No more hate


The Anti-Defamation League has pulled together 10 New York mayors — led by Bill de Blasio — who have all pledged to fight hate and extremism by signing the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry.

“Now is the time for us to come together to oppose the hate and extremism we are seeing across the country, including right here at home in towns and cities across New York State,” said Evan Bernstein, ADL’s New York regional director, in a release. “We are proud to work together with New York mayors in defending civil rights and responding to all manifestations of hate.“

de Blasio is joined by Kathy Sheehan of Albany, Lovely Warren of Rochester, Gary McCarthy of Schenectady, Stephanie Miner of Syracuse, Byron Brown of Buffalo, Thomas Roach of White Plains, Peter Swiderski of Hastings-on-Hudson, Noam Bramson of New Rochelle, and Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls.

The compact is a joint initiative of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the ADL to fight extremism and bigotry and promote justice and equality in response to the violence last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to a release. More than 270 mayors from across the country have pledged to implement the plan.

The mayors conference is a non-partisan organization of cities with populations of more than 30,000. 


Insurers can’t discriminate against transgenders

Gov. Cuomo is reminding health insurers they can’t discriminate or deny coverage to someone in the state based on their gender identity.

The move, according to the governor’s office, is designed to ensure that transgender or gender nonconforming individuals receive coverage regardless of whether they present as the gender to whom the service is typically or exclusively provided.

“Now, more than ever, we are leading the nation in furthering protections to all New Yorkers that those in Washington seek to eliminate, and we will continue to work to combat discrimination in all forms and ensure equal treatment for all,” Cuomo said in a release. 

Insurers are not prohibited from denying gender-specific services to those who might identify as a different gender. However, insurance companies are required to conduct a thorough review of services offered, and provide those services when appropriate.


Avoiding crisis with constitutional convention?

New Yorkers will soon have to decide whether or not to take on a process that comes around only once every 20 years — whether the state should gather a bunch of people together and re-write New York’s constitution.

Such a decision comes with a lot of questions — and controversy. So to help deal with both, the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club will host a constitutional convention informational forum Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., at Tibbett Towers, 3115 Tibbett Ave.

Speakers include Dick Dadey of Citizens Union and Paul Egan from the United Federation of Teachers.

If a convention were to convene, it would be New York’s first since 1967. It also would be the first crack to look at the constitution, which hasn’t been signficantly changed since 1938.