Photos courtesy of Senator Sanders’ Office
September 25, 2023
Listen to People, Power & Politics interview with Senator James Sanders Jr:
(New York, NY) Senator James Sanders Jr., Chair of the NY State Senate Select Majority Task Force on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, and Assemblymember Chantel Jackson called on Governor Kathy Hochul to sign reparations legislation into law during a Panel Discussion entitled “The Road to Reparations” on Friday night, September 22, 2023, at the Crawford United Methodist Church located at 3757 White Plains Road, Bronx, New York 10469. The event was hosted by Assemblymember Chantel Jackson. The event was free and open to the public.
The panel discussed the need for reparations and explained the legislation (S.1163-A/SANDERS Same as A.7691/Solages) that would establish a reparations commission. Sponsors of the event included the following: U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman; Senator James Sanders Jr., Senator Jamaal Bailey; Assemblymember Chantel Jackson, and NYC Council Member Kevin Riley.
Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “For New York and America to move forward, we must finally address the evils of slavery and discrimination against African Americans in an open, honest, comprehensive, and just way. The legislation that Assemblymember Michaelle Solages and I have introduced would begin this process by establishing the New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies. Governor Kathy Hochul must take the next step toward justice by signing the bill into law. How loud must we shout until we are heard? The cry for justice cannot be loud enough.”
“The time for reparations is long overdue,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16). “Black people here in New York and across the country have always suffered from inequitable access to good jobs, high-quality financing, and public subsidies and services. The primary basis of household wealth today, property and home ownership, is directly tied to federal programs that excluded Black people. We deserve justice for these systemic inequities. Reparations will not come from a single act or program – we need a process of healing for America as we repent for one of our original sins – but establishing a commission to understand the need for reparations in New York is a crucial step. I am proud to support this critical discussion on reparations and I hope that our legislature will stand with Black New Yorkers and move forward with a reparations commission.”
“It is important for us to alert New Yorkers that the Senate and the Assembly have passed a reparations study bill, and we are urging the governor to sign it. The institution of slavery has historically disadvantaged Black people, while our country, and more specifically New York, has benefited economically. We are urging the governor to do what is right for New Yorkers who continuously support her without asking for much.” – Assembly Member Chantel Jackson, LMSW
Senator Jamaal T. Bailey said, “I am honored to join my colleagues in government, constituents, and community members in this critical dialogue. This legislation is a significant step forward in confronting the painful legacy of slavery and systemic racism, while laying the groundwork for a more equitable future. Only by confronting our past, can we begin to meaningfully address the generational trauma and disparities that persist today. These critical conversations are the beginning of a healing process for many in our communities. The voices of our community members are essential in shaping the path forward.”
“Advocating for the passage of bills, like S1163A and A7691, which acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the City of New York and the State of New York, is a positive step towards rectifying the harmful and unjust consequences of deliberate racially discriminatory practices such as redlining and disinvestment in Black communities,” said Council Member Kevin C. Riley. “As Co-Chair of New York City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, I wholeheartedly support the road to reparations and urge Governor Hochul to take action in favor of amending the fabric of systematic disparities that have historically affected Black and brown people. Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility as leaders to amplify this movement and continue the work of our ancestors and leaders before us. Forward-thinking in serving and protecting New Yorkers, our state must take the lead in setting the tone against fundamental injustices in our country.”
A bill (S.1163-A/SANDERS Same as A.7691/Solages) to establish the New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies passed the Senate and Assembly this Session and is waiting for Governor Kathy Hochul to sign the bill. This legislation acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the City of New York and the State of New York. The Commission would research the harm from slavery and after slavery in New York and recommend remedies and reparations. When signed, New York would be the second state in the nation after California to form a reparations commission.