A rally at City Hall in Manhattan today of elected officials and progressive leaders called for a Democratic majority in the state Senate, Gannett’s Haley Viccaro reports.
The rally focused on issues including raising the minimum wage, a ban on hydrofracking, the Reproductive Health Act and others. Participants at the rally said those issues have been blocked by Republicans, who now hold a 33-29 seat majority.
Two seats hang in the balance. Republican George Amedore held a roughly 400-vote lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk in a district that stretches across the Capital Region and into the Catskills. Democrat Terry Gipson held a 1,700-vote lead over Republican Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie.
Democrats lost one seat when Democratic Sen.-elect Simcha Felder of Brooklyn said he would sit with Republicans. Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t indicated whether he wants Democrats or Republicans to hold the majority.
“New Yorkers need elected leaders to do the people’s business,” Assemblyman Karim Camara, D-Brooklyn, said in a statement. “We deserve a state Senate that can fight for the progressive agenda they were sent to Albany for.”
“With the Republican Senate acting as the last obstacle to reform, we urge all Democratic senators to work together and enact real campaign finance reform to stop the corrupting influence of big money on elections and make sure every voice can be heard,” said Karen Scharff, executive director of Citizen Action of New York, in a statement.
There will also be a rally by the Democratic groups in Rockland County this afternoon, in Buffalo tomorrow and in Syracuse on Thursday.