Regular Session - February 1, 2023


 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE








 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                  February 1, 2023

11                     11:13 a.m.



14                   REGULAR SESSION




18  SENATOR JEREMY A. COONEY, Acting President









 1                P R O C E E D I N G S

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

 3    Senate will come to order.  

 4                 I ask everyone present to please 

 5    rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                 (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7    the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   In the 

 9    absence of clergy, let us bow our heads in a 

10    moment of silent reflection or prayer.

11                 (Whereupon, the assemblage respected 

12    a moment of silence.)

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

14    reading of the Journal.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Tuesday, 

16    January 31, 2023, the Senate met pursuant to 

17    adjournment.  The Journal of Monday, January 30, 

18    2023, was read and approved.  On motion, the 

19    Senate adjourned.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Without 

21    objection, the Journal stands approved as read.  

22                 Presentation of petitions.

23                 Messages from the Assembly.

24                 The Secretary will read.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator Mayer moves 


 1    to discharge, from the Committee on Rules, 

 2    Assembly Bill Number 626A and substitute it for 

 3    the identical Senate Bill 828A, Third Reading 

 4    Calendar 37.

 5                 Senator Palumbo moves to discharge, 

 6    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 7    Number 601 and substitute it for the identical 

 8    Senate Bill 1339, Third Reading Calendar 107.

 9                 Senator Parker moves to discharge, 

10    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

11    Number 998 and substitute it for the identical 

12    Senate Bill 1344, Third Reading Calendar 112.

13                 Senator Skoufis moves to discharge, 

14    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

15    Number 613 and substitute it for the identical 

16    Senate Bill 1354, Third Reading Calendar 121.

17                 Senator Scarcella-Spanton moves to 

18    discharge, from the Committee on Investigations 

19    and Government Operations, Assembly Bill 

20    Number 609 and substitute it for the identical 

21    Senate Bill 2223, Third Reading Calendar 160.

22                 Senator Martinez moves to discharge, 

23    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

24    Number 986 and substitute it for the identical 

25    Senate Bill 2224, Third Reading Calendar 161.


 1                 Senator Thomas moves to discharge, 

 2    from the Committee on Rules, Assembly Bill 

 3    Number 1008 and substitute it for the identical 

 4    Senate Bill 2232, Third Reading Calendar 169.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   So 

 6    ordered.

 7                 Messages from the Governor.  

 8                 Reports of standing committees.

 9                 Reports of select committees.

10                 Communications and reports from 

11    state officers.

12                 Motions and resolutions.

13                 Senator Gianaris.

14                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

15    first of all, welcome to your first day of 

16    presiding over the Senate.  It's a pleasure to 

17    have you in that role.

18                 We're going to begin by taking up 

19    the noncontroversial calendar, and then we have a 

20    couple of resolutions after that before we move 

21    on to any debate.  So let's take up the calendar, 

22    please.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

24    Secretary will read.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 37, 


 1    Assembly Print 626A, by Assemblymember Otis, an 

 2    act to amend the Executive Law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

 4    last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

 7    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

 9    roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

12    the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 50.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

15    is passed.

16                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 41, 

17    Senate Print 832, by Senator Brisport, an act to 

18    amend the Public Health Law.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

20    last section.

21                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

22    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

23    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

25    roll.


 1                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

 3    the results.

 4                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 5    Calendar Number 41, those Senators voting in the 

 6    negative are Senators Borrello, Griffo, Lanza, 

 7    Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Stec and Walczyk.  Also 

 8    Senator Gallivan.

 9                 Ayes, 41.  Nays, 9.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

11    is passed.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

13    107, Assembly Print 601, by Assemblymember 

14    Thiele, an act to amend a chapter of the Laws of 

15    2022.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

17    last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

19    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

20    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

22    roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

25    the results.


 1                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2    Calendar Number 601, voting in the negative:  

 3    Senator Skoufis.  

 4                 Ayes, 49.  Nays, 1.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

 6    is passed.

 7                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 8    112, Assembly Print 998, by Assemblymember 

 9    Rosenthal, an act to amend the Public Service Law 

10    and the General Business Law.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

12    last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

14    act shall take effect immediately.  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

16    roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

19    the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 50.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

22    is passed.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

24    118, Senate Print 1350, by Senator Rivera, an act 

25    to amend the Insurance Law.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

 2    last section.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 5.  This 

 4    act shall take effect immediately.

 5                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

 6    roll.

 7                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

 9    the results.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 50.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

12    is passed.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

14    120, Senate Print 1353, by Senator Brisport, an 

15    act to amend the Social Services Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

17    last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

19    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

20    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

22    roll.

23                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

25    the results.


 1                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 2    Calendar Number 120, those Senators voting in the 

 3    negative are Senators Ashby, Borrello, 

 4    Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, 

 5    Lanza, Mattera, Murray, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, 

 6    Palumbo, Rhoads, Rolison, Stec, Tedisco, Walczyk, 

 7    Weber and Weik.

 8                 Ayes, 32.  Nays, 20.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

10    is passed.

11                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

12    121, Assembly Print 613, by Assemblymember 

13    Gunther, an act in relation to requiring monthly 

14    status reports of community investments.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

16    last section.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

18    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

19    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

21    roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

24    the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 52.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

 2    is passed.

 3                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

 4    159, Senate Print 2222, by Senator Harckham, an 

 5    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

 6                 SENATOR LANZA:   Lay it aside.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Lay it 

 8    aside.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

10    160, Assembly Print 609, by Assemblymember 

11    Dinowitz, an act to amend the Executive Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

13    last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

15    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

16    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

18    roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

21    the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 55.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

24    is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 


 1    161, Assembly Print 986, by Assemblymember 

 2    Sayegh, an act to amend the Public Service Law.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Read the 

 4    last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect immediately.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

 8    roll.

 9                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Announce 

11    the results.

12                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

13    Calendar Number 161, voting in the negative: 

14    Senator Walczyk.  

15                 Ayes, 57.  Nays, 1.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

17    is passed.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

19    169, Assembly Print 1008, by Assemblymember Ra --

20                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Lay it aside for 

21    the day.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

23    will be laid aside for the day.

24                 Senator Serrano, that completes the 

25    reading of today's calendar.


 1                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.  

 2                 May we please return to motions and 

 3    resolutions.  Please take up previously adopted 

 4    Resolution 314, by Leader Stewart-Cousins, read 

 5    the resolution title only, and recognize 

 6    Senator Parker on the resolution.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

 8    Secretary will read.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

10    314, by Senator Stewart-Cousins, memorializing 

11    Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim February 2023 

12    as Black History Month in the State of New York.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

14    Parker on the resolution.

15                 SENATOR PARKER:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President, on the resolution.  

17                 As we all know, today is the first 

18    day of February, marking the beginning of Black 

19    History Month.  And I'm just happy to be able to 

20    speak on this resolution brought forward by our 

21    leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.  

22                 Black History Month is obviously 

23    personal to me, not just because I happen to be 

24    African-American.  I'm not sure if anybody 

25    noticed in the room.  


 1                 (Laughter.)

 2                 SENATOR PARKER:   But May of this 

 3    year will mark 30 years that I've actually been 

 4    teaching Africana studies in various CUNY and 

 5    SUNY universities across our great state.  And I 

 6    really want to shout out Dr. Rejila Tatu {ph}, 

 7    who actually gave me my first opportunity at 

 8    Brooklyn College to teach Africana studies.  

 9                 And this month is important, because 

10    African-American history is part of American 

11    history.  And that's one of the things that we 

12    really should all understand, that this becomes a 

13    time for us to look at the particular 

14    achievements and the contributions of 

15    African-Americans in our society.

16                 The first thing we should understand 

17    is that those contributions don't just begin in 

18    1619 when the first ships arrived here with 

19    African people who were in bondage.  Right?  The 

20    history of African people starts much further 

21    than that.  Right?  In fact, they're the first 

22    people.  Right?  When you look at not just the 

23    first, you know, people of our kind, right, but 

24    when you look at the very first person, right -- 

25    they call her Alice.  I don't know if her name 


 1    was actually Alice.  She was in East Africa, but 

 2    they call her Alice.  Found on the African 

 3    continent, right?  

 4                 So when we look at human 

 5    civilization and the development of all of the 

 6    things that we think about:  Math, arts, 

 7    sciences, politics, you know -- you know, 

 8    cuisines, language -- all developed on the 

 9    African continent.  Right?  

10                 And so the notion that Black people 

11    have come to this place tabula rasa, or as a 

12    blank slate, is just patently wrong.  Right?  In 

13    fact, just the opposite.  People from the African 

14    continent were brought to America exactly because 

15    they had skills, exactly because they understood 

16    things about agriculture.  Right?  And obviously, 

17    you know, chattel enslavement was a dark part of 

18    the history of African people, but a darker part 

19    for the history of this country and the world.

20                 African-American history started 

21    here, in the United States, but now is actually 

22    celebrated in various forms across the world, 

23    including Ireland and England that have their own 

24    African-American History Month, which they 

25    celebrate in October.  Right?  But various 


 1    countries including Canada, Germany, and 

 2    countries on the African continent also celebrate 

 3    this month.

 4                 It becomes important for us to kind 

 5    of understand the history of the history.  Right?  

 6    Or, as we say in academia, historiography.  

 7    Right?  That this month didn't come out of 

 8    nowhere.  And I'd actually like my colleagues on 

 9    the other side of the aisle to note that as a 

10    kind of formal dynamic, it actually first got 

11    celebrated by Republican President Gerald Ford in 

12    1976, during the Bicentennial, in which he 

13    encouraged Americans to learn more about 

14    African-Americans during this time.  That became 

15    the kind of official kickoff in this country of 

16    African-American history being kind of a -- a -- 

17    as we call it now, a thing.  Right?

18                 But it begins really with Negro 

19    History Month in 1926, with Carter G. Woodson.  

20    Right?  Now, a lot of people don't know who 

21    Carter G. Woodson is.  If you do know, most of 

22    the time he's known for writing The Mis-Education 

23    of the Negro, which is a good read.  People 

24    should check it out, particularly those who are 

25    interested in education.


 1                 But he gets left behind.  Everybody 

 2    knows W.E.B. Du Bois, right?  First 

 3    African-American graduate from Harvard, right?  

 4    Carter G. Woodson was the second.  And they both 

 5    got Ph.D.s, right?  

 6                 What I always say that's interesting 

 7    about Carter G. Woodson is that he was a teacher.  

 8    He wasn't a college professor.  He wasn't like, 

 9    you know, an endowed chair somewhere.  He was an 

10    everyday P.S. 193 teacher.  Right?  Obviously in 

11    a black school.  How amazing would it be if all 

12    of our teachers had Ph.D.s from Harvard, right?  

13    Well, I'll take a Ph.D. from the University at 

14    Albany.  Like I'll take it where we can get it.  

15    But that's the kind of education that -- that he 

16    provided.

