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For Immediate Release Contact: Cordell Cleare || 212-222-7315 SENATOR BILL PERKINS SPEAKS OUT AGAINST

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cordell Cleare || 212-222-7315


I was the first elected official in New York to endorse Barack Obama. Thanks to a diverse coalition of folks our first black president was elected, and now has been reelected. This is great because there are so many problems facing so many people that need to be addressed. That’s especially true here in our state where the very idea of representative government, the concept of one person, one vote, is under attack in a way that could potentially put us back in the back of the bus

Thirty-three Democratic Senators, a majority, were just elected to the New York State Senate. At least 15 Democratic Senators are African American or Latino. In addition we are allied with progressive whites to represent a majority of Democratic Senators. If things happened as they have traditionally, this partnership of Progressive Senators, African American, white and Latino would hold critical Senate Chairmanships. We would preside on committees dealing with housing, criminal justice, the judiciary and education. These are the very issues that are of the greatest importance, not merely to people of color, but to all working people, poor people, immigrants, students, single moms, teachers and the LGBT community. But, backroom deals, threatening this vital agenda, are putting us back on the back of the bus!

Reform measures are now in jeopardy. Issues like an increase to the minimum wage, the Dream Act immigration reform, campaign finance reform and other efforts to address priorities impacting the underserved and issues of fairness will be held hostage.

Are people entitled to representation and leadership from those who they elected, or do special interests get to select who rules instead?

Let’s demand that New York’s top Democrat, Governor Andrew Cuomo, stand up for representative government and against the plantation politics of backroom deals putting us on the back of the bus!

As the great singer and activist Paul Robeson said: “We ask for nothing that is not right, and herein lies the great power of our demand!”