umbrella group known as the New York Immigration Coalition to set their campaign in motion.

 “We have really decided to go forward, and go forward full steam,” said Steven Choi, the coalition’s executive director. “We are hearing from our members, from Brentwood in Long Island all the way to Buffalo, that driver’s licenses are a major issue.”

For full article, click here. 

January 9, 2014
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CAUCUS CHAIR, THE REVEREND AND ASSEMBLYMAN KARIM CAMARA RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR CUOMO’S 2014 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

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
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International Human Rights Day Celebration

To celebrate International Human Rights Day, Senator Stewart-Cousins joined the celebration of Yonkers Commission on Human Rights’ 50th Anniversary enacted on October 1, 1963 by the City of Yonkers. The breakfast event was held on Saturday, December 14th at the Riverview on Hastings-on-Hudson with a theme "Advancing Women's Equality" which explored the state of gender equality today and examine possible strategies and steps to promote and realize gender equity in the future. Also at the event, Judge Delores Braithwaite, pictured here with the Senator.

December 16, 2013
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