17                 And he saw that there was a lack of 

18    access to the history of African-Americans in his 

19    classroom and in the curriculum that he was being 

20    given to teach.  And so he actually created an 

21    organization on the study and advancement of 

22    Negro history, and out of that he started Negro 

23    History Week.  And it actually began the second 

24    week in February, because that week is the week 

25    that -- both Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were 


 1    both born that week.  Right?  And so at that 

 2    time, going back to 1926, you know, two of the 

 3    kind of giants in terms of both the abolition of 

 4    enslavement but also advancing the right of 

 5    African-Americans.  Right?  

 6                 And so during this month, I want to 

 7    encourage us all to be focused a little bit more 

 8    on the history of African-Americans and to 

 9    understand that history to be a broad history.  

10    And that includes people from the Caribbean, 

11    like, Marcus Garvey, who created the largest 

12    organization of Black people in the entire world, 

13    you know, back in 1924.  Right?  The Universal 

14    Negro Improvement Association.  You don't have -- 

15    you don't have the Harlem Renaissance without 

16    Garvey, right, because there's much of Garvey's 

17    work that becomes the precursor to what we 

18    understand in terms of the Harlem Renaissance.  

19                 You know, Garvey is somebody who 

20    created the first Black church, right?  The first 

21    Black denomination was created by Garvey.  One of 

22    the first Black newspapers, Black Star News, was 

23    created by Garvey.  

24                 Garvey is the predecessor of 

25    Black Nationalism, the idea of self-help and the 


 1    idea that African-Americans can work socially 

 2    with the larger society but, you know, in 

 3    terms -- sorry, they should work economically 

 4    with the larger society but socially they should 

 5    build their own, in order to be kind of on an 

 6    equal footing.  You see that idea played out in 

 7    other organizations, but you see it also 

 8    academically within the context of Black Power, 

 9    if you read that book by Charles V. Hamilton and 

10    Stokely Carmichael.  Right?  This notion that we 

11    have to get our act together before we can work 

12    with other people.  Right?  

13                 But it is -- it is -- I should have 

14    worn one today; I didn't, I wasn't thinking.  You 

15    know, we have Bow Tie Tuesdays around here.  I've 

16    been kind of falling off.  But the notion of 

17    wearing a bow tie has to do -- is connected with 

18    this notion of Black Nationalism.  I know a lot 

19    of people didn't realize that.  And it's part of 

20    the reason why I wear bow ties.  

21                 Garvey's mentor was Booker T. 

22    Washington, who was an educator who famously 

23    literally built the school the Tuskegee 

24    Institute, which is now Tuskegee University, 

25    right, in Alabama.  And at the time the fashion 


 1    was bow ties, and Booker T. Washington wore bow 

 2    ties.  And Garvey, kind of knowing of him in 

 3    Jamaica, where he was from, came here literally 

 4    to meet him.  He left Jamaica in 1913 -- 

 5    obviously there were no flights, there was no 

 6    Caribbean Air at the time, and so it took him a 

 7    while to get here.  And actually, unfortunately, 

 8    Booker T. Washington passed before he got here, 

 9    so he never got a chance to meet him.  But he had 

10    always started wearing bow ties because of him.  

11    Right?  

12                 Garvey builds his empire here, which 

13    later on is taken down by J. Edgar Hoover and the 

14    FBI.  But we'll talk about that on another day.  

15                 But one of the people in Garvey's 

16    army was somebody who we later on get to know as 

17    the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  And so it is the 

18    Nation of Islam that actually grows out of 

19    Garvey's movement.  One of the people who comes 

20    out of the Nation of Islam, of course, is Malcolm 

21    X.  And so when you see the brothers, you know, 

22    in the Nation and they're wearing bow ties, that 

23    is a direct connection, literally, to Booker T. 

24    Washington.  But more importantly than the 

25    fashion is this notion of nationalism and 


 1    Pan-Africanism.  Right?  This idea that African 

 2    people in the Diaspora, no matter what country 

 3    you are, are connected.  Right?  And that we have 

 4    a responsibility to each other to help build our 

 5    own communities in whatever way that we define 

 6    those things.  Right?  

 7                 And so that's been an important part 

 8    of the building of this nation and the build -- 

 9    and so when we see movies like Rosewood and when 

10    you hear about Black Wall Street, those dynamics 

11    get built out of people like Booker T. 

12    Washington, Garvey, the Honorable Elijah 

13    Muhammad, and Malcolm X.  

14                 And so as I close, I want us to also 

15    understand that we are making history as we are 

16    living history.  That history is nothing but the 

17    record of human events.  And so, in this moment, 

18    we stand here as part of history.  And certainly 

19    we've seen a lot of history over our time here in 

20    New York State, particularly in New York State 

21    politics, where many of us had an opportunity to 

22    serve under the first Black governor in the State 

23    of New York, David Paterson.  I had a chance to 

24    work a number of years for the first 

25    African-American elected statewide, which was 


 1    H. Carl McCall when he was the state comptroller.  

 2                 You know, we now have an 

 3    African-American woman as attorney general, 

 4    Letitia James.  We have an African-American 

 5    lieutenant governor.  We're actually now on our 

 6    fourth African-American lieutenant governor, 

 7    believe it or not.  Right?  From Basil Paterson 

 8    to David Paterson to Brian Benjamin, who was a 

 9    part of this body, and now Antonio Delgado.  

10    Right?  

11                 I remember, coming into this body 

12    20 years ago, we used to talk about, you know, 

13    three men in a room.  Now "three men in a room" 

14    are two women and a black guy.  Right?  And that 

15    didn't happen by accident.  It happened because 

16    of the work of the people of our great state.  

17                 And we have an African-American 

18    Speaker in the Assembly in the personage of Carl 

19    Heastie.  And certainly our leader, Andrea 

20    Stewart-Cousins, both first woman and first -- 

21    first woman and first African-American woman to 

22    lead a legislative body here in our great state.  

23                 We have now our second Black mayor.  

24    Right?  And you would think in the history -- and 

25    we talk about how liberal New York City is.  


 1    We've only had two Black mayors.  And again, 

 2    we -- we recognize and honor our mayor, Eric 

 3    Adams, who was a member of this -- is a former 

 4    member of this body.  But, you know, as you're a 

 5    member of the Senate, you're always a member of 

 6    the Senate.  

 7                 We have, you know, only our first 

 8    Black public advocate in Jumaane Williams.  The 

 9    first Black woman to be speaker in Adrienne 

10    Adams.  Lot of Adamses.  It's a good name to 

11    have, apparently.  Right?  

12                 And so the -- the history that we 

13    talk about is huge here.  And we currently now 

14    have more African-American women serving in the 

15    State Legislature than any time in our history.  

16    And in fact, so many that we actually are one of 

17    the highest numbers of Black women serving in any 

18    legislature in our country at any time in the 

19    history of our country.  We are living history 

20    right this moment.  

21                 And so we should understand how that 

22    has contributed to the way that we are moving as 

23    a country.  And it is really those dynamics that 

24    you see here on the state level and the local 

25    level that have now contributed to us having a, 


 1    you know, African-American woman as the vice 

 2    president.  And, for the first time, having an 

 3    African-American woman as a Supreme Court 

 4    justice.  

 5                 And then also where many of us are 

 6    excited about having Hakeem Jeffries, the first 

 7    African-American to lead a legislative body on 

 8    the federal level.  Who, by the way, was a 

 9    classmate of mine in high school.  Right?  Great 

10    things are coming out of Brooklyn, just wait.  

11    I'm a little stunted, don't -- you know, other 

12    people are coming along there (laughing).  

13                 And so all of this has become part 

14    of our -- of our great history.  And so 

15    understand that the, you know, Negro firsts of 

16    the past are part of that history.  The great 

17    movements that developed this country are part of 

18    that history.  That the people who are serving 

19    now, who are doing things even in this moment for 

20    the very first time, are part of that history.  

21    And certainly each one of the narratives that 

22    make up the stories of each one of our families 

23    is a part of that African-American history.  

24                 And all those things are the 

25    building blocks that make up -- part of the 


 1    building blocks that make up our American 

 2    history.  

 3                 And so I want to thank you, 

 4    Mr. President, for this moment.  I want us to 

 5    remember that all of us are the people who were 

 6    here before -- you know, were here the day before 

 7    yesterday.  And we're going to continue to be 

 8    here the day after tomorrow.  So as we celebrate 

 9    this month, all of us must rededicate ourselves 

10    not just to learning this history, but bringing 

11    good into the world and letting no good be lost.  

12                 Thank you.  

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

14    you, Senator Parker.

15                 Senator Myrie on the resolution.

16                 SENATOR MYRIE:   Thank you, 

17    Mr. President.  

18                 And thank you, Professor Parker, for 

19    walking us through some of the history.

20                 I love being Black.  I love being 

21    Black.  There is nothing else I'd want to be.  I 

22    am grateful to God that I was made Black.

23                 So we are celebrating our history 

24    this month, and there's a lot to be celebrated, 

25    as we just heard and as we will hear from some of 


 1    my colleagues.  But the unfortunate reality is 

 2    that history, as we know, repeats itself.  And 

 3    the history of Black people in this country 

 4    continues to repeat itself up until this day.  

 5                 And I'd be remiss if I did not bring 

 6    up Tyre Nichols, brutally murdered at the hands 

 7    of law enforcement.  And for those of us who are 

 8    Black, it is a complicated thing to watch, 

 9    because it is both hurtful and devastating and 

10    not at all surprising.  Because we see it over 

11    and over and over and over and over and over and 

12    over.  

13                 Even in my own personal history, in 

14    the wake of the murder of George Floyd, I went to 

15    join my constituents to protest and I was 

16    pepper-sprayed, assaulted, arrested, even with a 

17    bright neon shirt that had "Senator Myrie" on the 

18    back.  So my title did not protect me from our 

19    history.  

20                 The incident was investigated.  The 

21    CCRB just came up with a ruling, and the officer 

22    was exonerated.  Even with video evidence, even 

23    with what the world saw happened.

24                 So I sit -- or rather, I stand here 

25    with very conflicted feelings.  Because we have 


 1    much to celebrate but we have much, much, much 

 2    more work to do.  And when I say "we," I'm not 

 3    talking about Black people.  Because we live, we 

 4    exist, we do the work.  I'm talking about the 

 5    systems in our country that continues to harm, 

 6    continues to deprive, continues to suppress the 

 7    beauty and magic of being Black.

 8                 So I'm going to keep loving being 

 9    Black.  I'm going to keep enjoying the company of 

10    my Black brothers, my Black sisters, my Black 

11    people.  And I'm going to continue to fight until 

12    the day where we are surprised and we are shocked 

13    that our people are being killed in the streets.  

14    When we are shocked when we're not being 

15    successful.  

16                 So I proudly, proudly vote in 

17    support of this resolution to uplift our history 

18    and to look to our future.

19                 Thank you, Mr. President.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

21    you, Senator Myrie.

22                 Senator Lanza on the resolution.

23                 SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

24    Mr. President.

25                 You know, Senator Parker and I, we 


 1    go back a long ways.  And I always enjoy 

 2    listening to him speak, even on a getaway day.  

 3    One of these days I'm going to enroll in 

 4    Dr. Parker's class.  

 5                 He reminds us of so much that is so 

 6    important whenever he speaks about Black History 

 7    Month.  He reminds us that we can all learn from 

 8    each other, that we all the power to teach but, 

 9    more importantly, we have the power and the 

10    capacity to learn and to advance and improve.  

