Bill Perkins: New York State Senater 2007 to 2017
Bill Perkins is the Council member for the 9th District of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat. The district includes portions of Harlem in Manhattan. Perkins formerly represented the same seat from 1998 to 2006, and was a member of the New York State Senate from 2007 to 2017. He was re-elected five times, and served a total of ten years, before resigning to retake his seat on the New York City Council in 2017 in a special election.
This was his website when he was a NYS Senator.
Content is from the site's 2007 archived pages.
To learn more about what Bill Perkins is currently doing, go to https://council.nyc.gov/bill-perkins/.
Senator Bill Perkins, Democrat was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2006. Senator Perkins represents the 30th Senatorial District which is part of New York County and encompasses Harlem, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights. A life long resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins started his political career as a community activist and is known for his commitment to serving the community. The young, elderly and the most vulnerable New Yorkers have always been Bill’s legislative priorities.
Prior to the election, Senator Perkins served on the New York City Council. During his eight year tenure, he was the third highest ranking member of the Council serving as the Deputy Majority Leader. As Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Perkins was the prime sponsor of the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004 which protects children from the deadly effects of lead paint in their homes. Thanks to his efforts New York has the best lead paint prevention law in the country.
A strong advocate of public education, Bill Perkins has fought to provide every child equal access to a quality education. He advocated for and allocated funding for computer technology, public libraries and the rehabilitation of school playgrounds. He helped fight for and won increased funding for the City University of New York (CUNY) scholarships, full-time staffing and college preparatory courses. Bill is one of the leading voices on maintaining the public university’s mission of access and excellence.
Senator Perkins knows the importance of early cancer detection. He has been successful in establishing early detection programs increasing awareness of colon and other cancers in city hospitals so colon cancer patients stand to have a better chance at survival. He helped safeguard the health of children and adults by fighting against conditions that trigger asthma like pesticide use, diesel buses and rats. In response to a myriad of health concerns in our community, Bill was the leader in the fight to combat the high rates of infant and maternal mortality, and HIV/AIDS and make quality care more accessible to all New Yorkers.
A strong voice in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties, Bill Perkins introduced the Patriot Act Resolution in the City Council which mandates that anti-terrorism laws and policies be implemented in New York City that do not infringe on the fundamental rights and liberties of New Yorkers. He also opposed racial, ethnic and religious profiling. He sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities. He was instrumental in leading the fight for the Living Wage to provide a minimum wage that was also a living wage.
As a youth, Senator Perkins recognized the importance of a quality education. He worked hard and was awarded a scholarship to Collegiate Preparatory School in Manhattan and later a scholarship to Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1972 with a BA in Political Science Perkins returned to New York and dedicated himself to giving back to his community through activism and public service. Bill Perkins has continued on that mission ever since and remains committed until this very day to fight for fairness, justice, equity and improving the lives of those he represents.
Our Capitol Building is the focal point of an impressive complex of Government buildings which make a rewarding and educational visitor experience. That is why I am pleased to offer my assistance in arranging Tours of the State Capitol, the State Museum and the Empire State Plaza. If you are planning a visit, contact my office to assist in your planning -- we will answer questions regarding trips and advise you when the Legislature is in session.
IN THE NEWS
Early Diagnosis Key to Breast Cancer Awareness, Says Senator Perkins
Screening mammograms are available in Harlem at little or no cost
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
State Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) today urged New Yorkers to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month by taking the initiative to learn all they can about the deadly disease that one in eight women will develop at some point during their lifetime.
The Harlem lawmaker said the earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chances of successful treatment and that screenings for the disease are an important component.
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the ideal time to be proactive about your health,” said Senator
Perkins. “Family and friends are perfect motivators for you to take the steps needed to defeat this disease: breast self-exams, regular visits to the doctor, and periodic mammograms.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 178,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year; more than 40,000 will succumb to the disease.
The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 and older have a screening mammogram – a special X-ray used to create detailed images of the breast – every one to two years. Mammograms can help detect a breast cancer tumor years before a lump can be felt by touch. Women with a higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their physicians about whether to have mammograms before age 40.
“Breast cancer does not discriminate,” Senator Perkins added. “Men can get it too, and while the numbers may be smaller, it doesn’t make the disease any less deadly.” Citing American Cancer Society estimates that more than 2,000 American men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and about 450 will die, he encouraged men to also conduct self breast exams.
