Op-Ed On The Military Commissions

Please be sure to check out an op-ed I wrote with Sen. Eric Adams for CBS News about the Obama administration's decision to revive the military commissions to prosecute Guantanamo detainees. We believe the time has come to end, not mend, this substandard judicial system.

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Seward Joins Veterans For Reissuance of Purple Heart Stamp

COOPERSTOWN, 05/21/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined local veterans to launch the reissuance of the Purple Heart Stamp.

“As we approach Memorial Day it is important to remember those who have sacrificed so much for their country,” said Senator Seward.  “The reissuance of the Purple Heart Stamp is one way we can honor those service members killed or wounded in service of our nation. 

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Protesters decry proliferating illegal hotels: Elected officials, housing advocates and labor reps will rally Thursday evening in Hell’s Kitchen

By Lisa Fickenscher

The number of illegal hotels in the city has grown 20% over the past 12 months and a group of elected officials, housing advocates and labor representatives plan to protest the proliferation Thursday at a rally.

The 280 illegal hotels in New York City are not only depleting the supply of affordable housing units, they are siphoning away business from legitimate hotels, said Jackie Del Valle, director of organizing at Housing Conservation Coordinators, a nonprofit that represents low-income tenants.

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Dueling gay marriage rallies draw thousands

By Duncan Osborne and Paul Schindler

In an event that generously mixed politics and religion, thousands of opponents of marriage equality for same-sex couples rallied outside of the East Side office of Governor David Paterson on Sun., May 17, calling on the State Senate and God to stop the advance of gay marriage in New York.

“The day will come when the hand of God shall use these people to take him out, out, out,” said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Ministers, referring to Paterson’s political future.

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SENATE DEMOCRATS BLOCK BILL TO TOUGHEN SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

Senate Democrats today defeated a common-sense bill that would elevate criminal penalties for convicted sex offenders that fail to register every year with the Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry.  Under the Republican bill, the penalty for failure to register would be raise from a misdemeanor to a class D felony.

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Measure To Assist Unemployed New Yorkers

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D – 35th District) announced today that the Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation that extends unemployment benefits for thousands of New Yorkers. The bill, Senate 4110-A, provides benefits for an additional 13 weeks.

“During these difficult economic times, working families are struggling to make ends meet,” stated Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “For the unemployed, the struggle is even greater, therefore, I was pleased to vote in favor of this important bill that will help so many of New York’s families.”

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Taking big ‘STEPS’ to promote teen mental health

I want to thank the representatives of mental health agencies and non-profit organizations in Orange and Rockland for participating in a recent forum on the “STEPS” program (Screening, Treatment, and Education to Promote Strength), a first-of-its-kind virtual mental health initiative for teens and their parents. Funded through a $500,000 state grant I was able to secure, New York University’s Christopher P.

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