11    And I thank him for that.

12                 And one of the things I'm always 

13    struck by when he talks about Black History Month 

14    is when he reminds us that present-day science 

15    believes and/or has proven that we all descend 

16    from the same woman who resided in Africa.  Which 

17    means we all have, every one of us, the same 

18    great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.

19                 And that restores my hope whenever I 

20    am reminded of that fact, but it also saddens me 

21    because we live in a world -- more than ever, 

22    perhaps -- when there are so many who want us to 

23    forget that fact.  There are so many and too 

24    many politicians, college professors, media 

25    pundits, and people in general, who would rather 


 1    we forget that we are all truly, as proven 

 2    scientifically, brothers and sisters.  They would 

 3    rather divide and conquer and oppress.  They 

 4    would rather use hate than love.  And that is 

 5    truly, I believe, what is keeping "we" from 

 6    really achieving what we can achieve.

 7                 And so Dr. Parker, Teacher Parker, 

 8    Senator Parker, thank you for reminding us that 

 9    we all have and hail from one mom, and that we 

10    are all brothers and sisters.  And if we remember 

11    that not just one day a year, but every day, I 

12    think we would all -- black and white, Asian, 

13    Latino, every child under the sun -- be better 

14    for it.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

16    you, Senator Lanza.

17                 Senator Bailey on the resolution.

18                 SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

19    Mr. President.

20                 Thank you, Teacher Parker.  You 

21    know, KRS-One, famous hip-hop artist, is also 

22    known as The Teacher.  We'll get back to KRS-One. 

23                 Rest in peace to Tyre Nichols.  We 

24    lay him to rest on the first day of Black History 

25    Month, which is, as Senator Myrie mentioned, that 


 1    cruel irony of being Black.  And sometimes it's 

 2    hard.  But as they said, there's nothing better 

 3    than being Black.

 4                 I was Black before I got elected, 

 5    I'll be Black after I got elected.  My blackness 

 6    is beautiful.  The blackness of our people is 

 7    beautiful, no matter what hue you are, 

 8    Mr. President.  My blackness, our blackness, is 

 9    strength.  

10                 James Baldwin, in 1961, was asked by 

11    a radio host about being Black in America, and he 

12    said:  "To be a Negro in this country and to be 

13    relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage 

14    almost all of the time -- and in one's work.  And 

15    part of the rage is this:  It isn't only what is 

16    happening to you, but it's what's happening all 

17    around you, and all of the time in the face of 

18    the most extraordinary and criminal indifference, 

19    indifference of most white people in this 

20    country, and their ignorance.  

21                 "Now, since this is so, it is a 

22    great temptation to simplify the issues under the 

23    illusion that if we simplify them enough, people 

24    will recognize them.  I think this illusion is 

25    very dangerous because, in fact, it isn't the way 


 1    it works.  A complex thing can't be made simple.  

 2    You simply have to try to deal with it in all of 

 3    its complexity and hope to get that complexity 

 4    across."

 5                 James Baldwin said that in 1961, but 

 6    he could have said it yesterday.  And I know many 

 7    of us have heard the beginning of that quote, but 

 8    I don't know if we've heard that full quote in 

 9    its context.  We've heard about the rage, but 

10    where does the rage come from, Mr. President?  

11    Where does the frustration come from?  It comes 

12    from seeing televised murders.  It comes from 

13    wondering: Damn, am I next?  

14                 I don't think people understand that 

15    when many of us see those things, it takes you to 

16    a point where, you know, this -- this really 

17    could happen to me.  This traffic stop, it really 

18    could happen to me.  This interaction, this 

19    really could happen to me.  

20                 Well, why do you run?  Well, we run 

21    because we don't have faith that if we are in the 

22    grasp, that we're going to be treated fairly.  

23    Why do we run?

24                 Now, running is a literal and a 

25    metaphoric thing in this context, Mr. President.  


 1    We're running towards glory.  You know, I spoke 

 2    about sampling in hip-hop during MLK Day.  And if 

 3    you've heard this song by Grandmaster Flash and 

 4    the Furious Five, it's called "The Message."  

 5    Melle Mel is the modern-day Baldwin in that when 

 6    he says:  "Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the 

 7    edge/I'm trying not to lose my head/It's like a 

 8    jungle sometimes/It makes me wonder how I keep 

 9    from going under/It's like a jungle sometimes/It 

10    makes me wonder how I keep from going under."

11                 You know, it's the first day of 

12    Black History Month, and I live through the lens 

13    of my daughters and I promised my oldest -- this 

14    was her idea.  Her Black History Month topic was 

15    the history of hip-hop.  So we came up with a 

16    trivia game, we came up with a trivia game, and 

17    we talked about a couple of things, most notably 

18    where the birthplace of hip-hop was, Senator 

19    Comrie.  

20                 (Catcalls; laughter.)

21                 SENATOR BAILEY:   The BX.  Also the 

22    location of the first hip-hop museum, scheduled 

23    to open up in 2024.  

24                 And I got a chance to be at the 

25    Hip-Hop Museum where we were announcing some 


 1    funding this past Sunday, and I got to be around 

 2    some legends.  The Teacher, KRS-One.  

 3                 So now back to my oldest, her rap 

 4    name is GB Gold.  And my youngest, Carina -- 

 5    Giada's GB Gold, and Carina, her rap name is 

 6    Control C.  They -- you know, we were -- we 

 7    were -- you know, they're part of the culture.

 8                 And when I met KRS-One, KRS-One said 

 9    something, he said, "Rap is something you do, but 

10    hip-hop is something you live."  And hip-hop has 

11    not only helped to raise me, but hip-hop has been 

12    that -- like our flare, our alarm system, our 

13    rapid response team to societal unrest or 

14    injustice.  Sam Cooke wrote "A Change is Gonna 

15    Come" because he was denied accommodations at a 

16    hotel.  Papoose, the rapper, took the Sam Cooke 

17    beat from "A Change is Gonna Come" in response to 

18    Sean Bell being shot at 50 times in Queens.  

19    Rapid response team.  

20                 "Fight the Power," by Public Enemy.  

21    One of the greatest works of art in hip-hop 

22    history.  It defined the movie Do the Right 

23    Thing.  Now, in Do the Right Thing, remember, a 

24    couple of things happened.  Radio Raheem was 

25    brutally murdered, but before he was murdered, he 


 1    was silenced.  The music that he carried around, 

 2    his boom box, he was silenced.  So it was "Fight 

 3    the Power."

 4                 You know, "Self Destruction," by 

 5    Boogie Down Productions, one of the first rap 

 6    videos I remember watching on Video Music Box, 

 7    spoke about the societal ills and the response 

 8    that we needed to be better as a society to each 

 9    other.  

10                 The aforementioned KRS-One and 

11    Boogie Down Productions had a song called "You 

12    Must Learn," where he breaks down so many Black 

13    leaders that we haven't heard of, and he says:  

14    "'Cause Black and White kids both take 

15    shorts/When one doesn't know about the other 

16    ones' culture/ Ignorance swoops down like a 

17    vulture/'Cause you don't know that you ain't just 

18    a janitor/No one told you about Benjamin 

19    Banneker/A brilliant Black man that invented the 

20    almanac/Can't you see where KRS is coming at/With 

21    Eli Whitney, Haile Selassie/Granville Woods made 

22    the walkie-talkie/Lewis Latimer improved on 

23    Edison/Charles Drew did a lot for 

24    medicine/Garrett Morgan made the traffic 

25    lights/Harriet Tubman freed the slaves at 


 1    night/Madam C.J. Walker made the straightening 

 2    comb;/But you won't know this if you weren't 

 3    shown."  

 4                 You won't know unless you're shown.  

 5    That's why this month is important.  And even if 

 6    it's one month, we can take the lessons that we 

 7    learned from this month and take them over time.

 8                 And, you know, at one point, you 

 9    know, they said Black people couldn't play 

10    quarterback, Mr. President.  They said that we 

11    were mentally inferior, and they charted -- they 

12    said, no, you played in high school, you played 

13    in college -- no, but you're going to play 

14    receiver.  They -- they -- they blackballed Colin 

15    Kaepernick.  I got my Colin Kaepernick Uptowns on 

16    right now, Mr. President.  

17                 But for the first time in the 

18    history of the NFL, we have two Black 

19    quarterbacks facing off in the Super Bowl.  From 

20    being told that you can't understand the 

21    playbook.  They used to say that, Mr. President.  

22    They said that Black men couldn't understand the 

23    playbook because it was too complex.  That they 

24    didn't understand the routes or they didn't 

25    understand the mechanics of the offense.  At the 


 1    greatest stage in the world, the highest level of 

 2    competition, we have two Black men in the 

 3    Super Bowl.

 4                 And I -- and I -- and I think that 

 5    it's kind of awesome that we had a -- we had a 

 6    mini-huddle a little while ago.  And when you 

 7    think about how Black men and Black women have 

 8    been disenfranchised so much -- the committees 

 9    that we are in charge of, the committees that we 

10    get to lead in this great body, things that have 

11    been historically disenfranchised, we now have 

12    the power to be a part of the change.  We are our 

13    ancestors' wildest dreams, Mr. President.

14                 You know, in 2004 then-Senator, 

15    future President Barack Obama had a legendary DNC 

16    speech, but he came out to the song by Curtis 

17    Mayfield and the Impressions, "Keep on Pushing."  

18    "Keep on pushing/I've got to keep on pushing/I 

19    can't stop now/Move up a little higher/Some way, 

20    somehow/'Cause I've got my strength/And it don't 

21    make sense/Not to keep on pushing."  

22                 We've got to keep on pushing -- for 

23    the ancestors, for the current day, but most 

24    importantly for the future.  Not just for my 

25    daughters, but the generations that we can't even 


 1    foresee.  Generations that didn't foresee an ASC, 

 2    a Speaker Heastie, a Hakeem Jeffries, a Tish 

 3    James, an Eric Adams, an Adrienne Adams, a 

 4    Crystal Peoples-Stokes.  Like this is -- these 

 5    are thanks we couldn't imagine, we couldn't 

 6    imagine that even 10 years ago.  Even 10 years 

 7    ago, one decade ago, you couldn't imagine it.  We 

 8    didn't see all of these Black folks in positions 

 9    of power, Darcel Clarks and Vanessa Gibsons 

10    and -- man, like this is -- it's something to be 

11    here.  I don't take this for granted.  I do not 

12    take this opportunity for granted.

13                 As I close, Public Enemy said it, 

14    "It takes a nation of millions to hold us back."  

15    That was their second album.  And I dare to say, 

16    Mr. President, we can't be held back anymore.

17                 Happy Black History Month.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

19    you, Senator Bailey.

20                 Senator Comrie on the resolution.

21                 SENATOR COMRIE:   Thank you, 

22    Mr. President.  It's hard to follow such eloquent 

23    speakers, but I'm going to try.

24                 Good afternoon -- good morning, 

25    colleagues.  I'm proud to be here today to talk 


 1    about Black history, and I want to thank our 

 2    leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and our 

 3    professor, Professor Parker, for inspiring all of 

 4    us to note the issues and majesty of Black 

 5    history and Black culture.