African-American women are especially at risk because their mortality rates are higher than other racial and ethnic groups, said Senator Perkins. “That’s why I urge African-American women in particular to utilize the power of early detection.”
An excellent resource for New Yorkers with mammography or breast cancer questions or concerns is the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support program, which directs callers to community resources and provides telephone support through volunteers, all of whom are breast cancer survivors. The toll-free hotline, at 1-800-877-8077, has offered information and support for 27 years.
Harlem residents can also get information about low- or no-cost mammograms by calling the Breast Examination Center of Harlem at (212) 531-8022 or the Manhattan Breast Health Partnership (American Cancer Society) at (212) 237-3910.
Senator Perkins concluded: “There are few among us who have not mourned a loved one who lost their battle with breast cancer, or rejoiced when someone we know has fought it, beaten it, and earned the title of survivor. Speaking as a cancer survivor myself, I know that knowledge and detection are the best weapons you have. The key is to take the first step and get screened.”
Timing of Review of Harlem's Expansion Plan Irks Board
BY ELIOT BROWN - Special to the Sun
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
More than three years in the making, the city is moving forward on Columbia University's proposed 17-acre campus expansion into West Harlem. The contentious plan is expected to enter the city's land-use review process as early as Monday.
In a telling harbinger of the debate to come, elected officials and community leaders were quick to lash out at the city for starting the seven-month review process in a season when the community board is closed and many in the community leave the city for vacation.
"I'm totally frustrated with their attitude, and all I want them to do is provide the proper timing so that the community board can do the job," the chairman of Community Board 9, Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, said. "We are going to have to go through reams and reams and reams of technical write-ups," Mr. Reyes-Montblanc added, while many on the board shuttle in and out for week-long getaways.
Officials including state Senator William Perkins and Assemblyman Keith Wright said they supported Mr. Reyes-Montblanc's contention, as did the West Harlem Local Development Corporation, which has been formed to craft a community benefits agreement with Columbia.
The president of the development corporation, Patricia Jones, wrote in a letter to the city that the timing would "offend the essence" of the community input-based review process.
Columbia has said it needs the expansion to build science-related and other facilities that are demanded of top universities. Development of the complex would require a rezoning, which requires the approval of the City Council and the city's planning commission, and nonbinding recommendations from the community board and the borough president's office. The state is currently administering a blight study of the area, a step needed for the use of eminent domain.
A spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning, Rachaele Raynoff, said the city starts the land-use process once applications are complete and certified.
"There will be adequate opportunity for public review throughout the seven-month process," Ms. Raynoff said.
A spokeswoman for Columbia, La-Verna Fountain, said the timing of the land-use process is up to the city.
Senator Perkins responds to Governor choide for newly formed higher education commission.
By JACOB GERSHMAN: Staff Reporter of the Sun
Friday, June 1, 2007
ALBANY — Governor Spitzer is facing criticism from African-American leaders questioning his decision to appoint a former top Giuliani aide once accused of making a racist remark to a newly formed state higher education commission.
Among the 28 members of the commission is John Dyson, a wealthy businessman and a creator of the "I Love NY" ad campaign who served as deputy mayor for finance and economic development from 1994–96.
In 1994, Mr. Dyson came under fire for comments he made to a trade publication about a disagreement he had with a city comptroller, Alan Hevesi>, concerning Mr. Hevesi's desire to hire two financial advice firms as bond counsels.
Mr. Dyson opposed retaining one of the firms, which was owned by an African-American woman, and said the comptroller "ought to know a bid from a watermelon," referring to the bid placed by the firm.
The remark drew condemnations from several politicians and African-American civil rights leaders, who said his use of the word "watermelon" was racially motivated and offensive. Several City Council members, including C. Virginia Fields, wrote a letter to Mr. Giuliani urging him to fire Mr. Dyson.
Mr. Dyson, now the CEO of a winery, strongly denied that he comments had anything to do with race and reportedly said at the time that he had employed "an expression we happen to use in upstate New York."
Responding to Mr. Spitzer's choice of Mr. Dyson to take part in the commission, African-American politicians interviewed said they questioned the governor's judgment.
