Symposium Participants

About

Learn about the government officials and community members taking part in impactful 'Time for Reckoning' symposiums across the Capital Region.

Click on the links below to view participants by city:

 

Albany

Schenectady

Troy

Albany

Elected Officials

Mayor Kathy Sheehan

Police Chief Eric Hawkins

Common Council President Corey Ellis

District Attorney David Soares

The elected official participants in the Albany symposium have been in communication with the Center for Law and Justice (CFLJ) over the past six months in a letter writing campaign. The CFLJ wrote letters to Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Police Chief Eric Hawkins, Common Council President Corey Ellis, and District Attorney David Soares asking them to comment on issues related to systemic racism and the relations between the community, the police department and the office of the district attorney. The letters and responses are shared below.

Community Members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn Young

Shawn Young is the Co-founder of All Of Us Community Action Group, a Black-led grassroots organization committed to liberation and the end of all forms of oppression and exploitation. Shawn was born and raised in the Capital Region and has extensive experience as a Black man in today's society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica Miles

Jamaica Miles was born and raised in the City of Schenectady. She is a proud mother of four, a member of Emmanuel Friedens Baptist Church and co-founder of All Of Us Community Action Group. Her faith and her family are supports and guidance in her life’s journey and purpose. Jamaica believes that all people deserve dignity, respect and the ability to thrive regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, economic status, zip code or country of origin.

Paul Collins-Hackett

In a world plagued by fear, in a city haunted by neglect, a dark knight rose. Born and raised in Albany, New York, Paul committed to helping others after the death of his father when he was 3. He helped care for his blind mother as they forged a path together.

Paul is on the board for the Albany Fund For Education, serves as Vice President of Tru Heart, is on the alumni board of the sponsor a scholar program, is Cofounder of PULSE, is on the steering committee of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, the co owner of a small business venture and more.

Morgan Jones-Marinia

Morgan Jones-Marinia is a 24-year-old upstate native who currently lives in Albany. He is a proud Black gay man that is currently a student at the University of Albany studying sociology. Morgan is a leadership representative of All Of Us Community Action Group, which is a one of the leading Black Lives Matter organizations in the Capital Region. Morgan works very hard everyday to have a positive impact on the world around him; he believes that kindness is the best way to move the world. When he’s not fighting for the change we need in the world, you can find him preforming drag as Mor’Glamazon all over the northeast. Morgan believes that this movement is the first step to a better tomorrow.

Elected Official Letter Communication with the Center for Law and Justice

Mayor Kathy Sheehan

First Letter and Response: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Second Letter and Response: Wednesday, May 5, 2020
Third Letter and Response: Friday, May 22, 2020
Final Letter and Response: Friday, June 19, & July 24, 2020

Police Chief Eric Hawkins 

First Letter and Response: Monday, April 20, 2020
Second Letter and Response: Monday, May 4, 2020
Third Letter and Response: Monday, May 18, 2020
Final Letter and Response: Friday, June 19, & July 24, 2020

 

Common Council President Corey Ellis 

First Letter and Response: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Second Letter and Response: Thursday, May 7, 2020
Third Letter and Response: Friday, May 22, 2020
Final Letter and Response: Friday, June 19, & July 24, 2020

District Attorney David Soares

First Letter and Response: Thursday, April 23, 2020
Second Letter and Response: Thursday, May 7, 2020
Third Letter and Response: Friday, May 22, 2020
Final Letter and Response: Friday, June 19, & July 24, 2020

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Schenectady

Elected Officials

Mayor Gary McCarthy

Gary R. McCarthy has served as Mayor since April 2011, bringing with him more than three decades of experience in government and a reputation as a hands-on, accessible, public servant who believes that government can be a force for positive change in the lives of its residents. He was elected to a third four-year term as Mayor in November 2019.

Website

 

Police Chief Eric Clifford

Eric Clifford joined the Schenectady Police Department in 2002, becoming its chief in September 2016. He is a certified crisis negotiator, a Zone Five Regional Police Academy instructor, the former call-out coordinator for the peer support team, and is a trained bicycle police officer. He is on the board of directors for the Zone Five Regional Police Academy and the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center.

Website

District Attorney Robert Carney

District Attorney Robert Carney has been a lifelong resident of Schenectady. He has a BA in Political Science from Union College and earned his law degree from Albany Law School. He was first elected as District Attorney of Schenectady County in 1990 and is currently serving his eighth term.

Website

Community Members

TBA

 

Troy

Elected Officials

Mayor Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden was re-elected as Mayor of the City of Troy on November 5, 2019, running on a campaign dedicated to upgrading the City’s infrastructure, investing in Troy neighborhoods, increasing economic growth, and delivering balanced budgets to protect taxpayers. Previously, Mayor Madden served for 30 years as Executive Director of the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP), a community development corporation with a strong commitment to providing a path to home ownership.