 6                 You know, as I want to chronicle and 

 7    give voice and resonance and significance to the 

 8    immense pioneering and worthy contributions of 

 9    African-Americans over the past four centuries, 

10    it is not only necessary from the standpoint of 

11    understanding the past but even more critical for 

12    inspiring the future.

13                 Black history, as we all know, is 

14    not confined to the history books.  As was said 

15    by my earlier speakers, Black history is 

16    happening every day and every moment.  We all 

17    have an opportunity to impact all of the people 

18    around us by how we act towards each other, by 

19    how we treat our children, and how we educate our 

20    children by our deeds, by our actions and by our 

21    responsibilities.

22                 Black history encompasses the 

23    virtues and values we bring to spaces like this.  

24    Black history informs and animates our advocacy 

25    and our activism today.


 1                 There are many, many 

 2    important avenues that advocacy and activism can 

 3    take.  I want to talk about a couple, but first I 

 4    want to just let us all continue to hold the 

 5    families of Tyre Nichols, the families of the 

 6    people in Buffalo that were shot down this year 

 7    by a young man that was never taught civics in 

 8    our schools -- and I understand that we have a 

 9    responsibility to change that dynamic.  We should 

10    never allow for civics not to be taught in our 

11    schools, starting in this curriculum year.  We 

12    should never have a student in New York State not 

13    understand the history and majesty of a state 

14    that was developed to encompass immigrants, to 

15    allow the immigrants to come to New York and to 

16    understand that the immigrant life in New York is 

17    something that everybody, whether you were 

18    Italian in the '50s, whether you were Irish in 

19    the '30s -- whatever your timeline is, we are all 

20    immigrants to this country.  We were all 

21    immigrants to New York State.  Only people that 

22    were born in the last two generations can say 

23    they were New York State-born.  

24                 We should not have a school system 

25    that is not making sure that there is 


 1    multiculturalism taught in our schools, where we 

 2    have young people that are taught by their 

 3    phones, and understanding that they think they 

 4    need to go shoot somebody because they don't have 

 5    an appreciation of what the majesty of New York 

 6    State is.  We have to now focus on making sure 

 7    that multiculturalism and that the entire budget 

 8    reflects what this state needs to make sure that 

 9    all people in this state get an opportunity to 

10    benefit from this New York State budget.

11                 And I'm going to take from Black 

12    history to budget, because the Governor in a 

13    couple of minutes is talking about her budget.  

14    She's going to talk about her budget, and I want 

15    to make sure that this year, more than ever, we 

16    create an opportunity to ensure that there is 

17    multiculturalism reflected through the entire 

18    budget, that minorities can get higher than the 

19    3 percent share that they're getting out of 

20    procurement out of state agencies, that they can 

21    do better than contracting in the 5 percent that 

22    they're getting across the board in contracts.  

23                 We as legislators need to do better 

24    for our entire state.  We need to make sure that 

25    upstate gets the opportunities that they need to 


 1    improve their roads, to develop businesses, to 

 2    continue to make sure our manufacturing in 

 3    upstate gets done, that our farming gets done, 

 4    and that we can allow multiculturalism through 

 5    upstate.  We need to make sure that this state in 

 6    this budget reflects the needs and concerns of 

 7    everyone here, everyone that lives in this state, 

 8    even the asylum seekers that have come here to 

 9    try to find a better life.  We need to use this 

10    moment in Black history to remember that we are 

11    all one people, as Senator Lanza said, my good 

12    friend and colleague that I've been working with 

13    for a couple of years now, since we were in the 

14    City Council together.  You know, we understand 

15    that at the end of the day, we're here to try to 

16    do better for our districts.  We're here to try 

17    to create opportunities for everyone to be 

18    uplifted so that we can be proud of our children, 

19    we can be proud of our schools, and we can be 

20    proud of the opportunities to bring new business, 

21    new ideas, new technology -- but we can also make 

22    sure that we have inclusion -- inclusivism.  Let 

23    me slow down.  

24                 (Laughter.)

25                 SENATOR COMRIE:   I'm getting 


 1    excited about our opportunities.  I'm getting 

 2    excited about what we can do in this budget to 

 3    create opportunities for every New Yorker in 

 4    New York State to be more inclusive than ever 

 5    before, because we have more people that are 

 6    woke.  

 7                 And my new class of members that are 

 8    here, and the members that are already here, 

 9    understand at the end of the day we all want the 

10    same thing:  A more inclusive New York with 

11    opportunities so that we can never be embarrassed 

12    nationally with an incident in Buffalo again, 

13    that we can have something to do for our young 

14    people by creating after-school programs in every 

15    junior high school and high school in this state, 

16    so that our kids don't get out of school at 

17    1 o'clock and they're trained by their 

18    cellphones.  That they're getting educated by 

19    people that want to embrace them -- because we 

20    don't have schools open, we don't have positive 

21    things for them to do.  

22                 We've got to give our children 

23    positive things to do so they're not educated by 

24    TikTok.  We've got to change that opportunity.  

25    And in this New York State budget that I hope the 


 1    Governor brings up will be inclusive, will be 

 2    opportunity, will celebrate not just Black 

 3    history but the history of this state to make our 

 4    state better.

 5                 Thank you, Mr. President.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

 7    you, Senator Comrie.

 8                 Senator May on the resolution.

 9                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

10    Mr. President.  A lot of tough acts to follow 

11    here, but I want to go back to what Senator Myrie 

12    said about how history keeps repeating itself and 

13    talk a little bit about how controversies over 

14    the teaching of African-American history keep 

15    repeating themselves.  

16                 Back when the Civil Rights Act 

17    passed in 1964, a lot of state's boards of 

18    education started looking for new textbooks that 

19    were more inclusive, that would be able to teach 

20    their students about American history in a -- in 

21    a more forthright and truthful and -- and 

22    complete way.

23                 And my grandfather was a professor 

24    of American history at the time, and my 

25    grandmother was a schoolteacher and social 


 1    worker, and they collaborated on a new textbook 

 2    of American history that really made an effort to 

 3    cover slavery and reconstruction and Jim Crow and 

 4    the civil rights movement and a lot of other 

 5    aspects of American history that had been left 

 6    out of textbooks before.

 7                 This textbook was adopted in the 

 8    California schools in 1967 when I was 10 years 

 9    old.  And my grandparents, whom I adored, started 

10    receiving death threats.  White mothers started 

11    pulling their kids out of history class in 

12    eighth grade so they wouldn't have to learn about 

13    Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass and 

14    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

15                 My grandparents died about 30 years 

16    ago, and I miss them all the time.  But part of 

17    me is really glad they're not here to see this 

18    controversy rearing its ugly head again, to see 

19    someone who's probably going to be a candidate 

20    for president in the next election outlawing AP 

21    African-American history in his state, to see the 

22    kinds of vitriol that we are seeing all across 

23    the country at school board meetings, in efforts 

24    to take books out of libraries, in -- on cable 

25    news and talk radio about how somehow dangerous 


 1    it is to teach our children about 

 2    African-American history.  

 3                 I wish every child could hear the 

 4    speeches we've heard today and hear the beauty, 

 5    the richness, the passion, the power of 

 6    African-American history in this country.  And I 

 7    hope that this month, this African-American 

 8    History Month, will bring some of that to kids 

 9    all across our country.  

10                 I proudly support this resolution.  

11    Thank you.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

13    you, Senator May.

14                 Senator Sanders on the resolution.

15                 SENATOR SANDERS:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 You've heard it all.  You've 

18    heard -- we've gone everywhere from discussion of 

19    the budget to hip-hop to the many facts that the 

20    professor has given us.  We've gone to hear from 

21    the other professor, Professor Lanza.  He teaches 

22    at the University of Staten Island, I believe.  

23    He spoke of the universal nature of -- of Black 

24    history.  

25                 And it is a universal nature, but 


 1    it's more than that. It has to be remembered that 

 2    Black history is American history.  And American 

 3    history is Black history.  You cannot separate 

 4    the two.  Just trying to, as we're seeing down in 

 5    Florida, is a perversion of American history.  

 6    It's a -- it's an insult to American history akin 

 7    to a book burning that he's trying to do.  And 

 8    I'm speaking about Governor DeSantis.  

 9                 It's a perversion of American 

10    history that every American should be -- should 

11    stand up and say, You know what, we're going to 

12    tell the truth whether it's lovely or ugly or 

13    whatever, but it all helped get us here.  

14                 This nation is a nation that's not 

15    finished.  We're on a journey somewhere.  And 

16    what we do around this table, these tables right 

17    here, is part of the history of this great 

18    nation.  We're going to someplace better.  It may 

19    be painful, it may be something, but we're going 

20    to someplace better.

21                 Let me show you just some examples, 

22    one or two examples of -- of the choices that all 

23    Americans will have to make over the question of 

24    our own history, the question of history.

25                 In 1921, which was not a good year 


 1    for many people, especially for Black people, 

 2    down in Houston, Texas, there was a Klan rally 

 3    taking place, and it had more than 20,000 people 

 4    in it.  And the speaker was late, so the MC was 

 5    joking around trying to kill some time, and he 

 6    said, Is there anyone in here who wants to speak 

 7    against the Klan?  The whole place started 

 8    laughing, and laughter, and until one white guy 

 9    strode through the aisles, went up on the stage, 

10    and for the next 20 minutes blasted the Klan and 

11    said that what they had was nothing to do with 

12    America, et cetera.

13                 All of these things, my friends, are 

14    part of American history.  A part of American 

15    history that we need to teach, we need to 

16    celebrate.  All was not -- in the history of the 

17    Klan, many whites took a very positive position, 

18    and that needs to be celebrated too.

19                 Black history is American history.  

20    American history cannot be divorced from Black 

21    history, no matter how many times the book 

22    burners want to do it.

23                 We have choices.  My last example, 

24    my friends.  We all have seen this picture of 

25    Rosa Parks, she's on a bus, there's -- folk are 


 1    about to arrest her.  There were two white folk 

 2    who were finally on that bus.  Two choices, now.  

 3    One of them was a bus driver, James Blake.  And 

 4    his position was the rules are the rules, and 

 5    he's happy about enforcing the rules, everybody 

 6    knows orders are orders and they must be 

 7    followed, and he was happy to push through 

 8    segregation.  

 9                 But there was another patriot -- if 

10    you look at that picture carefully, there's 

11    another white guy sitting in back of Rosa Parks.  

12    Silent, he doesn't get much credit.  He's sitting 

13    there to make sure that she -- that she survives 

14    the incident.  He didn't plan on it.  He was not 

15    part of that.  He was just a good American -- who 

16    happened to be white, in this case -- who said, 

17    You know what, I'm not going to sit and let 

18    injustice take place.  I'm simply not going to do 

19    it.

20                 And he stayed.  And maybe that's why 

21    we hear of Rosa Parks today.  She could have been 

22    killed.  He stayed to make sure.  He gets no 

23    credit.  

24                 America will always have this 

25    choice.  You will always have a choice of you can 


 1    be silent and let things happen, or you can say:  

 2    You know what?  Not on my watch.  Not on my 

 3    watch.  Maybe I couldn't stop stuff a hundred 

 4    years ago, 200 years ago, but I'll be danged if I 

 5    let injustice take place today.

