Today the New York State Senate unanimously passed a Resolution (J767/K347) requesting that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaim May 2011 as Lupus Awareness Month in the State of New York. The Resolution was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Joseph A. Griffo and co-sponsored by Senator José M. Serrano.
Lupus is a chronic disease affecting the immune system, causing it to become hyperactive and attack normal tissue. 90 percent of the thousands of people diagnosed with lupus each year are women, and the illness is most prevalent among African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians.
Today in the Albany Convention Center, State Senator José M. Serrano met with members of District Council 37 who reside in his district, to discuss several issues of importance— including the need for strengthening and reforming rent regulation laws. With the potential expiration of rent regulations on June 15th, these constituents voiced their concerns and fears that thousands of tenants will be forced out of their residences.
"Particularly in this difficult economy, we must ensure strong tenant protection measures to keep housing affordable and keep families in their homes," said Senator Serrano.
"It has been nearly 10 years since the horrific attacks of September 11th, but the events of that morning are still vivid in the hearts and minds of all New Yorkers and the families of the victims, who have had to endure the painful aftermath of the tragedy. "Although nothing can ever repair the damage done on that day, I hope that the news that the perpetrator of this horrendous assault on freedom has been brought to justice helps those who lost loved ones on 9/11 to feel some measure of closure. "I praise President Obama’s leadership, and the heroic efforts of our national security experts and armed forces for their commitment to the safety of every American.
(Albany, NY)- State Senator José M. Serrano today joined New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, advocates, and nearly 150 high school students to rally for stronger gun laws to help protect our community.
This event, held at the Well in the Legislative Office Building, highlighted the importance of preventing violence in schools and called on the legislature to pass reformative bills that keep illegal guns off our streets.
"Gun violence is a disease that continues to plague our community," said Senator Serrano. "Our students should not have to live in fear of guns in their schools or on their streets. I commend all the students that came today for educating their peers and building awareness throughout their schools."
Senator Serrano co-sponsored a forum, hosted by Senator Bill Perkins, designed to answer the tough questions on the latest immigration issues. Local elected officials, immigration advocates and community organizations discussed various topics, including workers rights, wage theft and unemployment insurance benefits, immigration fraud, the Secure Communities program, immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and violence against women."We have many great challenges in this country, but there is no time to waste on immigration reform. Not when every delay means another broken family. Not when every delay means that another hard working immigrant gets taken advantage of by a predatory, fraudulent company," said Senator Serrano.
A Resolution introduced by Senator José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) to commemorate Earth Hour passed the New York State Senate unanimously today. The resolution requests that Governor Andrew Cuomo adopt 8:30 PM, Saturday, March 26, 2011 as Earth Hour in a show of solidarity to encourage environmental and energy conservation.The first Earth Hour took place in 2007, and since then hundreds of millions of people and landmarks have taken part in this environmentally friendly tradition. Earth Hour 2010 was the most successful to date, with a record 128 countries and territories joining this global display of climate action.
(Albany, NY)-Senator José M. Serrano commended Governor Cuomo’s nomination of Rose H. Harvey as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Today,the nomination was approved unanimously by the New York State Senate.
Prior to her nomination, Ms. Harvey was a Senior Fellow at the Jonathan Rose Companies, where she served as an advisor and conducted research on parks issues, and where she launched a non-profit organization designed to fund and develop parks in urban neighborhoods. Ms. Harvey also worked with the Trust for Public Land
for 27 years, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and National Director of Urban Programs.
Senator José M. Serrano joined Senator Ruben Diaz, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and their colleagues in government on the steps of Bronx Borough Hall today to address the devastating budget proposal that would close 105 senior centers in New York City - 7 of which are located in the 28th Senate District.
In the current state budget proposal, there are significant cuts that would negatively impact funding for senior centers throughout New York City. In the areas represented by Senator Serrano – East Harlem, Yorkville, Roosevelt Island and the South Bronx – senior citizens are already experiencing economic hardships and the closure of needed senior centers will only add to that burden.