Website

 

 

Police Chief Brian Owens

Chief Brian Owens has served with the Troy Police Department for over 20 years, first as Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant Captain with the Patrol Bureau, and Assistant Chief before being promoted to Chief of Police in 2018. He is a highly-decorated member of the department and is a veteran with the United States Army Reserve.

Website

City Council President Carmella Mantello

Council President Carmella Mantello was elected as the first directly elected Troy City Council President in the history of Troy and is serving her third term. A lifelong resident of Troy, she is also currently a Legislative Director in the NYS Senate and has extensive experience in the private and public sector.

Website

District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly

District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly has over 20 years of law experience and was elected to Rensselaer County District Attorney in 2018. She previously served as town justice in East Greenbush Town Court beginning in 2012 and spent the bulk of her career as a court attorney in Albany City Court.

Website

Community Members

Jessica Ashley

Jessica Ashley has worked in Human Services for over 30 years. She was previously President of the Troy NAACP, spent 5 years on the Objective Review Board, and has been a Community Activist in Troy for over 40 years. She holds associate degrees in human services and chemical dependency counseling.

Robert Doherty

Robert Doherty, a Troy resident born and raised in New York City, is President of the Justice Center of Rensselaer County. A Vietnam era veteran, he served as a Military Police officer at Leavenworth prison running a rehab program. Doherty is a retired career Social Worker, who developed and led hospital-based addiction and behavioral health treatment systems in New York City, Rochester and Albany. He worked with the Office of Mental Health and State and County probation and parole, providing direct treatment of sex offenders reintegrating into the communities in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties. Doherty served on the Troy City Council (Downtown, District 4) from 2012-2018. His blended family of five now middle-aged children and six grandchildren are the most special life experience.

Daquetta P. Jones

NYS Executive, Community Advocate, Mentor & Philanthropist

Daquetta P. Jones was appointed as a NYS Executive in April 2019 to support executive leadership in achieving its mission to build tomorrow's workforce today by promoting a diverse, inclusive, and talented workforce. Her primary role is providing oversight of the Human Resources and Administrative Planning and Financial Administration. Jones is an experienced, charismatic and visionary leader, community advocate, mentor, philanthropist and avid Black business supporter. She possesses nearly 20 years of human services experience serving runaway and homeless youth, victims/survivors of domestic violence, homeless women and families, individuals with severe and persistent mental health, and advocating for Social, Racial and Gender Justice and Equity. She previously led YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Inc. in Troy, NY as a first-time Executive Director (first African American Woman Executive Director on the record of an organization with over a 130-year history) for over 5 years with unwavering passion, devotion, strategy, vision and remarkable success. Jones is committed to be a lifelong learner and an active agent in dismantling systemic and structural racism, inequality and social disparities that significantly impacts BIPOC. She demonstrates this commitment through a continuum of professional development, research, community engagement, volunteering, mentorship, philanthropy, and speaking engagements.

Luz Marquez-Benbow

Luz Marquez-Benbow, is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, incest, and rape; and has been an anti-rape advocate since 1998, where she worked on statewide anti-sexual assault issues at the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault. In 2003, Luz co-founded the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA). In this capacity Luz led the policy efforts for the development of the Culturally Specific Grant program within the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2005 and 2012, to ensure access and resources for Communities of Color. Additionally, Luz spearheaded the policy efforts regarding the equitable distribution of violence against women resources in the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 2010, throughout the U.S occupied territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.  

Locally, Luz is one of the co-founders of Troy4BlackLives (T4BL), formerly Justice for Dahmeek, based in the City of Troy, founded to demand accountability and transparency from the entire City Government, including Troy Police Department for the Troy Police shooting of Dahmeek McDonald in August of 2017, and the police murder and official cover-up, in the murder of Edson Thevenin in 2016. On June 7, 2020, and in solidarity with the national Black Lives Matter risings across the Capital region and nation; T4BL, with other allied organizers across Troy, held a historic Troy Rally for Black Lives event that brought 11,000 people to affirm Black life.

Currently, Luz is the lead co-founder of Aya Rising: A People of Color-led truth telling project focused on Troy and Albany as a reconciliation process towards transformative justice processes to address violence. 

Debra Garret

Debra Garrett is a former member of the Troy City Council. She co-chairs an advocacy group for parents in the New York State Charter Schools Association. She is an advocate for Black and Brown education—for both students and teachers-- to help disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

DeSean Moore

DeSean Moore is a local business owner in Troy, a RPI graduate, and an advocate for social justice and community building.

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