 6                 And so therefore these days, this 

 7    type of history is good, because it gives us all 

 8    a chance to learn a little bit more about the 

 9    "Other," whoever that is.  I haven't found the 

10    "Other" yet.  And -- but it allows us to find a 

11    little bit more so we can take upon ourselves the 

12    idea that out of many comes one.  That is what we 

13    say about America, is it not?  Out of many comes 

14    one.  That all of us have the ability to get up 

15    there and finally say we are going to a greater 

16    America.  Kicking and screaming, maybe; happy at 

17    other points.  But we're going to get there.  

18                 And I conclude right before we hear 

19    from my esteemed colleague Senator Kennedy, 

20    who -- well, who can never say it the best way, 

21    so he continues.  Langston Hughes once said -- 

22    said it this way.  Now, that certainly -- my 

23    friends, that certainly came out wrong.

24                 (Laughter.)

25                 SENATOR SANDERS:   It was aimed to 


 1    be a compliment.  

 2                 (Laughter.)

 3                 SENATOR SANDERS:   Maybe I should 

 4    have just said what Langston Hughes said, because 

 5    he didn't mess up and I did. 

 6                 Langston Hughes was speaking about 

 7    America, and he said America -- I just want 

 8    America to be America for everybody.

 9                 Thank you very much, Mr. President.  

10    Forgive me, Brother Kennedy, if it's possible.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

12    you, Senator Sanders.  We'll see how Senator 

13    Kennedy does.

14                 (Laughter.)

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

16    Kennedy on the resolution.  

17                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   Thank you very 

18    much, Mr. President.  

19                 Well, first of all I have to start 

20    by thanking my colleague Senator Sanders for that 

21    wonderful compliment.  

22                 (Laughter.)

23                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   But in all 

24    honesty, I'm so honored to stand here among all 

25    of my colleagues, both sides of the aisle, to 


 1    honor and celebrate Black history with this 

 2    resolution.

 3                 I want to thank our great, historic 

 4    leader, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, 

 5    for bringing this to the floor; for all of my 

 6    colleagues that have spoken thus far.  

 7    Senator Parker, you're always fun to listen to.  

 8    It's always educational.  I always learn a little 

 9    something more.  Senator Myrie, thank you for 

10    those profound words.  Senator Comrie.  

11    Senator Bailey.  You know, I can't rap like 

12    Senator Bailey -- unless, of course, the cameras 

13    are off.  

14                 (Laughter.)

15                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   I can't dance 

16    like Senator Parker -- unless, of course, my 

17    friend Ms. Barbara Glover teaches me back home in 

18    Buffalo for the "Dancing with the Stars."  

19                 Thank you again.  I did know what 

20    you meant, Senator Sanders.  I don't know if 

21    that's a good thing or a bad thing.

22                 (Laughter.)

23                 SENATOR SANDERS:   It's a good 

24    thing.

25                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   But you know -- 


 1    and Senator Lanza, thank you for those words.

 2                 You know, we stand here and we're 

 3    talking about Black History Month, celebrating 

 4    Black history and talking about it being American 

 5    history, which it is.  Talking about it being 

 6    global history, which it is.  I think it's 

 7    personal for all of us.  

 8                 It's personal for me as an Irishman.  

 9    Today we not only celebrate the beginning of 

10    Black History Month, but today is St. Brigid's 

11    Day in Ireland.  And actually, this year will be 

12    the first year in the history of Ireland that 

13    they will officially celebrate St. Brigid's Day.  

14    St. Brigid, a millennium and a half ago, just 

15    after St. Patrick, was a patron saint of Ireland 

16    as well, and today we celebrate that day.

17                 I think it's fitting because as we 

18    think about Black history, I think about Black 

19    history as it relates to Irish history and my own 

20    personal history:  The Irish that came across the 

21    ocean in an oppressed state only to be yet 

22    oppressed here again, and have raised ourselves 

23    up, much like the African-American people in this 

24    great country have raised themselves up.

25                 But the indelible connection between 


 1    Irish history and Black history cannot be 

 2    underestimated.  For example, in 1845, at 

 3    27 years old, Frederick Douglass crossed the 

 4    Atlantic to seek respite in Ireland.  And in 

 5    Ireland he befriended Daniel O'Connell, the great 

 6    Irish emancipator.  And Frederick Douglass went 

 7    through the great country of Ireland -- in Cork, 

 8    in Belfast, in Dublin, in Waterford, in other 

 9    areas of the country, talking about scourge of 

10    slavery in this country.  Raising attention, 

11    raising funds, and raising support against 

12    slavery in this country, and befriending the 

13    great Daniel O'Connell.

14                 Frederick Douglass is still 

15    celebrated today in Ireland -- sadly, in my 

16    estimation, more so than he's celebrated here in 

17    our own country, and even here in our own state.  

18    Which is why I have a bill to celebrate Frederick 

19    Douglass, creating Frederick Douglass Heritage 

20    Trail in this state.  

21                 You know, when Frederick Douglass 

22    escaped slavery in Maryland, where did he go?  He 

23    came to Chamber Street in the great City of 

24    New York, in the great State of New York.  He 

25    eventually made his way west, to Rochester and to 


 1    Buffalo.  And quite frankly, as far as I'm 

 2    concerned, is one of the greatest American heroes 

 3    ever to live.

 4                 And we need to celebrate Frederick 

 5    Douglass more so than when we do.  And I think 

 6    that it is incumbent upon all of us to continue 

 7    to tell his story.

 8                 You know, Douglas, whose life 

 9    started in slavery, who found freedom and then 

10    rose to be a confidant of one of the greatest 

11    presidents, if not the greatest president to ever 

12    live, Abraham Lincoln -- lived up into his 

13    nineties.  

14                 His book from 1845 that he wrote, 

15    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An 

16    American Slave, the words that he wrote over 

17    175 years ago still ring true today.  If you 

18    haven't read it, do yourself a favor, give it a 

19    read.  You will learn about society today, sadly.

20                 And being from Buffalo and the great 

21    movement that started, the civil rights movement 

22    that started out of our great city of Buffalo, 

23    that we celebrate in this great State of 

24    New York -- you know, the NAACP, the precursor to 

25    that, the Niagara movement, over a century ago, 


 1    started in Buffalo.  Reverend Nash, the 

 2    Nash House, a historic structure that still 

 3    exists today.

 4                 We're helping to build out, pull up 

 5    and tell the story of the history of Buffalo, of 

 6    New York, of America, that started right 

 7    underneath our feet:  The Michigan Street African 

 8    American Heritage Corridor, the Michigan Street 

 9    Baptist Church.  I'm proud to say the state has 

10    just announced funding to support the Michigan 

11    Street Baptist Church, to sustain that structure 

12    for generations, hopefully centuries to come.

13                 The Black-owned radio station, WUFO, 

14    Sheila Brown, in downtown Buffalo.  The Freedom 

15    Wall.  I could go on and on and on about the 

16    history in Buffalo, the history we celebrate and 

17    the tradition that we want to continue to tell.

18                 But I also want to put that up 

19    against where we are as a society.  Senator 

20    Comrie, in his beautiful words, mentioned the 

21    lives that were stolen from us on May 14th, where 

22    10 beautiful people, because of the color of 

23    their skin, living in our community were 

24    massacred because of a hate-filled, racist 

25    terrorist.  Who reminded us of the underbelly of 


 1    this country, reminded us of where we came from 

 2    in this country, of how the African-American 

 3    people came to this country over 400 years ago, 

 4    on those slave ships, and the work we still have 

 5    to do.

 6                 So when Senator May talks about 

 7    education, I agree.  When my staff member, head 

 8    of diversity and inclusion, Zeneta Everhart -- 

 9    whose son was shot on May 14th through the neck 

10    and by the grace of God survived, the only 

11    Black survivor that day -- has started a book 

12    drive on diversity and inclusion for our young 

13    people.  Over 15,000 books were donated by 

14    generous people from across the globe to that 

15    book drive, and it continues to tell the story of 

16    each other, of humanity, of society, of what 

17    makes us good as a people.

18                 About five years ago I had the 

19    wonderful opportunity to go to Belfast, in the 

20    north of Ireland, and listen to former 

21    President Bill Clinton speak when he was 

22    receiving an award at Queens University.  And 

23    when he stood up to speak, the choir began 

24    singing "Danny Boy."  And President Clinton began 

25    singing with them, and he had tears coming down 


 1    his face.  

 2                 Now, we all know the wonderful 

 3    orator President Clinton is.  We've all seen him 

 4    on his feet.  He's second to none, as far as I'm 

 5    concerned.  A just extraordinary speaker.  And he 

 6    got up -- and I've got to believe it was ad lib, 

 7    I'm sure it was -- he starts talking about 

 8    Danny Boy and the humanity of it all and where we 

 9    all come from.  And he starts telling a story 

10    about when he was in the Oval Office one day, he 

11    got a report that said that the $2 billion they 

12    had invested in the study of the human genome 

13    resulted in the findings that all of us share the 

14    same DNA.  Going back to what Senator Parker 

15    mentioned, Alice, Great-Grandma Alice.  

16                 And he said, "When I saw Hillary, I 

17    said, 'Hillary, we studied the human genome, and 

18    we're all connected.  We all go back to 

19    sub-Saharan Africa.'  And she said, 'Bill, we 

20    didn't need to spend $2 billion of taxpayer money 

21    for me to tell you you're a Neanderthal.'  And he 

22    said, 'Yeah, but you know what's great?  So are 

23    you.'"  

24                 The point is, we're all connected.  

25    We're all part of that same humanity.  It is 


 1    imperative that we all lift each other.  It's 

 2    imperative that we all tell each other stories.  

 3    It's imperative that we remind each other, as we 

 4    start Black History Month, that yes, we are 

 5    living this shared history.  We are all a part of 

 6    Black history in this country, in this state, in 

 7    our respective communities, especially here in 

 8    New York State, the birth of the civil rights 

 9    movement in many ways, and in the global 

10    community.  

11                 And once again I want to thank my 

12    colleagues for all of their words, their passion, 

13    their vision, and their leadership.  I want to 

14    thank you all for your indulgence.  And I'm truly 

15    honored and privileged to stand here to support 

16    this resolution honoring Black history.

17                 With that, Mr. President, I vote 

18    aye.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

20    you, Senator Kennedy.

21                 Senator Ramos on the resolution.

22                 SENATOR RAMOS:   Thank you so much, 

23    Mr. President.  I too rise to celebrate Black 

24    history.  

25                 I love being Latino.  One of the 


 1    major reasons I love being a Latina is because we 

 2    come in every single shade.  But unfortunately, 

 3    some of our families don't necessarily appreciate 

 4    and value that heritage.

 5                 And so while I rise to celebrate 

 6    Black history, I also rise today to denounce 

 7    colorism, particularly in the Latino community.  

 8    And I want to challenge my peers, my neighbors, 

 9    my own family members at times, who I've heard 

10    throughout my lifetime say things like {in 

11    Spanish}:  "Don't marry a Black person."  {In 

12    Spanish}:  "We have to improve our race."  These 

13    are all very specific racist things to say.