Senator José M. Serrano today addressed the New York State Art Teachers Association Legislative Exhibit (NYSATA), which is co-sponsored by the New York State Alliance for the Arts in Education (NYSSAE). Held at the Legislative Well in the Capitol Building in Albany each spring, this exhibit showcases the artistic accomplishments of students from throughout the state, and invites them to celebrate arts education with their legislators.
Senator José M. Serrano today joined the New York Immigration Coalition, colleagues and advocates for the 2011 Immigrants’ Rights Day of Action in Albany. Hundreds of New Yorkers traveled to Albany to send a message to the Governor and the Legislature that state policies must recognize the rights of immigrants and protect immigrant communities.They also urged lawmakers to adopt the NYIC’s top ten state buget and policy priorities for 2011, so that the budget isn’t balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable.
Senator José M. Serrano joined former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and his fellow Senate Democratic Heroes of Reform to support and advocate for the immediate passage of Governor Cuomo’s non-partisan redistricting legislation. Governor Cuomo introduced the Redistricting Reform Act of 2011 on Friday, February 18th. The legislation (S.3419) would put an independent redistricting plan in place before legislative lines are redrawn ahead of the 2012 elections.
Senator Jose M. Serrano today co-sponsored a Senate Resolution (J629), introduced by Senator Bill Perkins, commemorating Harlem’s Historic African Burial Ground in recognition of Black History Month. The burial ground was located where the MTA’s 126th Street Bus Depot in East Harlem now stands, and occupied a quarter acre lot on the original Elmendorf Dutch Reformed Church grounds on First Avenue between 126th and 127th Streets. Many community leaders fear the historic burial ground might be lost or defiled due to ongoing work expanding the Willils Avenue bridge and a plan to entirely rebuild a bus depot located at that location.
(New York, NY) – With rent regulation laws that protect over 1 million units of affordable housing in New York City and the surrounding counties (Westchester, Nassau, and Rockland) dangerously close to expiring, Senate Democrats were joined by City elected officials and advocates to call for the immediate extension and expansion of tenant protections.
Senator Jose M. Serrano and Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito celebrated Black History month in East Harlem on February 22nd. The program honored two outstanding African American members of the community: Ethel Velez, a lifelong resident of East Harlem, President and Chair of the North Council of Presidents (MNCOP), and President of James Weldon Johnson Tenants Association; and Carmen Villegas, Community Activist and Organizer for Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, and Advisor to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the U.S..
Senator José M. Serrano today attended the 25th Precinct 3 PM Roll Call, where he had the opportunity to meet and address the NYPD officers serving the community of East Harlem.“I was very grateful for the opportunity to be present during the roll call and to show my support for the Officers of the 25th Precinct, who day in and day out put their safety on the line for the benefit of our neighborhood. I look forward to continuing to work with the Police Department and other local organizations on devising solutions to eliminate the violence that has been plaguing our community during recent months.”
Senator Jose M. Serrano joined Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance for an East Harlem Town Hall meeting. The meeting was co-sponsored by Community Board #11, and was attended by elected officials, leaders and residents of the East Harlem Community. District Attorney Vance highlighted his new initiatives and priorities, and gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns. "I'm very glad to be here, alongside the District Attorney, to hear the concerns of the East Harlem community and to make them aware of the services provided by our respective offices," said Senator Serrano. "I look forward to working with District Attorney Vance in the future on many of the East Harlem issues discussed here today."
(Albany, NY)- Today Senator Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) expressed his disappointment at the defeat of an Amendment, of which he is the sponsor, that would provide equal allocations to each member of the New York State Senate. These allocations include staff, printed materials, postage, and travel costs.
The amendment has been previously presented by the Republican Conference, and was based on the Minority Report to the Temporary Committee on Rules Reform, which was authored by three Republican Senators. Today the Democratic Conference presented three amendments to Senate Rules, further building on their commitment to enacting significant rules reform within the New York State Senate.
Senators José M. Serrano and Liz Krueger, along with El Repertorio Español, co-sponsored a free arts forum, which explored innovative systems that can maximize the connections between those working in the arts and their audiences.A panel of experts presented cutting edge techniques, tips and case studies in the areas of branding, social networking and event planning. The panel discussed how all of these areas have concrete applications in the day-to-day work of artists and arts organizations, both large and small.