"I'm wondering whether the governor took a good look at his history to make sure his offensive ways would not undermine the integrity of his commitment to make our state university system competitive," a state senator, Bill Perkins, a Democrat of Harlem said. "You can't have someone who is this controversial. Higher education calls for higher levels of sensitivity."
City Council Member Charles Barron, a former Black Panther who represents a district in Brooklyn, said Mr. Dyson's "famous watermelon comment is stereotypical and racist, and certainly the governor should not have someone on the committee that has made a racist statement like that. I have problems with that."
A spokesman for Mr. Spitzer' did not return calls for comment.
Mr. Dyson is one of the few members of the commission who is not currently running a college or university. The governor said the purpose of the commission is to make the State University of New York more competitive.
SENATOR PERKINS ASKS CONSTITUENTS TO HELP THE SECURE THE CALL FOUNDATION GIVE NEW LIFE TO OLD CELL PHONES
Group reprograms unused phones for emergency use
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
State Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) believes that the nation’s 45 million old cell phones can serve an important purpose when retooled as emergency phones for those who would be in need of its services.
To that end, Senator Perkins urged his constituents to donate unused phones and batteries to the Secure the Call Foundation.
"As an owner of a cell phone, I rely on it to help me stay in touch with my colleagues in the Senate as well as what’s going on in my district," he said. "I also know that it’s an important tool to have in the event of an emergency.
"For many of our most vulnerable citizens, split-second access to 911 is critical and can literally mean the difference between life and death," Senator Perkins continued. "That’s why I support the Secure the Call Foundation’s efforts in collecting and distributing previously unused cell phones for emergency use."
Senator Perkins said that the Foundation inspects and cleans each phone - and charges the battery within it - before converting them into 911 emergency phones, which may be used to contact emergency services, free of charge.
"Given a new purpose, these phones are distributed by law enforcement agencies, domestic violence shelters, senior citizen centers and other civic groups and organizations to individuals who need them," Senator Perkins said.
Senator Perkins said the Foundation has received far more requests for cell phones than it currently has, and encouraged New Yorkers to donate their old ones to help close the gap. The Manhattan lawmaker added that even defective cell phones may be donated, as minor repairs could lead to converting them into 911 only phones.
"Your unused cell phone could turn out to be an important lifeline to seniors, school crossing guards and victims of domestic abuse. New Yorkers always step up to help others in need and this is a simple way to do just that," Senator Perkins said.
Cell phones may be sent free of charge to the Foundation by visiting www.donatemycellphone.org and printing a prepaid postage label. Donations are tax deductible and donors may print a donation acknowledgment receipt right from the website.
For more information on the program, and to learn how organizations can also participate in the collection effort, interested individuals may call 1-888-88 DONATE.
My Visit to the State Senate
Capitol Building New York State's Capitol building is a very important place. It is where New York State's leaders meet and do most of their work. The Capitol building took almost 30 years to build. Many different people helped to build the Capitol and it was finished in the year 1897.
The Senate Chamber is on the third floor of the Capitol. The Assembly Chamber and the Governor's Chamber are also in the Capitol.
What is the Senate? Part of what makes New York State such an interesting place are its government leaders. These leaders have been elected to speak and act for (represent) people in New York State.
The Senate is a group of 61 men and women. They represent people in different areas of New York State. Some Senators represent larger areas than others. Each Senator represents an equal number of people. There are 150 members of the Assembly. Each represents a much smaller group of people.
Together the Senate and Assembly are known as the Legislature.
Visiting the Senate Chamber and Gallery You may stop in the Senate Gallery (upstairs) or Senate Chamber (downstairs) to see where Senators talk about and vote on bills. Each Senator has his or her own desk and chair in the Chamber.
The Chamber now looks the way it did when it was first built, over 100 years ago. Changes had been made over the years. This took away from the original beauty of the Chamber.
When it came time to clean and repair the Chamber, the Senators decided to return it to the way it looked before.
What Does a Senator Do? Senators write their ideas down in an official form called a bill. But writing the bill is only the start of the job.
Each Senator's bill must go through a few steps before it can become a law. A law is a rule everyone in our State has to obey.
Sometimes there are questions about a Senator's bill. The Senator will give reasons why the bill was written. He or she will tell who will be helped by the bill.
More than half of all Senators have to vote "yes" on a bill for it to pass. If there are fewer than 31 "yes" votes in the Senate, a bill cannot be passed.