14                 And it is the racism in our own 

15    families that we have to root out first, in order 

16    to make sure that we are putting forth a much 

17    more inclusive society.  And I know that that can 

18    be a very taboo and hard conversation to have, 

19    but it is one that is necessary in every single 

20    family.  Because the truth is that Latino 

21    heritage owes a great lot to Black Latinos who 

22    came to the shores of South America, Central 

23    America, the Caribbean, against their will too.

24                 We wouldn't have platanos, we 

25    wouldn't have yuca, we wouldn't have tamarindo, 


 1    things that so many of us enjoy, if it wasn't not 

 2    only for their agricultural knowhow, but the 

 3    seeds that they brought with them from Africa.

 4                 But perhaps my personal favorite 

 5    contribution of Black people to Latino culture, 

 6    particularly New York City Latino culture, isn't 

 7    hip-hop.  It's salsa.  Salsa wouldn't be possible 

 8    without the Congo, without so many instruments 

 9    that converged with people from Cuba, from 

10    Puerto Rico, from Colombia on the streets of 

11    New York City, to put forth a different sound for 

12    all Latinos and all people to enjoy.

13                 I am very proud to represent the 

14    most diverse district in the country.  I always 

15    point that out.  It includes two very strong and 

16    historic Black communities.  

17                 One, of homeowners, called 

18    East Elmhurst, right outside of LaGuardia 

19    Airport, with a very involved community, 

20    including the Ditmars Boulevard Association, my 

21    neighbors who so valiantly fought against an 

22    AirTrain that was going to serve the airport 

23    across the street from where they live -- which, 

24    by the way, took away their beaches; that was 

25    beachfront property that was taken away from them 


 1    during the era of redlining -- because they had 

 2    been -- their needs for transportation continue 

 3    to be ignored by the State of New York.  

 4                 We're talking about a 

 5    three-fare-zone neighborhood, the one where 

 6    Malcolm X lived.  Yes, the movie is wrong.  The 

 7    house that got cherry-bombed was not in Harlem, 

 8    it was in East Elmhurst, Queens, where 

 9    Malcolm X's house was cherry-bombed.  It is a 

10    very important part of the history that every 

11    single child in my district should learn.  

12                 Louie Armstrong lived in 

13    North Corona.  His house is there for everybody 

14    to visit, to celebrate, to listen to amazing jazz 

15    concerts over the summer.  

16                 I have the Langston Hughes Library 

17    on Astoria Boulevard and 100th Street, which this 

18    body -- I am so thankful to all of my colleagues 

19    who helped us secure funding in the budget to 

20    make sure that we can continue to teach 

21    Langston Hughes's history and so much 

22    African history to our neighbors.  

23                 Jimmy Heath, Harry Belafonte, all of 

24    these amazing musicians and leaders have lived in 

25    my district.  And we don't get to talk about it 


 1    enough.

 2                 And I fear that perhaps if we 

 3    continue to hear allegations against the teaching 

 4    of Black history in America, that children like 

 5    mine won't know and won't learn to respect their 

 6    fellow human beings.

 7                 You know, today in the New York 

 8    Times there's a story that talks about how Black 

 9    families are leaving New York State.  No, it's 

10    not billionaires, it's not the rich.  It's people 

11    who are fighting to be able to buy a home in 

12    New York State and can't do it.  They're not 

13    earning enough money.  

14                 Discrimination continues to run 

15    amuck all over our state, especially when it 

16    comes to homeownership.  We all remember those 

17    Newsday articles from Long Island a few months 

18    and years ago.  There's a lot of work for this 

19    body to do to ensure that Black people are 

20    respected and afforded the opportunities that 

21    white people have been afforded since the 

22    beginning, since they stole the land that we 

23    stand on.

24                 So I thank you, Mr. President, for 

25    the opportunity to speak today to honor my 


 1    Black neighbors, my Black colleagues, and all 

 2    Black people.  And I vote aye on this resolution.

 3                 Thank you.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

 5    you, Senator Ramos.

 6                 Senator Cleare on the resolution.

 7                 SENATOR CLEARE:   This is a great 

 8    day.  Happy Black History Month, everyone.

 9                 I thought that I could not keep my 

10    seat, representing one of the most historic black 

11    communities in the world:  Harlem.  It is the 

12    mecca of the African Diaspora.

13                 I sit in the seat formerly held by 

14    the first Black woman ever elected to the State 

15    Senate, Constance Baker Motley.  And it is with 

16    great pride that I come and serve here every day.  

17                 I am thankful to our great leader, 

18    Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for bringing this 

19    resolution, and to all my colleagues who have so 

20    eloquently spoken today from all the 

21    universities.  

22                 We heard a lot today about the 

23    history we don't want to repeat.  Facts, that's 

24    important.  The history that we have to teach, 

25    that's important.  And I'm not trying to rap, 


 1    Senator.  

 2                 (Laughter.)

 3                 SENATOR CLEARE:   But it's also the 

 4    history that we have to preserve.  It's the 

 5    history that we have to protect, and some of the 

 6    history that we have to undo.

 7                 When we're in this chamber we have 

 8    to think about the long-lasting effects of racism 

 9    that continue to this very day.  We have to think 

10    about the long-lasting effects of redlining, the 

11    long-lasting effects and continuation of mass 

12    incarceration.  The long-lasting and continuing 

13    effects of health and healthcare disparities.

14                 We have a chance to make another 

15    history in this chamber.  We have a chance to 

16    make another history in this budget.  We have a 

17    chance to make another history, and not a history 

18    that continues environmental atrocities against 

19    Black communities -- the dumping of bus depots, 

20    hazardous waste plants.  We have a chance in this 

21    body, with every single decision we make, with 

22    every single piece of legislation that comes 

23    forward, to make it right.  To stop, to end those 

24    disparities.

25                 I appreciate Senator Ramos for 


 1    bringing up Blacks leaving the State of New York.  

 2    They're leaving my district by the thousands, a 

 3    historical Black community leaving by the 

 4    thousands, tens of thousands.  Not because they 

 5    want to.  Harlem is a beautiful place.  I am so 

 6    proud to be from there.  The history we've given 

 7    to this city, the history we've given to the 

 8    world -- the Apollo Theatre.  The Arturo 

 9    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  

10    The strides that have been made.  Every leader, 

11    from Nelson Mandela, Thurgood Marshall, 

12    Malcolm X, they have all been in Harlem.  

13                 But Blacks are leaving because they 

14    can't afford to live there.  They are being 

15    pushed out by aggressive and rapid 

16    gentrification.  They are being pushed out 

17    because they can't afford to own anything.  Black 

18    businesses are pushed out because they can't 

19    afford the capital.  They can't afford the rent.

20                 So when we are doing this work, let 

21    us remember Black history and how we can change 

22    it by protecting and creating affordable housing, 

23    by protecting and preserving and landmarking some 

24    of the great institutions and buildings that 

25    exist in Harlem, where so much has taken place, 


 1    including the planning of the great March on 

 2    Washington.

 3                 Let us make sure that we are funding 

 4    our schools equitably and appropriately, and 

 5    making sure that every child gets a good 

 6    education and a quality education in every part 

 7    of this state.

 8                 So with that, I just ask you to 

 9    protect the beauty of Black history, the beauty 

10    of Harlem.  And I gladly vote aye on today's 

11    resolution.  Thank you.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

13    you, Senator Cleare.

14                 Senator Brisport on the resolution.

15                 SENATOR BRISPORT:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.

17                 Thank you, Senator Parker, for 

18    introducing this resolution; to my colleagues, 

19    for your wonderful statements.  

20                 You know, every time of year when we 

21    celebrate Black History Month, I am reminded of 

22    the deep and inseparable connection between 

23    racism and capitalism.  And as a proud Black 

24    socialist state senator, I reflect on the fact 

25    that Black people were brought to this country as 


 1    capital and that slavery was capitalism in 

 2    action.  And that Black people were commodified, 

 3    bought and sold on markets, used as collateral at 

 4    bank to enrich a select group of people.  Because 

 5    that's what capitalism does.  It creates winners 

 6    and a lot of losers.  

 7                 And I am reminded that the attacks 

 8    on Black people to enrich a few people under 

 9    capitalism continued after, under sharecropping, 

10    Jim Crow, redlining, for-profit prisons, 

11    for-profit policing.  These things, the ripple 

12    effects, all under capitalism.  

13                 I'm reminded that any journey 

14    towards ending racism in this country must come 

15    with the dismantling and abolition of a system 

16    that disenfranchises so many to make just a few 

17    very, very wealthy.  And I urge us all to 

18    understand that as we know now, that it is wrong 

19    to commodify bodies.  We must also work to 

20    decommodify healthcare, decommodify housing, 

21    decommodify energy, prevent education from being 

22    privatized.  

23                 Onwards and upwards, together.

24                 Thank you.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 


 1    you, Senator Brisport.

 2                 The resolution was previously 

 3    adopted on January 31st.

 4                 Senator Serrano.

 5                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

 6    Mr. President.  

 7                 Can we please take up previously 

 8    adopted Resolution 306, by Senator Webb, read the 

 9    resolution title only, and recognize Senator Webb 

10    on the resolution.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

12    Secretary will read.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

14    306, by Senator Webb, memorializing Governor 

15    Kathy Hochul to proclaim February 1, 2023, as 

16    Girls and Women in Sports Day in the State of 

17    New York.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

19    Webb on the resolution.

20                 SENATOR WEBB:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.  

22                 Also, Happy Black History Month.  I 

23    want to thank all my colleagues most certainly 

24    for sharing their sentiments.  And as I was 

25    listening, I was also reflecting on my own 


 1    journey to this seat, most certainly in just 

 2    thinking about my own history in also being the 

 3    first African-American, the first woman to 

 4    represent my district in the Southern Tier here 

 5    in this body.  And so I most certainly appreciate 

 6    Senator Parker's comment around that we are 

 7    living history but, more importantly, what are we 

 8    doing with what we know to make things better for 

 9    the future.

10                 And so as I rise to speak on this 

11    also great resolution recognizing girls and women 

12    in sports, I want to thank my Senate colleagues, 

13    Mr. President, for supporting this resolution 

14    memorializing Governor Kathy Hochul's 

15    proclamation stating February 1st as Girls and 

16    Women in Sports Day in the State of New York, in 

17    conjunction with the observance of National Girls 

18    and Women in Sports Day.

19                 I am proud to stand today to 

20    celebrate the progress that we have made and the 

21    work that remains to be done to ensure equity for 

22    girls and women in sports.  This day was first 

23    celebrated in 1987 to commemorate Olympic 

24    volleyball player and African-American Florence 

25    Jean, or Flo, Hyman.  She was one of the best 


 1    athletes of her time who unfortunately died of a 

 2    rare congenital heart disorder at the age of 31.  

 3                 She was an incredible volleyball 

 4    player.  Not only did she serve the ball at 

 5    speeds of 100 miles an hour, but she was known to 

 6    have a spike shot at the net that was compared to 

 7    a slam dunk by Julius Erving, also known as 

 8    Dr. J, for folks who may know him in that manner.  

 9    That was before my time.

10                 (Laughter.)

