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Letters to the Editor

Mar
11
2014
Letter: Governor Paterson’s Legacy in New York (New York Times)

To the Editor: David A. Paterson’s tenure as governor of New York is described as a time of tumult and scandal. Far more significant is what this characterization doesn’t include: his record on civil rights and civil liberties. In 2009, Governor Paterson signed legislation that reformed the notorious Rockefeller drug laws, eliminating harsh mandatory sentences and empowering judges to authorize treatment as an alternative to prison.

Jul
19
2013
Letter: Sex, Parents and Plan B (New York Times)

To the Editor: Re “Ready Access to Plan B Pills in City Schools” (front page, July 12): New York City’s program providing teenagers in city schools access to Plan B One-Step contraception is a vital resource to students who may have no other way to obtain desperately needed health care. Parents should be made aware of the program, and the schools work through multiple avenues to inform them of it.

Jul
7
2013
Letter: Skelos Misrepresents Women's Equality Act (Buffalo News)

To the Editor: State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ reply to The News editorial about the Republicans’ obstruction of the Women’s Equality Act was both misleading and incendiary.

Apr
23
2013
Letter: Do the Police Belong in Our Public Schools? (New York Times)

To the Editor: Stationing police officers in public schools clearly causes the criminalization of routine misbehavior. Last school year, 882 students were arrested in New York City public schools. Another 1,666 children were issued tickets. These children’s “crimes” ranged from drawing graffiti to possessing marijuana. Serious felony arrests were rare.

Mar
29
2013
Letter: Police, Don't Import Stop-and-Frisk (Newsday)

To the Editor: Local police departments should think twice before they emulate the New York City Police Department's aggressive and discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices. Used lawfully, stop-and-frisk is a legitimate law-enforcement tool. However, the NYPD's rampant abuse of the tactic violates the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of innocent people annually and sows mistrust between police officers and residents of the city's communities of color.

Mar
15
2013
Letter: Needed in New York: Better Legal Defense for the Poor (New York Times)

To the Editor: “The Right to Counsel: Badly Battered at 50,” by Lincoln Caplan (Sunday Observer, March 10), cites problems with public defense in Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia. New York is also a prime example of a state that has failed to meet its obligation, under Gideon v. Wainwright, to provide lawyers to poor people accused of crimes.

Mar
9
2013
Letter: Support Women's Equality (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

To the Editor: The Women’s Equality Agenda will help break barriers to women’s full and equal participation in society. It also will help working women provide for their families. Women are the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of New York families, but on average they earn 16 percent less than men. They are often denied jobs or promotions because they have children. Pregnant women can be pushed out of their jobs for requesting a modest, temporary accommodation.

Mar
7
2013
Letter: Pass Women's Rights Legislation in Albany (Newsday)

To the Editor: Women’s rights pioneers met at Seneca Falls in 1848 to organize a campaign for equality. Women’s History Month is a perfect time to reflect on the enormous progress we’ve made since that historic gathering. It’s also an opportunity to tackle enduring barriers to women’s full and equal participation in society.

Dec
2
2012
Letter: Too Many Prisoners in Solitary Confinement (Auburn Citizen)

To the Editor: Within three minutes’ drive of The (Auburn) Citizen’s offices, New York state keeps more than 80 men in solitary confinement at Auburn Correctional Facility. Less than 20 miles away, more than 200 people are held in isolation in Moravia’s Cayuga Correctional Facility. These individuals spend 23 hours a day locked in tiny, barren cells – cut off from all meaningful human contact or mental stimulation. Meals arrive through a slot in the door. Recreation is an hour alone in an empty pen.

Nov
9
2012
Letter: Dear Mr. President: Defend the Rights of Our Most Vulnerable Residents (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

To the Editor: For a truly successful second term, President Obama must defend and expand the civil rights and liberties of our country’s most vulnerable and marginalized residents. This means fixing the broken immigration system so that millions of hardworking immigrant families can contribute to society without constant fear of being detained and deported. New York’s leaders can contribute by passing legislation to provide migrant workers basic labor protections like overtime pay.

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