FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anthony Beckford has spent his entire career helping people. He is a single father, community advocate and public servant delivering and fighting for one of the most diverse Council districts in New York State.
(Albany, NY) The Senate passed legislation that will address the racial disparities that are present in New York’s antiquated marijuana drug laws. New York’s existing marijuana laws disproportionately affect the African American and Latinx communities. This monumental legislation will decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and establish procedures for record expungements for both past and future convictions.
“Communities of color have borne the brunt of New York State’s marijuana drug laws. Our justice system directly reflects who we are as a society and that is why the Senate Majority is taking action to fix this broken system,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “This legislation is marking a momentous first step in addressing the racial disparities caused by the war on drugs. The Senate Majority continues to move forward on full legalization and I thank Senator Jamaal Bailey for his leadership on this issue.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “In New York State, people of color are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession. The misdemeanor charge for public view of marijuana possession gives those people convicted a criminal record that will follow them throughout their lives, potentially limiting their access to housing, access to education, affecting their ability to obtain employment, all leading to a potential inability to provide for their families. While this legislation falls short of the goal of legalization of adult-use cannabis, the ability to create a mechanism for expungement, both retroactively and forward-looking, is a step in the right direction in finally ending the heavy-handed war on drugs that has decimated communities of color.”
African-American and Latinx individuals are arrested at higher rates for misdemeanor marijuana possessions. In New York City, African-Americans are eight times more likely to be arrested on low-level marijuana charges and Latinx people are arrested at five times more. The racial disparities for arrests are wider for cities in Upstate, NY. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), African Americans living in Schenectady County are 74 times more likely to be arrested on a marijuana charge.
Decriminalization of Marijuana, S.6579A, will:
- Decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana by reducing the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana to a violation punishable by a fine.
- Establish procedures for automatic record expungement both retroactively and for future convictions.
- Remove criminal penalties (since a violation is not a crime) for possession of any amount of marijuana under two ounce.
- Reduce the penalty to a $50 fine regardless of criminal history for possession under one ounce, and a $200 fine regardless of criminal history for possession between one and two ounces.
- Add marijuana to the definition of “smoking” under the Public Health Law so that smoking marijuana will be prohibited in any circumstances where smoking tobacco is prohibited by law
Media Contact: 347-206-0244 or 989-964-8713
On Friday November 9, 2018, a 57 year old Black Caribbean Woman by the name of Ann Marie Washington was attacked by a white supremacist, while on her way from work. Ms. Washington was the most recent victim of a vicious Hate Crime at the Church Ave Q train station located at Church Avenue and East 18th street in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The community is shaken by this act of violence against Black people that did not just begin, but has been occuring for centuries. The only difference is that social media has made it easier to witness and know when and where it happened at. I was the initial Community Advocate who highlighted this incident after community residents brought the video to my attention and have been standing by the family ever since. The NYPD, FDNY and MTA have all moved slow in their response to this incident. There were a few evident moments of negligence by all three agencies in their response and follow up regarding this incident. Ms. Washington is now recovering from the emergency surgery that she had to have due to having a collapsed lung from her attacker stabbing her with what appears to be an ice pick. The family is demanding Justice for Ms. Washington. We are all disgusted with the first responding officers care free demeanor when it came to this attack. The initial refusal and delay to call this what it was, which is a Hate Crime, shows the dismissal by authorities and the city itself when it comes to hate crime attacks against Black people. There has been an uptick in these attacks against the Black community due to gentrification and the emboldening of white nationalists by Donald Trump.
I am demanding for the NYPD to check every single camera at every station from the Q train Church Avenue station to the last stop on the line. A video and sketch must be released to the public immediately of the attacker and the Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez must make sure that when the attacker is caught, that he is charged with a Hate Crime and Attempted Murder. On behalf of the family and the community, I will make sure that all avenues are used to find this racist coward and that the community is protected from further racist attacks. White Supremacy is not welcomed and not tolerated in our Community. Myself and many community organizations will now be sure to patrol throughout the community to respond immediately to any hate crime against members of our community.
Anthony Beckford is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and a longtime community advocate of the Flatbush and East Flatbush community. Anthony Beckford is also the Leader of the Brooklyn Sector of Copwatch Patrol Unit.
