CSEA members traveled from all across the state to attend 48th Annual Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Conference.

CSEA members recently traveled from across the state to take part in the New York Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators’ (NYSABPRL) 48th Annual Conference to ensure a CSEA presence during discussions of some major public issues affecting labor and our communities.

Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley and Metropolitan Region President Lester Crockett were among the many CSEA leaders attending.

From left, standing with Metropolitan Region President Lester Crockett are Metropolitan Region activists Sandra Darling, Mary Langley and Pat-Dixon Lawrence.

“I really like the Black and Puerto Rican Legislators’ Conference because we get the opportunity to speak to and mingle with legislators from throughout the state of New York and to listen to and share information with CSEA members from all around the state,” Crockett said. “We can advance conversations and learn more about our brothers and sisters all while being a part of an outstanding event that has been here for 48 years.”

Held at the concourse level of the Empire State Plaza, there were information tables and vendors from end to end. Many meeting rooms were occupied with elected leaders, community leaders, advocates, educators, union members (including CSEA) and conference attendees.

From left, Rich Bebo, Capital Region Executive Vice President, Joyce Howard-Crockett, Southern Region activist, Paula Oliver, First Vice President of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Local and Delphine Moultrie, Metropolitan Region Recording Secretary, listen to a presentation on historic Black and African American leaders and what we can learn from their fight for civil rights.

One particular workshop caught the eye of CSEA Capital Region Executive Vice President Rich Bebo as an important conversation to be a part of. The discussion centered on voting rights and the systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters. A presentation on the power of grassroots organizing and individual contributions as a metric of strength was riveting.

“I enjoyed attending the conference,” Bebo said. “Utilizing our voice in our communities and getting involved are the best ways to implement change and hold our political leaders accountable.”

“It’s so important that we are involved politically,” Berkley said. “Everything we do, our jobs, our communities, is based in politics.”

If you did not get a chance to attend this year, you must consider attending next year, as this conference is a wonderful event.

View more photos and a video showing the vast size of this well-attended conference at facebook.com/csealocal1000 and scroll to February 16, 2019.

— Jill Asencio

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Jill Asencio

Jill Asencio is the statewide communications specialist assigned to CSEA Headquarters in Albany. She is a summa cum laude graduate of The College of Saint Rose and award-winning photo/video journalist and public relations professional. As part of CSEA’s communication team since 2007, she found her passion in labor, advocating for children and New York’s working families. Asencio understands first-hand the value of growing up in a union household and the deep connection unions have in ensuring strong, educated and healthy families.

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