Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month.  It is an opportunity to remember where we have come from as a country and a time to think about where we still need to go.

Carl Heastie

Carl Heastie

It has been a year marked by racial unrest in many parts of the country, including here in New York.  I am hopeful that we can all take steps as citizens to heal the rifts that have come to the fore.

As I walked out of the Assembly chamber following the election of Carl Heastie as the new Assembly Speaker on Tuesday, I realized that we, as a governing body, had written a new chapter to be included in Black History Month. Heastie is the first African-American speaker in the history of the New York State Assembly.  I am certainly proud that I was able to play a part in his selection and hope that this signals a turning point in the way business is done in Albany. I wish the new speaker every success.

I do believe that these incremental “firsts’ make a difference.  Change is not always swift but when committed, dedicated and energized people come together, good things can happen for New York.

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