Recently we have had street renamings of Haitian Revolution Heroes such as Toussaint and Dessalines in East Flatbush. I am proposing to do a street renaming of Farragut Road and Nostrand Avenue as Boukman Road after the Jamaican Native and Early Leader of the Haitian Revolution who is known as the catalyst of the revolution, Dutty Boukman. The renaming would be very significant, not in just the honoring of a hero, but also in showing the Unity that two Islands in the Caribbean had in abolishing the occupations od colonizers who committed racist brutal acts against the people of the Caribbean. This high honor would bring further unity within the very large Caribbean Community of East Flatbush and Flatbush. It would bring further solidarity between the two cultures of Haiti and Jamaica.
Before 1804: (The True Solidarity between Jamaica and Haiti - The Start of the Haitian Revolution)
Dutty Boukman (Also known as "Boukman Dutty") (died 7 November 1791) was an early leader of the Haitian Revolution, born and enslaved in Jamaica and later in Haiti. He was both a leader of maroons and vodou hougan.
Boukman was a key leader of the slave revolt in the Le Cap‑Français region in the north of the colony. He was killed by the French planters and colonial troops in 7 November 1791, just a few months after the beginning of the uprising. The French then publicly displayed Boukman's head in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated.The fact that French authorities had to do this illutsrates the impact Boukman made on the views of Haitian people during this time.
Boukman was a key leader of the slave revolt in the Le Cap‑Français region in the north of the colony. He was killed by the French planters and colonial troops in 7 November 1791, just a few months after the beginning of the uprising. The French then publicly displayed Boukman's head in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated.The fact that French authorities had to do this illustrates the impact Boukman made on the views of Haitian people during this time. Boukman was known as the catalyst of the Haitian Revolution.
Actor Malik Yoba and New York State Assembly candidate Anthony Beckford were in the community on Church Avenue and Ocean Avenue, demanding that the youth put Down the guns and embrace life.
"Let us rebuild the foundation of being a community and #JusticeForJustin and all others we have lost to senseless gun violence."
Anthony Beckford has always fought on the side of the people as a Community Advocate and Activist.
He will continue to do so as the next City Council Member of the 45th District.
Your endorsement of Anthony Beckford for the 45th City Council District is very much appreciated.
By adding your name to the list of those who endorse Anthony Beckford, you are joining the Movement for the People.
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The Ernest Skinner Political Association (ESPA) is hosting the "Candidate's & Endorsement Forum 2018".
Come out to show support for New York State Assembly candidate and Community Advocate/Activist ANTHONY BECKFORD.
Members of of ESPA will be voting between endorsing Anthony Beckford and his opponent Rodneyse Bichotte.
June 1st, 2018
Be sure to arrive by 7pm and wear your #AnthonyBeckfordForStateAssembly shirts and bring any signs you have showing your support for Anthony Beckford.
(If you do not have a shirt, please be sure to let us know VoteForAnthonyBeckford@gmail.com)
St. Therese Lisieux Church
4402 Avenue D
Brooklyn, New York 11203
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- Housing & Small Business: Anthony Beckford is part of various Tenants Rights grassroots organizations and Community Board 17’s Housing Sub-committee. Anthony Beckford has made it his mission to advocate for tenants and homeowners who are being harassed by corrupt landlords and greedy developers. In his first 30 days in office, Anthony Beckford will introduce his Housing Justice Bill to provide Rent Rollbacks, eliminate Preferential Rent from leases, strengthen rent laws, eliminate MCIs, turn shelters into permanent housing, hold slumlords accountable for their negligence of tenants and violation of tenant's rights through increased fines and imprisonment. Anthony Beckford will make sure that homeowners are able to obtain resources and assistance to help them catch up on their property taxes owed and provide assistance for them to be able to repair their homes. In regards to Small Businesses, Anthony Beckford will continue to advocate for the passing of the #SBJSA (Small Business Jobs Survival Act)
- Criminal Justice: Anthony Beckford is the leader of the Brooklyn Sector of Copwatch Patrol Unit, a grassroots police accountability group. He will introduce bills that provide full accountability of all law enforcement officers and Repeal 50a, so that the disciplinary records of the officers are no longer hidden. Anthony Beckford has been very vocal in his opposition to the plan to build new jails and has been advocating to End the Cash Bail System. Anthony Beckford believes in restorative justice and has committed time and effort to show the positive impact it has. He has stood by community residents who have been wrongfully accused and convicted of crimes they did not commit and has been by the sides of the families who have lost loved ones to Police Violence in New York and throughout the country.