11                 SENATOR WEBB:   But folks are very 

12    familiar.  

13                 And so when she was not on the 

14    volleyball court, and what I found to be equally 

15    fascinating about her story and her journey, 

16    Hyman worked tirelessly to promote equal 

17    representation of women in sports, in addition to 

18    fighting for civil rights, lobbying alongside 

19    civil right leader Coretta Scott King for the 

20    Civil Rights Restoration Act, and testifying 

21    before Congress in favor of strengthening 

22    Title IX legislation passed in 1972.

23                 Twenty-five years ago, in my 

24    district in Tompkins County, Ithaca High School 

25    girls actually made history as the first girls' 


 1    hockey team in New York State.  As they fought 

 2    for access to the ice rink, they used the 

 3    empowering acronym GREAT, which stands for Girls 

 4    Really Expect A Team.  Which is another way of 

 5    saying that girls should not have to apologize 

 6    for wanting the same opportunities as their male 

 7    classmates.

 8                 I was disappointed to learn recently 

 9    that they canceled this year's hockey season due 

10    to COVID-related dips in participation.  However, 

11    I hope we will see a return of this historic team 

12    next year, as school-based teams, as we all know 

13    provide access to sports like hockey that are 

14    most certainly very expensive and traditionally 

15    dominated by male athletes and often very 

16    exclusionary.

17                 And so in further reflection, 

18    50 years after the passage of Title IX, we are 

19    still striving for equitable access to federally 

20    funded programs, activities, and other resources.  

21    We must ensure that the public and private 

22    schools offer equitable sports opportunities to 

23    all students, regardless of their gender or race 

24    and ethnicity.  

25                 While it is certainly true that we 


 1    have made progress, there's much more work to be 

 2    done to make sure that all girls have access to 

 3    sports, so we can be -- we can ensure that the 

 4    next Flo Hyman does not miss her chance to make 

 5    her way onto a volleyball court or any other 

 6    athletic space of her choosing.  

 7                 As those of us who have played 

 8    sports -- and I also recognize some of us are 

 9    more in the observant category, no judgment -- or 

10    have watched our favorite team play know very 

11    well, access to sports empowers young athletes 

12    and it builds a sense of teamwork, pride and 

13    accomplishment.  

14                 And so I'm very happy to stand here 

15    today to vote in favor of this resolution, and I 

16    hope my colleagues will join me in celebrating 

17    girls and women in sports by voting aye.

18                 Thank you so much.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

20    you, Senator Webb.  

21                 Senator Mayer on the resolution.

22                 SENATOR MAYER:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.  

24                 And thank you, Senator Webb, for 

25    introducing this.  And it's so fitting that we 


 1    are doing it on this day where we've heard these 

 2    powerful reminders of the importance of Black 

 3    history.  

 4                 We need to publicly acknowledge some 

 5    of the extraordinary Black women in the history 

 6    of sports in our country who not only broke the 

 7    gender barrier before and after Title IX, but 

 8    clearly broke the race barrier.  But their 

 9    stories are not told.

10                 You know, we know about Serena 

11    Williams and Simone Biles, Althea Gibson, 

12    Florence Joyner, Wilma Rudolph, Jackie 

13    Joyner-Kersee, and Flo Hyman.  These are women 

14    who were so excellent in their sport and their 

15    craft that they were national leaders.  And 

16    that's part of the story that we must tell as 

17    part of the full story of American success and 

18    failures.  But these women were the epitome of 

19    success.  

20                 And I think it's particularly 

21    important that we talk about the value of sports 

22    for all women and girls.  You know, the elements 

23    of sports that men have traditionally enjoyed and 

24    celebrated -- the ability to be publicly 

25    competitive, to have a team of people that you 


 1    work together with, to enjoy physical activity, 

 2    and to learn the benefits of winning and, yes, 

 3    losing -- these are the things that men have 

 4    always enjoyed through sports.  And for so many 

 5    years, until Title IX 50 years ago, when we see 

 6    the value of changing laws, women were really 

 7    discouraged, if not prevented from enjoying.  

 8                 So we celebrate today National Girls 

 9    and Women in Sports Day, and aptly coinciding 

10    with this incredibly important Black History 

11    Month celebration, which we are reminded today 

12    should not be a month-long celebration but a 

13    year-long conversation.  

14                 And I also want to commend publicly 

15    the Women's National Soccer Team in the 

16    United States for raising the issue of pay parity 

17    in professional sports and finally achieving some 

18    victory -- with the help, I would say, of the 

19    men's national team, which did not fight them and 

20    understood the benefit.

21                 But we have a long way to go to get 

22    parity.  In the meanwhile, let's celebrate the 

23    girls, the young girls for whom the opportunity 

24    to participate in sports will be a life-changing, 

25    life-affirming activity.  


 1                 And thank you for letting me speak.  

 2    I vote aye on the resolution.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

 4    you, Senator Mayer.

 5                 Senator Bailey on the resolution.

 6                 SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.  

 8                 Senator Webb, thank you so much for 

 9    introducing this resolution.  

10                 First and foremost, let me say if 

11    Brittney Griner was paid what she was owed, if 

12    she was paid what she was worth, if she was paid 

13    what her basketball legendary skills are worth, 

14    she would have never had to go to Russia in the 

15    first place.  So like -- if we're going to talk 

16    about pay equity, let's center pay equity and 

17    make sure that women that are exceptional 

18    athletes are paid what they're worth.  

19                 Serena Williams is the greatest 

20    athlete of all time.  I -- there is a -- I don't 

21    know if you know about -- you know, I don't know 

22    how you play in a major -- the Australian Open, 

23    seven months pregnant.  Couldn't do it.  A man 

24    couldn't do that.  She's the greatest of all 

25    time.  Not just the greatest tennis player, she's 


 1    the greatest athlete of all time.

 2                 But I want to center this on how 

 3    far, you know, Title IX has -- has taken us, 

 4    right?  Just recently on a group chat a bunch of 

 5    my friends and I were talking about Breanna 

 6    Stewart, who today announced breaking news -- I'm 

 7    breaking this here in the chamber, I'm not sure 

 8    if you're aware, but Breanna Stewart is going to 

 9    sign with the New York Liberty.  Right?  

10                 I'm not sure how far you've come in 

11    that, the fact that a free agent acquisition in 

12    the WNBA is not only noteworthy, but we're having 

13    conversations about that.  That's a huge deal.  

14    Maybe because my friends and I are huge WNBA 

15    fans, but I think that shows how far the game has 

16    evolved.  And it doesn't evolve without the 

17    contribution of the women Senator Webb mentioned 

18    and Senator Mayer mentioned.  That simply doesn't 

19    happen.  

20                 Over the summer there was a 

21    documentary on New York City point guards called 

22    Point Gods, it was by Kevin Durant.  As we all 

23    know, Mr. President, New York City is the home of 

24    the greatest point guards on earth.  We make the 

25    greatest point guards on earth, without question, 


 1    right?

 2                 In that documentary was a point 

 3    guard that went -- was a -- was a guard that went 

 4    to Riverdale Country School, her name was Niesha 

 5    Butler.  Niesha Butler was once the all-time 

 6    scoring, you know, holder in New York State, not 

 7    just -- not just for women, for men and women.

 8                 I had the -- I had the pleasure of 

 9    meeting Niesha Butler after a DOE town hall the 

10    other night, and she's doing work trying to make 

11    sure that -- that young women get into -- get 

12    into STEM and STEAM.  And she was like, "It's 

13    nice to meet you."  I'm like, "No, it's nice to 

14    meet you.  You are a New York City point god, 

15    Ms. Butler."  

16                 And I think it's so important to 

17    make sure that we center that women in sports are 

18    doing things not just on the court, but 

19    representing.  Michele Roberts, Black woman from 

20    the Bronx, is the president of the National 

21    Basketball Players Association.  She is 

22    phenomenal.  She is incredible.  And she is a 

23    woman in charge of a bunch of male professional 

24    athletes as their leader in the players 

25    association.


 1                 Obviously there's so, so far that we 

 2    have to go in making sure that -- that we give 

 3    true pay parity and true equity.  But I think 

 4    that conversations like this and resolutions like 

 5    this, Senator Webb, are critically important to 

 6    the conversation.  And I proudly vote aye on the 

 7    resolution.  

 8                 And also, Mr. President, I've got to 

 9    make sure -- I've got to make sure I talk about 

10    my daughters.  They're hoopers too.  They love to 

11    hoop, they love to get on the court.  And I think 

12    that's just a reflection of how far we've come.  

13    And they dunk on me in the house all the time.  

14                 I vote aye.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

16    you, Senator Bailey and Father Bailey.  

17                 This resolution was previously 

18    adopted on January 31st.

19                 Senator Serrano.

20                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you, 

21    Mr. President.

22                 At the request of the sponsors, the 

23    resolutions are open for cosponsorship.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

25    resolutions are open for cosponsorship.  Should 


 1    you choose not to be a cosponsor of the 

 2    resolutions, please notify the desk.

 3                 Senator Serrano.

 4                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Thank you.  

 5                 Can we please go to the reading of 

 6    the controversial calendar.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

 8    Secretary will ring the bell.

 9                 The Secretary will read.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 

11    159, Senate Print 2222, by Senator Harckham, an 

12    act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

14    Walczyk.

15                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.  Would the sponsor yield for some 

17    questions.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

19    sponsor yield? 

20                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

22    sponsor yields.

23                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President.  This is a chapter amendment to 

25    the 30 by '30 goal that was -- that came out of 


 1    this chamber, is that right?

 2                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   It is.  Through 

 3    you, Mr. President.  First, it's great to see you 

 4    up there.  Congratulations.

 5                 Yeah, this is a chapter amendment, 

 6    to answer the Senator's question, to the 20 by 

 7    '30.  It's a goal.  It's a goal that is a 

 8    national goal that the state is buying into, 

 9    preserving 30 percent of our public lands and 

10    waters by 2030.

11                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   And through you, 

12    Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

13    yield.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Will the 

15    sponsor yield?

16                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

18    sponsor yields.  

19                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   So the original 

20    bill, I notice, passed in May of 2022, May of 

21    last year.  It required a public hearing schedule 

22    to be posted by July of last year.  But then I 

23    also noticed that it wasn't sent to the Governor 

24    for her signature until December of last year, 

25    much past that deadline.  So I'm not surprised to 


 1    see a chapter amendment come through, because it 

 2    was already past the deadline by the time it was 

 3    chaptered.  

 4                 Why, though, in this chapter 

 5    amendment was the public hearing schedule 

 6    completely removed altogether?

 7                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

 8    Mr. President.  The public hearing schedule for 

 9    the acquisition of public lands is not removed.  

10    It was -- it was the public comment, and there is 

11    a guarantee of at least one public hearing and 

12    other public comment on the goal.

13                 So -- so to be -- to be clear, 

14    Mr. President, we don't want to confuse the 

15    current public input process for public 

16    acquisition of lands and the parallel legislation 

17    on the goals.

18                 So if there -- there is an ongoing 

19    acquisition program that DEC already had.  This 

20    was meant to just streamline the two to actually 

21    ease administrative burden and reduce costs to 

22    the state.