The Assembly also votes on bills. The Senate and the Assembly can each give enough "yes" votes to the same bill. If they do, the bill is sent to the Governor.
The Governor is elected by all the people in our State. He heads another part of our government. Most of the time, he has the final decision on a bill.
The Governor can agree with the Legislature that a bill is good. Then he signs it and it becomes law. The Governor sometimes does not agree with a bill. He then can veto it so it cannot become a law.
Your Senator Your Senator does more than write and vote on bills. Your Senator is here to help you and your parents with any problems you may have with the government.
Your Senator wants to hear your ideas. If they would be good for New York State, they could be made into a bill.
You or your parents don't have to come to Albany to tell your Senator your ideas or problems. You can just write to him or her. We all have to work together to make our government work.
New York State Facts & Fun
Another Capital Journey...
From a Bill to a Law in Six Easy Steps!! This example begins in the Senate, but bills may be introduced in either the Senate or the Assembly.
1. A Senator introduces a new bill. 2. A Senate Committee reports favorably on the bill. 3. The Senate passes the bill. 4. The bill is approved by an Assembly Committee. 5. The Assembly passes the same bill the Senate did. 6. The Governor signs the bill into law.
That bill was lucky. Most bills do not become laws. Some bills are re-written one or more times before they ever get out of committee. Other bills are the subject of public hearings in Albany and around the state before a committee vote is even taken. Sometimes, one legislator’s bill is very similar to another legislator's bill, but only one of these bills can be considered. So many bills are introduced that most never make it out of committee. The journey from a bill to a law is not always an easy road for a new bill to travel.
Let’s Tour New York State
Albany -- New York State’s Capital
Buffalo -- once home of former U.S. President and former New York State Governor Grover Cleveland
Lake Placid -- site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics
Syracuse -- site of the annual New York State Fair
Niagara Falls -- a breathtaking waterfall 1,000 ft. wide and 167 ft. high
Lake George -- where you can ride several types of boats, including a steamship
West Point -- home of the U.S. Military Academy
Jones Beach -- a great place for fun in the sun
The Finger Lakes -- made of 11 lakes which are shaped like fingers
Saratoga -- site of the nation’s oldest thoroughbred horse racing track (founded in 1863)
The Catskill Mountains -- home to bears and other wild animals
The Erie Canal -- runs between Albany and Buffalo linking Lake Erie to the Hudson River
The Thousand Islands -- which are really made up of 1,870 islands
Lake Erie -- one of the five Great Lakes, a popular site for boating and other water fun
The Adirondack Mountains -- a fun spot for camping and home of the state’s highest mountain, Mount Marcy
Woodstock -- the 1969 rock festival took place here
The Statue of Liberty -- 150 ft. high, celebrated its centennial (100 years) in 1986
Lake Ontario -- another one of the five Great Lakes, a popular site for fishing and other water activities
Watkins Glen -- visit a 10,000 year-old natural gorge and the Professional Auto Raceway
Cooperstown -- home of the Baseball Hall of Fame
The Empire State Building -- a 1,250 ft. skyscraper
Coney Island -- famous for its amusement park and hot dogs
Montauk -- a lighthouse built by order of George Washington
Lake Champlain -- named after the French explorer and colonizer Samuel de Champlain
Rochester -- host to numerous professional golf tournaments
The State Seal -- What does it all mean?
Eagle -- The American eagle is a symbol of strength, independence and freedom.
Globe -- The globe points to the Atlantic Ocean and North America, showing New York's place in the world.
Mountains -- New York's mountain ranges (the Catskills, the Adirondacks and the Alleghenys) are shown.
Sun -- The sun, with a smiling face, is seen rising over the three mountain ranges.
Boats -- A ship and a sloop are shown about to pass each other.
River -- The river represents New York’s great waterways and shows how commerce began in the state.
Lady Liberty -- Lady Liberty, on the left, represents freedom for the people of New York. High on a staff in her right hand is a peasant cap representing democratic rule by the people. Her left foot is stepping on a crown, representing the rejection of the monarchy.
Lady Justice -- Lady Justice, on the right, is blind-folded to prevent discrimination against anyone. The balanced scales of justice in her left hand give equal weight to both sides of all issues. The sword in her right hand represents swift and powerful enforcement of the law.
Excelsior -- The state motto, meaning “Ever Upward,” is on a ribbon below the state seal.