- Immigration Rights: Anthony Beckford is the son of Jamaican Immigrants. He has been working to provide permanent residency for all TPS and DACA holders and a fast track process to provide citizenship to all immigrants not only in Flatbush and East Flatbush, but throughout New York. Anthony Beckford has been advocating for the families who have been separated by the Trump Administration and has been advocating consistently for the reunification of the children and their families. #AbolishICE
Healthcare: Anthony Beckford supports and has advocated alongside the New York State Nurses Association and HEAL NY for the New York Health Act, which will provide healthcare for all no matter your income or immigration status. Anthony Beckford has also pushed for the ban of Conversion Therapy, for a Women's Right To Choose, as well as living wages and reimbursements for Birth Doulas. People in District 45, as well as the rest of New York deserve access to affordable quality healthcare which
includes family planning services like coverage of contraception and reproductive services.
- Education: Anthony Beckford has always been an advocate for education when it comes to our children. His start was at the age of 12, when he stopped the racist agenda of rezoning School District 18, which would have caused a catastrophic defunding and further segregation of the schools. Anthony understands the needs of our children and the structure that is needed for them to have an adequate education. Anthony Beckford has been fighting for the release of the $1.4 Billion that is owed to New York City Public Schools. As a City Councilmember, Anthony Beckford will create an avenue that will have those funds released to the schools and make sure that the teachers are provided with adequate resources to teach our children. Anthony Beckford is advocating for more School Counselors and Social Workers and Less Cops in Schools. There will also be his push for Cultural Sensitivity training for all Educators and Administrators and the decrease of suspensions. Anthony Beckford is also the lead Advocate for the Black History Education Bill, which will provide a mandated year round curriculum of Black History in schools throughout New York State as well as Cultural Responsive Training for all Teachers and Administrators. Anthony Beckford will be bringing Trade Programs back into Public Schools, expand the Free Breakfast and Lunch Programs to more schools during the Summer and work with New York City Schools to create Youth Leadership Programs. Also, FREE COLLEGE FOR ALL!!
- Marijuana: Anthony Beckford supports for the full legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. He wants the records of all low level offenders to be wiped clean and for this currently incarcerated to be released immediately. The prohibition must end. Anthony Beckford plans to use the funds from marijuana sales to help fund public schools, community centers, provide senior, middle class and low income housing, as well as to help the state's current deficit.
- Workers Rights: Anthony Beckford supports workers and Unions. Workers must have adequate health care, livable wages, safe work conditions and much more. Anthony Beckford has stood on the frontlines with members of DC37, 1199SEIU, 32BJSEIU, CWA, AFL-CIO, UFT and many other Major Unions and Locals on various occasions, including during the Janus Decision and during the Government Shutdown.
- LGBTQ Rights: Anthony Beckford advocated for the Ban on Conversion Therapy and for the passing of G.E.N.D.A. Anthony Beckford has been a true ally to the LGBTQ community, especially LGBTQ People of Color.
- Gun Violence: Anthony Beckford recently lost a loved one to gun violence. He has been marching with Councilman Jumaane Williams, Senator Kevin Parker and various advocates at the yearly East Flatbush Anti-Violence march. He will introduce his “Save Our Youth” initiative which will help keep our communities safe from further Gun and Gang Violence through peer mediation, employment opportunities, funding for summer programs, etc.
- Environment: Anthony Beckford is a huge supporter of the Green New Deal and has been helping to advocate for more Community Gardens, the shutdown of all pipelines and was one of the many voices that called for the end to fracking.
- Fair Elections: Anthony Beckford has been consistent in his advocacy for Election Reform along with Organizations, such as Brooklyn Voters Alliance and others. Anthony has supports Ranked Choice Voting and is pushing for the NYC Council Charter to add it to the ballot in November. Anthony also supports closing the LLC Loophole and giving back Parolees their Right To Vote.