Archive for August, 2009

Statement of June O’Neill on the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy:

August 26, 2009

“The nation has lost the ‘lion of the Senate’ and a champion for those who are marginalized and disenfranchised in our country. Senator Kennedy was an American icon and a hero to millions who admired his strength, grace, intellect and conviction.

In 1980 I had the privilege of being elected a Ted Kennedy delegate to the Democratic National Convention held that year in Madison Square Garden. It was a memorable night when he gave one of the best, and most moving speeches of his career. He pledged then to fight for Americans who are unemployed and for national health care insurance.

Last year, as a delegate to the National Convention in Denver, I was among the thousands who were in the hall to see and hear Senator Kennedy deliver what would become his final major public address. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he finished. He reminded us of how far we had come, and how far we have yet to go. He implored the country to support the ‘passing of the torch to a new generation’ and to make sure that health care became a right not a privilege. Ironically, that marvelous speech was delivered one year ago today. Although we mourn this great loss, Senator Kennedy’s legacy lives on.

Senator Kennedy was the standard bearer of the Democratic Party and our values but as a legislator he worked with his Senate colleagues across the aisle to make health insurance available to children in poor families, to raise the minimum wage, to expand job training programs, to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act that barred discrimination with people with physical disabilities, and the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition program to improve the health of mothers and infants. There isn’t a piece of major legislation in the last three decades that did not bear Senator Kennedy’s hand print. And, there will be no better way to honor Senator Kennedy than passing affordable health care insurance for all Americans.

We have lost a legendary giant and we will miss him dearly. On behalf of a grateful New York State Democratic Committee, we send our condolences to the Kennedy family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”



August 25, 2009

“I was deeply saddened to learn today of the tragic death of two firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while responding to an early morning alarm in Buffalo. Lieutenant Charles McCarthy and firefighter Jonathan Croom died in service to their community, performing duties firefighters think of as routine but we know are heroic. These brave men repeatedly answered the call to serve in harm’s way, putting their own safety on the line to protect others. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Lieutenant McCarthy and firefighter Croom.”

Statement from State Democratic Chair June O’Neill

August 13, 2009

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dede and her father, William Scozzafava, and the entire family. We wish Mr. Scozzafava a speedy and healthy recovery, and hope that he will soon join Dede on the campaign trail.”

DNC’s Democratic Change Commission Invites People From Across the Country to Submit Their Ideas for Changes to Presidential Nominating Process

August 7, 2009

To submit ideas, click on:

Next Meeting to Be Held in St. Louis August 29

Washington, DC—Today, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, along with Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), co-chairs of the Democratic Change Commission, invited people from across the nation to assist the Change Commission by submitting their suggestions and ideas for making changes to the presidential nominating process via the Commission’s website,, by Friday, August 21, 2009. These suggestions will be discussed at the next Change Commission meeting to be held Saturday, August 29, 2009 at the Crowne Plaza St. Louis-Downtown Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Democratic Change Commission was established last year and is tasked with recommending changes to the Party’s 2012 presidential nominating process. It is charged with addressing three issues: 1) changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held 2) reducing the number of superdelegates and 3) improving the caucus system. The Commission must issue its report and recommendations to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee no later than January 1, 2010.

Chairman Kaine said, “America was founded in order to create a government that is of, for and by the people and what developed is one of the strongest democracies in history. Our election system is fundamental to the strength of our democracy and of our country as a whole. That’s why the Change Commission aims to make sure the Presidential nominating process is as inclusive as possible and why we are asking people to submit their thoughts and ideas and be a part of the process.”

Congressman Clyburn said, “As the Change Commission studies these three issues, we are interested in hearing recommendations from folks across the country. We encourage voters to submit their thoughts as we work to make the process of selecting our nominee as inclusive and accessible as possible.”

Senator McCaskill said, “In this last election, we saw an unprecedented level of involvement and interest in the Democratic Presidential Nominating Process. We hope voters will maintain their enthusiasm and help us determine how best to prepare for future elections.”

Information provided to the Commission via the website by Friday, August 21, 2009 will be distributed to the Commission members at their upcoming meeting on August 29 in St. Louis, Missouri. The meeting is open to the public and press. Details on the meeting location are below:

Next meeting of the Change Commission

Saturday, August 29, 9:30 am

Crowne Plaza St. Louis-Downtown Hotel

200 North Fourth Street

St. Louis, Missouri

Statement of State Democratic Chair June O’Neill Regarding Supreme Court Judge Sotomayor

August 6, 2009

NEW YORK, NY – New York State Democratic Committee Chair June O’Neill today issued the followed statement commending the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, to serve on the United States Supreme Court:

“This is an historic and proud day for Americans as the Senate confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the third woman and first Latina to ever serve on the United States Supreme Court. A native New Yorker who was recommended for the position by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Judge Sotomayor’s inspiring confirmation is one we will always recall for her intellect, poise and legal scholar. I join Governor David Paterson in congratulating our new Supreme Court Justice.”