23                 So, for instance, the DEC in my 

24    region presented their East of Hudson scoping 

25    plan that included the acquisition of some new 


 1    land for parcels for the state.  That required 

 2    public input.  There were two public hearings in 

 3    my -- in my district.

 4                 So if -- if there is an acquisition 

 5    proposal in any of our districts, there will 

 6    still be public hearings.  The restricted public 

 7    hearing was just reduced on -- on the goal 

 8    itself.

 9                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   And through you, 

10    Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

11    yield.  

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

13    sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

16    sponsor yields.

17                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   You just 

18    mentioned in your comments that there will be one 

19    public hearing still required.  When and where 

20    will that be?

21                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   That is supposed 

22    to be -- through you, Mr. President, that needs 

23    to be scheduled and posted on -- on the DEC 

24    website.

25                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   And through you, 


 1    Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

 2    yield.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

 4    sponsor yield?

 5                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

 7    sponsor yields.

 8                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   There's a -- 

 9    there's a new line here, while the public hearing 

10    requirement was stricken from the original bill 

11    in this chapter amendment, that says "including 

12    and ensuring meaningful opportunities for public 

13    input and involvement." 

14                 Could that include things in 

15    addition to a public hearing?  Or does one public 

16    hearing satisfy that requirement?  

17                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   No.  Through 

18    you, Mr. President, that would include email 

19    submission of comments, that would include 

20    letters of comments, the gathering of public 

21    comments in -- in ways -- you know, having one 

22    public hearing in a certain part of the state is 

23    not necessarily adequate for the rest of the 

24    state.  

25                 But we have learned, through -- 


 1    through the pandemic and just through modern 

 2    technology, that it's much easier for comments to 

 3    be submitted electronically.  And some of our 

 4    constituents prefer to do it the old -- 

 5    old-fashioned way through mail.  

 6                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   And through you, 

 7    Mr. President, if the sponsor would continue to 

 8    yield.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

10    sponsor yield?

11                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

13    sponsor yields.  

14                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   So the -- the 

15    original bill, which passed in -- in May of 2022, 

16    also required a report in July of 2023 to the 

17    Legislature.  

18                 Why, if -- if this bill was 

19    chaptered in last December -- I mean, we haven't 

20    hit July of 2023 yet.  Why would the report of 

21    the plan need to be pushed, as you're proposing 

22    in this chapter amendment, to 2024?  

23                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

24    Mr. President, this is -- as we said, they're 

25    duplication of effort.  So DEC already reports on 


 1    their land acquisition to the Legislature 

 2    already.  So to have two separate reports is 

 3    duplicative.  

 4                 So again, this is just streamlining 

 5    the process to make it less administratively 

 6    burdensome and to save the taxpayers money.

 7                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   Thank you.  And 

 8    under -- understanding you weren't the sponsor of 

 9    the original bill, I appreciate the explanation.  

10                 If the sponsor would continue to 

11    yield.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

13    sponsor yield?

14                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

16    sponsor yields.  

17                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   So in the -- in 

18    the original legislation that was passed by both 

19    houses, and the Governor has presented this 

20    chapter amendment, there was also a requirement 

21    of a report to the Legislature.  This is a bill 

22    that was written by the Legislature requiring a 

23    report back from the Executive at all.  And 

24    that's -- that's been stricken.  

25                 Why -- why would we -- why would we 


 1    amend the chapter to strike the report back to 

 2    the Legislature?  

 3                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President.  Because those reports, as I 

 5    explained before, on land acquisition already 

 6    come to the Legislature.

 7                 So DEC, through the Environmental 

 8    Protection Fund, already does land acquisition 

 9    and land preservation.  Of the $400 million 

10    budget, about 40 million annually is spent on 

11    that.  And they report to -- to us and to the 

12    Governor on those activities.

13                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  Appreciate it.

15                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Thank you.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

17    you.

18                 Senator Borrello.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.  And welcome to the dais up there.

21                 Would the sponsor yield for a 

22    question.

23                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.  

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

25    sponsor yield?  The sponsor yields.


 1                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Through you, 

 2    Mr. President.  Thank you.

 3                 I debated this bill last year with 

 4    Senator Kaminsky, although I supported it.  And 

 5    the key takeaway and the key concern of mine -- 

 6    particularly now that you're saying we're going 

 7    to reduce the public comment to essentially just 

 8    one meeting for the goals.  The question that I 

 9    asked Senator Kaminsky that I'd also like you to 

10    answer is that would you consider land 

11    acquisition for the purposes of constructing 

12    green energy installations to be conservation or 

13    not?

14                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   The purpose for 

15    this bill of conservation is for, as laid out in 

16    the law, things like protection of biodiversity, 

17    for protection of aquifer and drinking water, and 

18    for carbon sequestration.  It doesn't speak to 

19    the construction of clean energy.

20                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Will the sponsor 

21    continue to yield?

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Does the 

23    sponsor yield?

24                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Absolutely.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 


 1    sponsor yields.

 2                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Through you, 

 3    Mr. President, thank you.  

 4                 So that's where I'm concerned, when 

 5    you say carbon sequestration.  We have a long 

 6    history in this state of clear-cutting forests 

 7    that are naturally sequestering carbon, in 

 8    place -- to put in place solar panels that get 

 9    covered with snow and actually don't generate any 

10    electricity.  

11                 I'm concerned that because there's 

12    only going to be one public hearing on the goals, 

13    that that goal may shift now -- which 

14    Senator Kaminsky said was not the intention -- to 

15    allow for this money and this land acquisition to 

16    be spent on acquiring land to clear-cut forests, 

17    to -- to attack natural habitats, so we can 

18    construct more senseless green energy boondoggle 

19    projects.  

20                 I just want to be clear that we're 

21    not going to do this, we're not going to shift to 

22    that.  Because Senator Kaminsky said no, we are 

23    not, that is not the goal.  So I want to -- as 

24    the new sponsor, I would like you to say that you 

25    agree that that is not -- should not be the 


 1    purpose of land acquisition, land preservation 

 2    and conservation in New York State.

 3                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Through you, 

 4    Mr. President, no, that is not the intention of 

 5    the law.  That is certainly not my intent.  I -- 

 6    just as an aside, I would perhaps disagree with 

 7    the phrase "green energy boondoggle."  But we can 

 8    talk about that off the floor.

 9                 But really, you know, what we talk 

10    about also is resiliency.  That's -- that's one 

11    of the things mentioned in the original law.  And 

12    resiliency is using nature to protect us from 

13    storms.  And when you're clear-cutting a 

14    mountainside, that -- that is not resiliency.

15                 So -- so really while -- while I am 

16    very bullish on clean energy with other 

17    legislation, this is about protecting natural 

18    habitat.

19                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   Mr. President, 

20    on the bill.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

22    Borrello on the bill.

23                 SENATOR BORRELLO:   First of all, 

24    thank you very much for that engagement.  And I 

25    appreciate your response, and am glad it was 


 1    consistent.

 2                 I still have concerns if we're only 

 3    going to have one public hearing on the goals.  

 4    We saw the Climate Action Council and their 

 5    ridiculous, unachievable scoping plan that was 

 6    filled with holes, as we discussed it in our 

 7    public hearing a couple of weeks ago.

 8                 So I hope we continue to keep this 

 9    pure, and that we do indeed keep this focused on 

10    conserving land, because we do need to do that in 

11    New York, particularly now that we are taking up 

12    thousands and thousands and thousands of acres, 

13    particularly in the beautiful upstate area that I 

14    live in, to construct these monstrosities that 

15    will do nothing, zero, to actually impact 

16    greenhouse gas emissions in New York State.  So 

17    let's keep this one pure at least.  

18                 Thank you, Mr. President.

19                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

20    you, Senator Borrello.

21                 Are there any other Senators wishing 

22    to be heard?

23                 Seeing and hearing none, the debate 

24    is closed.

25                 Senator Serrano.


 1                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Upon consent, 

 2    Mr. President, can you please restore 

 3    Calendar 159 to the noncontroversial calendar.  

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 

 5    is restored to the noncontroversial calendar.

 6                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Can you take that 

 7    up.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The 

 9    Secretary will read.  Read the last section.

10                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

11    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

12    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2022.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Call the 

14    roll.

15                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

17    Harckham to explain his vote.

18                 SENATOR HARCKHAM:   Thank you very 

19    much, Mr. President.  Really just one last quick 

20    clarification.  I want to thank my colleagues for 

21    the -- the good discussion.  

22                 I understand the concern about the 

23    reduced public hearing on the -- the goal.  But I 

24    just want to rest everyone -- rest assured that 

25    the local public input process for individual 


 1    land acquisition in our districts remains 

 2    unchanged.  So to the example Senator Borrello 

 3    gave, if there were -- if there are land 

 4    acquisitions in his district or in my district, 

 5    as I referenced before, there will still be a 

 6    robust public engagement plan.

 7                 So with that, I vote aye.  Thank 

 8    you.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Thank 

10    you.  Senator Harckham to be recorded in the 

11    affirmative.

12                 Senator Walczyk to explain his vote.

13                 SENATOR WALCZYK:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President, to explain my vote.  

15                 So this is a chapter amendment to a 

16    bill that we put forward for land acquisition.  

17    That original bill required that there were 

18    public hearings across New York State.  We've cut 

19    that out.  We've said no, since we were late on 

20    our homework -- and this is practically what 

21    happened in the timeline.  It was -- it was 

22    passed by both chambers in May.  The delay of the 

23    Legislature, for no apparent reason whatsoever, 

24    was in December to send that bill to the 

25    Governor's desk.  In that time frame, we were 


 1    supposed to have public hearings, announce them 

 2    and have them.

 3                 Now the chapter amendment is brought 

 4    before us today to say, well, we didn't announce 

 5    the public hearings, we're late on our timeline.  

 6    The Governor signed the bill, but with this 

 7    chapter amendment saying that we're no longer to 

 8    hear from the public, they can send us an email.  

 9    We don't want to actually go into the communities 

10    where we will be acquiring land to meet these 

11    goals for 30/30 and hear from the people directly 

12    that are impacted by the land that the state will 

13    own in their communities.  

14                 I've got serious problems with that.  

15    For that reason, I'll be voting no.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   Senator 

17    Walczyk to be recorded in the negative.

18                 Announce the results.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

20    Calendar Number 159, those Senators voting in the 

21    negative are Senators Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, 

22    Gallivan, Griffo, O'Mara, Walczyk and Weik.  Also 

23    Senator Rhoads.  

24                 Ayes, 56.  Nays, 7.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   The bill 


 1    is passed.

 2                 Senator Serrano, that completes the 

 3    reading of today's calendar.

 4                 SENATOR SERRANO:   Is there any 

 5    further business at the desk?

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   There is 

 7    no further business at the desk.

 8                 SENATOR SERRANO:   I move that we 

 9    adjourn until Monday, February 6th, at 3:00 p.m., 

10    with the intervening days being legislative days.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT COONEY:   On 

12    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until Monday, 

13    February 6th, at 3:00 p.m., with intervening days 

14    to be legislative days.

15                 (Whereupon, at 1:02 p.m., the Senate 

16    adjourned.)