Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Release a Black Agenda for NY to Build and Restore the Black Family

ALBANY, NY – On the first day of Black History Month, the Members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus led by Chair Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (AD-22), presented an agenda with the objective of building and restoring the Black family.

“For the 2022 Black Agenda, the Caucus chose to center the Black family because while individually, Black Americans may reach the peaks of success, collectively, we are centuries behind the curve. Unfortunately, these conditions are worsening. Wealth continues to be extracted from Black communities, Black youth continue to be disproportionately targeted by law enforcement, and the old methods of social mobility are stagnant or non-existent. In light of this – New York State must use the same surgical precision used to redline Black homeowners, by law to incarcerate Black youth, and to impoverish Black neighborhoods – to build and restore the Black family.”- Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus.

"As Chair of the Senate Committee on Mental Health, I hear countless stories about, and have witnessed firsthand, how our existing systems do little to equitably support Black and Brown communities. Specifically, the needs of Black and Brown mothers are largely overlooked, which undoubtedly contributes to the fact that Black women are four times as likely to die during childbirth. With mental health concerns being the most commonly occurring complication during pregnancy, there is a clear urgency to act. My package of maternal mental health legislation (S7865, S7753, and S7752) will work to understand and address the disparities that exist in our healthcare system. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian caucus for their support of my legislation, and I look forward to making New York a safer, healthier place for all mothers and birthing people." - Senator Samra Brouk, 55th District.

"I am proud to be here with my fellow caucus members to support this package of legislation that will aim to help people of color, not just as we commemorate Black History Month, but every day moving forward. Health, education, home ownership, combating gun violence, increasing generational wealth, starting a business, immigration, voting rights, and civil rights – these are all priorities, and we are determined to work collectively to positively transform our communities and the State of New York.” - State Senator James Sanders Jr., 10th District.

“As we mark the start of Black History Month, I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus to advance a comprehensive package of reforms focused on building and restoring the Black family. Whether it’s closing the Black wealth gap, supporting our young people, addressing health inequity, or expanding voting rights and ensuring our nation lives up to its founding ideals; together, these bills take on the most pressing issues of our time and carry forward our fight for a safer and more equitable future for Black families across the state.” - Senator Jamal Bailey, 36th District.

“Voting rights are under attack in America. The United States Senate failed to pass voting rights legislation, leaving states free to slowly erase the hard-fought freedoms our mothers and fathers won decades ago. That’s why it’s important to continue the fight in New York State by passing the John R. Lewis Voting rights Act of New York. We have to make sure New Yorkers – especially voters of color -- have unfettered access to the ballot.”- Assemblymember Latrice Walker, 55th District.

“Each year, the arrival of Black History Month compels us to both reflect on the painful histories of the Black experience in America while also celebrating the resilience and excellence of the Black community and our indispensable contributions to daily life in the United States and around the world. Amidst an ongoing pandemic that has disproportionately harmed Black families struggling with issues such as economic hardship, food apartheid, educational inequities, and the competing crises of affordable housing, gun violence, and mental health and substance use challenges — we must prioritize legislative action and advocacy to uplift Black families across New York. I am honored to stand alongside my colleagues in the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus as we announce core aspects of our collective “Black Agenda for New York,” which boldly confronts systemic issues spanning from voter suppression, health disparities, educational attainment, gun violence prevention, socioeconomic inequities and more. As the youngest Black Assembly Member in New York State history and the youngest in our legislative body, I look forward to honoring our past while centering the voices of youth taking action to accelerate the onset of a reformed future.” - Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson, 31st District.

"After two years of pandemic, high unemployment in cities across New York state, and a crisis in our jails and prisons, New York needs bold action that meets the needs of working-class New Yorkers. Black New Yorkers in particular have faced enormous challenges these past two years, while also carrying the greatest weight, often risking our health to ensure that New York's basic public services continue to run. Now, with historic budget surpluses we have an unprecedented opportunity to enact vital legislation that ensures working class communities of color across New York get their fair share. That's why I am so proud to support our Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican and Asian Legislative Caucus' Black Agenda for NY. - Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest, 57th District.

The protection and promotion of human rights for people of African descent is the top priority of this Caucus. For the 2022 legislative session, we are advancing social justice policies to uplift our people and eradicate racism and intolerance. Our voices are strong on voting rights, Black maternal health, environmental justice, and gun violence prevention. My priorities will help strengthen the livelihoods of Black farmers and entrepreneurs and create economic democracy systems that will close the racial wealth gap. We are united in our purpose to ensure health, education, housing, and economic equity for Black people across their lifespan. - Assemblymember Stefani L. Zinerman, 56th District.

“As a proud member of New York’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus who represents several communities of color, I am so heartened by this year’s Black Agenda which effectively puts forward the blueprint we need to adopt to help all New Yorkers move forward. Systemic racism is real, and we’ve made great strides to root out many of the injustices that have plagued our people for so long, but there is still so much more good work to do. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues in the Legislature to promote these policies and create a brighter, just and equitable future for all of our children and families.” -Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre, 11th District.