Issues: Human Rights

Gianaris Bill Opposes Police Quotas

The Queens Gazette reports on a new bill proposed by Senator Gianaris, which opposes Police Department quota requirements.

Addressing a very sensitive area of police-public relations, state Senator Michael Gianaris has proposed a bill opposing Police Department quota requirements.

 

“The use of quotas puts undue pressure on our police force and results in too many unwarranted arrests and tickets,” Gianaris explained as he released the legislation.

 

“Raising the penalty for the imposition of quotas would deter the practice and ensure that police activity is conducted for public safety first and foremost,” the Astoria lawmaker added.

 

March 28, 2012
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Legislators Stand in Solidarity with 17-year old Trayvon Martin and his family and stand up against stereotyping and reckless actions.

Senator Perkins and Colleagues are Trayvon Martin

We are each Trayvon Martin. We are all black men, who because of demonizing stereotypes, are subject to the irrational hysterical response of people who maintain that we are intimidating and frightening. Gangs, police officers and individuals, are all subject to this societal fixation of seeing black men as ‘the bad guy.’

March 27, 2012
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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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Senator Gianaris celebrates the 2012 Greek Independence Day

Senator Gianaris marching up Fifth Avenue during the 2012 Greek Independence Day Parade.

 

March 25, 2012
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Bill would stiffen sex offender penalties

Queens Courier reports on a new bill introduced by Senator Gianaris that would strengthen penalties for repeat sex offenders.

In an effort to keep the public safe from sexual abuse, the New York State Senate has passed a bill increasing the penalty for repeat offenders.

 

The Senate has approved legislation introduced by Senator Michael Gianaris which excludes time spent in prison from the 10-year period during which the actions of a repeat sex offender are deemed “persistent sexual abuse.”

 

Under the current law, criminals who commit certain sex crimes on multiple occasions can count time they are incarcerated towards the decade-long period in which they are subject to harsher penalties.

 

March 19, 2012
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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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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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Fighting the sex trade in Queens and statewide

Queens Chronicle reports

By Jose Peralta

There are some 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any other time in human history. Most are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and 80 percent are female. About half of the world’s trafficking victims are under the age of 18.

While New York State’s sex trafficking laws are among the most comprehensive in the nation, promoting prostitution in the first degree, compelling prostitution and sex trafficking are all classified here as non-violent felonies.

Read full article here

February 17, 2012
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UCCA Holds Annual Breakfast

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the United Community Civic Association's annual breakfast, where executives and elected officials gathered to discuss various regional issues.

The United Community Civic Association (UCCA) held its third annual Legislative/Executive Breakfast on February 3. Civic and community leaders, community board representatives, major commercial, industrial and hospital chief executive officers and administrators were invited to speak on various topics from the city budget, hydrofracking, garbage pick up, education and quality of life issues.

 

February 14, 2012
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Flying Tips for Older Passengers

An editorial by the New York Times discusses some of the difficulties senior citizens may encounter when travelling by air and how some of these issues can be avoided. Senator Gianaris recommends that when flying, be sure to tell TSA officials about any medical conditions in advance of going through security.

FLYING, as most travelers know all too well, can be arduous. But while some of us may grumble about cramped airline seats and security pat-downs, simply navigating an airport can be downright disorienting for elderly travelers.

 

February 14, 2012
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Commentary: It’s About Women’s Health Care, Not Religion

By Ellen Jaffee, Liz Krueger, Teresa Sayward and Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Albany Times Union

The Obama administration made the right decision when it announced it would protect access to affordable birth control for women, no matter where they work.

Both in its initial decision and in efforts late last week to accommodate religious concerns, the White House has held to a key principle: reproductive health care is legitimate health care, and all Americans have a right to accessible, affordable health care.

February 13, 2012
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Senator Montgomery Announces NYSABPRL's 41st Annual Legislative Conference Workshop & Event Schedule

The 41st Annual Legislative Conference of the NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators will convene on Friday, February 17th and conclude on Sunday, February 19th, 2012. The theme of this year’s conference is “Open Doors to Employment, Opens Doors to Empowerment."

The Conference schedule of educational workshops and weekend-long events is included here in a pdf format that can be downloaded.  More information on the Legislative Conference may be obtained by visiting www.nysabprl.org.

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February 9, 2012
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New Bipartisan Pro-Choice Bloc Announces Leadership

Today, the newly-organized Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus (BPCLC) announced its new leadership team of four new co-chairs: Assemblymembers Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro), and Senators Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers).

The BPCLC is a bloc of more than 75 members of the state legislature committed to advancing women's health and reproductive choice in New York. The caucus counts among its members representatives from both houses and both the Republican and Democratic parties. The BPCLC's priority in the 2012 legislative session is the Reproductive Health Act, A. 6112 / S. 2844.

February 9, 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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Sen. Krueger Statement in Support of “Trust Women Week”

New York – State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) released the following public statement in support of the Silver Ribbon Campaign’s Trust Women Week, a week-long collaborative effort and ‘online mobilization’ for women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights:

“Last week marked the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which acknowledged common sense – women have a right to govern themselves, their health, and their bodies.

January 24, 2012
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Gianaris Announces Legislation Expanding Good Samaritan Laws

An article written by the Queens Gazette looks into the new legislation proposed by Senator Gianaris, which would expand on current New York Good Samaritan laws in order to protect local businesses and non-profits from being held liable for damages or injuries that could occur while helping a victim.

Continuing his fight to ensure safety in the neighborhood, state Senator Michael Gianaris announced he has introduced new legislation expanding New York’s Good Samaritan laws.

 The legislation would protect local businesses and non-profits offering themselves as safe havens from being held liable for damages or injuries that may have occurred while helping a victim.

January 18, 2012
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Gianaris calls on NY State to expand “Good Samaritan” law

Sunnyside Post reports on Senator Gianaris’ introduction of new legislation that expands on New York’s Good Samaritan laws. The new bill extends liability protection to local business and non-profits acting as safe havens for individuals who feel unsafe.

January 18, 2012
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Push On To Strengthen New York Good Samaritan Law

CBS New York wrote this article that talks about the appeal by local officials to expand New York’s Good Samaritan laws. Senator Gianaris feels that strengthening the law will be effective in preventing crime.

January 18, 2012
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS ON LEGACY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

"Today, we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and are reminded of the power of perseverance and the importance of helping others. As a representative of one of the most diverse communities in the world, I am humbled by the ability of different peoples to live side-by-side and create a respectful, loving environment in which our children can grow up understanding the inherent nature of dignity for all. None of this would be possible without the sacrifices made by Martin Luther King, Jr. We are forever indebted to him."

January 16, 2012
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Queens Mosque Bombings

News From New York StateSenator Shirley L. HuntleyFor Immediate Release: January 3, 2012Contact: Bryant G. Gaspard | gaspard@nysenate.gov | (518) 455-3531

**PRESS RELEASE**

On a day celebrating a new year, four bombings occurred in Southeast Queens causing extensive property damage to one home, but fortunately no lives were lost.  The arson attacks were committed by using Molotov cocktails on the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, a bodega on Hillside Avenue and two homes; all of which took place within miles of each other in Jamaica, Queens.

January 3, 2012
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