The History and Care of Our Flag
Any time our military has fought on foreign soil, Americans have displayed the flag as an important way for those of us at home to express our support and prayers for the courageous young women and men serving our country. Our American Flag has long exemplified the spirit of those who fought valiantly and survived. It stands for the freedom that so many other countries in the world are just now beginning to experience. It stands for us and, heaven permit, it will fly for our children and our children's children in the land still strong and free. Oliver Wendell Holmes may have said it best: "One Flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation, evermore!"
The Flag Act
On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first flag act: "Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
The flag of the United States today has 13 stripes -- seven red and six white -- and 50 white stars on a blue field. The stripes remind us of the 13 original colonies that gained us liberty. The stars represent the states that are bound together.
In 1892, Francis Bellamy, a journalist, wrote the Pledge of Allegiance as a tribute to the flag on the 400th Anniversary of the discovery of America.
When to Display the Flag It is the universal custom to display the national flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open on all days that weather permits, but especially on national and state holidays and other days that may be proclaimed by the President of the United States. On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be half-staff until noon, then be raised to the peak.
The U.S. flag should be displayed daily on or near the main building of every public institution, during school days in or near every schoolhouse, and in or near every polling place on election days. A citizen may fly the flag at any time.
The U.S. flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness. Always hoist the U.S. flag briskly. Lower it ceremoniously.
When flown at half-staff, the U.S. flag should be first hoisted to the peak for a moment and then lowered to the half staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
When to Salute the Flag * When the flag is passing in a parade or in a review.
* During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering.
* When the National Anthem is played and the flag is displayed.
* During the Pledge of Allegiance.
All persons except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those in uniform should give the military salute.
The flag should be saluted at the moment it passes in a parade or in review. Citizens of other countries should stand at attention, but need not salute.
Never... * show disrespect to the U.S. flag in any way;
* dip the U.S. flag to any person or thing;
* allow the U.S. flag to touch anything beneath it -- the ground, floor, water or merchandise;
* display the U.S. flag with the union (blue field with stars) down except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property;
* use the U.S. flag as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery, drawn back, or up in folds;
* place anything on the U.S. flag; or
* display the U.S. flag from a float, car or boat except from a staff, or so suspended that the folds fall free as though staffed.
The U.S. Flag Always Leads When carried in a procession with another or other flags, the U.S. flag should be either on the marching right (the flag's own right) or, if there is a line of other flags, in front center of that line. The U.S. flag should form a distinctive feature at the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but should never be used as the covering for a statue or monument. When other flags are flown from the same rope, the U.S. flag should always be at the center and highest point of the group. When other flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. No flag may fly above or to the right of the U.S. flag.
When on Display When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the U.S. should be in the position of honor at the clergy or the speaker's right as he or she faces the audience (the left of the audience). Any other flag so displayed is to be placed to the speaker's left as he or she faces the audience (the right of the audience).
If displayed flat against a wall on a speaker's platform, the U.S. flag should be placed above and behind the speaker. When displayed either horizontally or vertically the union or stars of the flag should be at the observer's left.
When the U.S. flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
How to Dispose of Worn Flags The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private.
Facts About New York State
State Capital -- Albany
State Motto -- Excelsior (Ever Upward)
Population -- 17,990,455 (1990 U.S. Census), ranks 2nd among states
Largest City -- New York City
Land Area -- 47,224 square miles, ranks 30th among states From West to East -- 440 miles, including Long Island From North to South -- 310 miles
Highest Mountain -- Mount Marcy, 5,344 feet
Longest River -- Hudson, 300 miles
Highest Waterfall -- Taughannock, 215 feet
Lakes & Ponds -- 4,000
Longest Toll Expressway in the World -- Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway, 559 miles
Barge Canal System -- 800 miles, including lakes and rivers
State Song:“I Love New York” Words and Music by Steve Karmen
I Love New York (Repeat 3 times) There isn’t another like it No matter where you go And nobody can compare it It’s win and place and show New York is special New York is different 'Cause there’s no place else on earth Quite like New York and that’s why I Love New York (Repeat 3 times
* The Capitol Building in Albany took about 30 years to build and was completed in 1879.
* New York State’s Capitol Building is one of the few in the nation without a dome.
* The statue in front of the building is of General Philip Sheridan, who fought in the Civil War.