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K00212 Summary:

MLTSPNSRAubry, Bendett, Buttenschon, Colton, Cruz, Cunningham, De Los Santos, DeStefano, Dilan, Epstein, Fahy, Fitzpatrick, Gibbs, Glick, Hevesi, Lunsford, Lupardo, Maher, McMahon, Mikulin, Morinello, Ramos, Reyes, Rivera, Rosenthal L, Tague, Tapia, Thiele, Williams
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K00212 Text:

Assembly Resolution No. 212
BY: M. of A. Dickens
        MEMORIALIZING  Governor  Kathy  Hochul to proclaim
        March 22, 2023, as Puerto Rican Emancipation Day  in
        the State of New York
  WHEREAS,  The Island of Puerto Rico annually observes and celebrates
their emancipation of African slaves on  March  22,  1873,  which  began
under the sovereign rule of Spain; and
  WHEREAS,  The  first  European  to  visit the island was Christopher
Columbus in November 1493, and  claimed  Puerto  Rico  as  an  important
colony of the Spanish Empire; and
  WHEREAS,  Given  its  abundance  of  minerals,  precious  metals and
agriculture, the  Spaniards  began  to  exploit  Puerto  Rico's  natural
resources  by  enslaving  the  Tainos,  the  indigenous habitants of the
Island; and
  WHEREAS, Eventually, the  Spanish  conquerors  encountered  a  labor
shortage because European diseases were spread throughout the island and
decimated the local Taino populations; and
  WHEREAS,  In  1517,  the Spanish Crown authorized the importation of
African slaves to  Puerto  Rico  to  address  the  labor  shortage,  and
permitted  its  subjects to import 12 slaves each, thereby beginning the
slave trade in their colonies; and
  WHEREAS, The early use of slaves in Puerto Rico was in mining  gold,
but  once  the  mining  ceased,  demand  for  slaves was driven by sugar
plantations; under the Caribbean sun, these slaves toiled from  dusk  to
dawn; and
  WHEREAS,  Soon thereafter, these abhorrent work conditions led to 20
violent revolts which left many slaves dead or seriously injured; and
  WHEREAS, Through the efforts of abolitionists such as Ramon Emeterio
Betances, Segundo Ruiz Belvis, Jose  Julian  Acosta,  Francisco  Mariano
Acosta and Julio L. de Vizcarrondo, and 10 years after President Abraham
Lincoln  issued  the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States, 356
years of African slavery in Puerto Rico was abolished; and
  WHEREAS, On March 22, 1873, the Spanish National Assembly  abolished
slavery in Puerto Rico, however, the victory was bittersweet; the slaves
had  to  buy  their own freedom, at whatever price was set by their last
masters; consequently, the former slaves had to work for  another  three
years for their former masters as compensation; and
  WHEREAS,  Today,  African cultural is an integral part of the Puerto
Rican Community in all aspects of education, art, literature, music, and
food; and
  WHEREAS, With close to one million Puerto  Rican  residents  in  New
York  State,  spanning  from  Buffalo  to  New  York  City, "La Isla del
Encanto" ("The Island of Enchantment") remains a constitutive sibling of
our home state; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim March 22, 2023, as  Puerto
Rican Emancipation Day in the State of New York; and it be further
  RESOLVED,  That  copies  of  this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Kathy Hochul, Governor of the State of  New
York;  The  Honorable  Pedro  Pierluisi, Governor of the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico; the New  York  Black,  Puerto  Rican,  Hispanic  and  Asian
Legislative Caucus; and the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.
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