Three black senators are expected to join the Rev. Al Sharpton Saturday in a new campaign to empower 15 black and Hispanic Democrats in the new mostly-white state Senate, according to the New York Post.
Pushing for the change are senators Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Bill Perkins of Harlem, and Ruth Hassell-Thompson of the Bronx. New York NAACP leader Hazel Dukes is also expected at the rally, says the paper.
With the Democrats winning a majority of Senate seats last month, Sharpton said in a statement that "Senators of color should hold critical Senate Chairmanships on committees such as housing, criminal justice, the judiciary and education."
But that's not the case, says Sharpton, and instead a new breakaway Democrats are aligning themselves with Republican interests. One coalition that aims for a majority only has one non-white member.
Sharpton fears that, "policy and resource discussion on issues such as Stop and Frisk, affordable housing and rebuilding the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy will be led by Senators from Upstate New York rather than those Senators whose communities are most directly impacted by these policies and events," said Sharpton.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not getting involved, and believes the State Senate can sort out their own problems. The governor has come up with his own separate “litmus test” of priorities for political alliance, though, says the Post. These include: legalizing casinos, raising the minimum wage, decriminalizing minor marijuana possession, partial taxpayer financing of political campaigns, protecting abortion rights and climate-change initiatives.