Senator Cordell Cleare Witnesses the Enactment of New York’s Historic Reparation Bill

One, of Several Bills, which will Address Systemic Racism in the State

NEW YORK, NY – December 19, 2023 – Today, in a public ceremony, at the New York Historical Society on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law the “New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies Act”, commonly referred to as the “Reparations Bill.” This historic legislation will examine the impact of the African slave trade on generations of New Yorkers. 

The bill, which took 17 years to pass in New York, will be the second state in the nation, behind California, to have passed similar legislation. New York’s bill requires the formation of a statewide commission that will study the systemic racial disparities in housing, education, economic development, the criminal justice system, and healthcare, which have resulted from New York’s involvement in the transatlantic African slave trade, an integral part of America’s history. 

“The power of the people who rallied, called, and signed petitions to get this bill signed, is proof that New Yorkers want there to be accountability for the role that our state played in causing generational trauma that continues to plague Black people in our communities,” said State Senator Cordell Cleare, a co-sponsor of the bill, with a voice filled with emotion at the gravity of this significant moment. “While this marks a meaningful stride in the right direction, there’s still much that can be accomplished independently of the commission,” she continued.  

Earlier in the week, Sen. Cleare’s colleagues held a rally in downtown Manhattan calling on the Governor to sign the “Wrongful Death” bill which would allow surviving family members to be compensated for their emotional anguish after the death of a loved one. “The “Wrongful Death” bill, presently in the Senate, is crucial and requires immediate approval,” Cleare continued. “That bill, along with other legislation that addresses elder parole, having a jury of your peers, and affordable housing, all of which I am advocating, directly relate to the systemic disparities that have given rise to the need for reparations.” 

About Senator Cordell Cleare  

Senator Cleare represents the 30th District which includes Central Harlem, East Harlem (El Barrio), West Harlem, a portion of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and the Washington Heights neighborhoods. Raised in Harlem, Cleare is the second woman in the State’s history to hold this seat in the State Senate. She is currently the Chair of the Senate Committee on Aging.  

Media Contact

Theresa E. Hassler, District Director, Office of Senator Cordell Cleare  


Theresa E. Hassler, District Director | Chief Counsel

Office of NYS Senator Cordell Cleare (D-30)

Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building

163 West 125th Street, Ste. 912

New York, NY 10027

(212) 222- 7315

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