Commending former Senator Velmanette Montgomery upon the occasion of her designation as the first ever recipient of the Senate Major...

download pdf

Sponsored By


view additional co-sponsors



Senate Resolution No. 400


COMMENDING former Senator Velmanette Montgomery
upon the occasion of her designation as the first
ever recipient of the Senate Majority Leader's
Legislative Legacy Award

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize and
commend those individuals of outstanding purpose whose lives have been
committed to public service and the pursuit of excellence in the conduct
of the legislative process in this noble Empire State; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its
long-standing tradition, this Legislative Body is justly proud to
reflect upon those extraordinary individuals who have made everlasting
contributions on behalf of their fellow men and women and have left
their mark on this great Empire State; Senator Velmanette Montgomery is
one such individual; she truly devoted her life to serving her
government with integrity and commitment for the sole purpose of serving
the needs of others; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was first elected to the New
York State Senate in 1984; after that, she was re-elected 17 consecutive
times; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was the second Black woman to
be elected to this Legislative Body, first elected more than twenty
years after the first Black woman to be elected to this Legislative
Body, paving the way for a new generation of diverse Senators; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery represented District 25 which
includes Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset
Park, Gowanus, and Park Slope, among other neighborhoods located within
the borough of Brooklyn; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was the longest serving
Democratic Senator in New York State history, and was the first Senator
to give birth to a child while serving in office; through her work, she
made New York a better place to live, to work and to raise a family; and

WHEREAS, She served as the long-time secretary of the New York State
Senate Democratic Conference and served on the Conference Leadership
team for over a decade; in 2019, she was appointed Majority Conference
Secretary; and

WHEREAS, As a trailblazing legislator and State leader, Senator
Velmanette Montgomery was well-known for her effective leadership and
steadfast commitment to her constituents; during her career, she worked
tirelessly as an advocate for youth, public education, criminal justice
reform, environmental preservation and civil rights; and

WHEREAS, During her distinguished tenure in this Legislative Body,
Senator Velmanette Montgomery sponsored numerous bills that were enacted
into law and have made deep and lasting changes to better the lives of
the residents of New York State; among these important accomplishments

are laws prohibiting the use of shackles on pregnant women (Chapter 411
of 2009 and Chapter 570 of 2015), allowing youth in foster care to
remain in care past their eighteenth birthday (Chapter 342 of 2009), and
ensuring fair and equal pay for public employees (Chapter 741 of 2019);

WHEREAS, As the Chair of the New York State Senate Standing
Committee on Children and Families, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was
dedicated to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through
reform of the State's juvenile justice, foster care and adoptive care
system; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery's dedication to improving the
lives of young people led her to be a statewide champion of YouthBuild,
an organization that provides opportunities for young people to realize
their full potential, her support helping to achieve millions of dollars
in state assistance and bicameral support for the program; and

WHEREAS, Her passion for supporting children's health and well-being
led Senator Velmanette Montgomery to lead the fight to school-based
health clinics, helping to secure significant state fiscal support for
health-services for schools in an innovative community-based model; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was known for her championing
of incarcerated persons and understood the critical need to create a
pathway for second chances; her commitment to restorative justice
included her often lonely but ultimately successful crusade to Raise the
Age of criminal liability; and

WHEREAS, In acknowledgment of her longtime advocacy on the issue of
kinship care, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was the recipient of
numerous awards including the auspicious Barbara M. Clark Kinship
Champion Award; and

WHEREAS, Senator Velmanette Montgomery was not only known for her
success as a legislator, but for her passion for mentoring new
legislators, staff, and others, leaving a lasting impression on the next
generation of leaders and lawmakers; and

WHEREAS, Prior to her service in public office, Senator Velmanette
Montgomery worked as a teacher, adjunct professor, and day care
director; furthermore, she was the co-founder of the Day Care Forum of
New York City, and served as president of Community School Board 13; and

WHEREAS, Velmanette Montgomery obtained a master's degree in
Education from New York University before becoming a Revson Fellow at
Columbia University; in 1991, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law
from St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn; and

WHEREAS, In light of her many accomplishments and historic impact on
the State Legislature and the Empire State itself, the Senate Majority
Leader has established a new award to honor her legacy on this state and
her beloved community on the occasion of her retirement, and this award
shall make Senator Velmanette Montgomery the first recipient of this
newly established Senate Majority Leader's Legislative Legacy Award;
now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commend former Senator Velmanette Montgomery upon the occasion of her
designation as the first ever recipient of the Senate Majority Leader's
Legislative Legacy Award; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Velmanette Montgomery.


  • 22 / Feb / 2021
  • 23 / Feb / 2021
  • 23 / Feb / 2021

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.