Press Releases

Statement from NYS Democratic Chairman on Comments By Senators Rivera & Brisport

For Immediate Release: April 6, 2021

NASSAU COUNTY, NY: New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay S. Jacobs has released the following statement:

"Every Democrat is united in the desire to see economic fairness, equity and equal justice under the law prevail in our society. Nonetheless, there will always be disagreements in our house over how much, how far and how fast we can go. For most elected Democrats, those differences are driven by the views of the constituencies they were elected to represent. To assume that one’s political disagreement with spending ANY amount of money – no less $2.1 billion - on a program to give undocumented, nontaxpaying, “off-the-books” workers a humanitarian grant – is motivated by racism and not by economics is unjustified, uncalled for, unfair and unbecoming of any public official elected in a democratic system that survives on the decency of civil public discourse.

While I disagree with Senators Rivera & Brisport in what I believe is their unfair public rebuke of other well-intentioned, honest and hardworking Democratic legislators who happen to disagree with them, I respect their passion and commitment to help those who so desperately need to be helped – particularly in these difficult time. Accusing legislators who give voice to their own constituent’s legitimate concerns over how public monies are spent of racism is wrong, plain and simple. It is not what this debate is about and while doing a disservice to the good works of many who confront and fight true racism every day, it damages the credibility of those who use the charge without merit to simply advance a public position – laudable or not.

Questioning certain provisions of the “excluded worker” bill does NOT make someone a racist. If we, as a party and as a nation, can no longer debate issues like that without being subjected to ad hominem attacks that unfairly question one’s motives, then Donald Trump has truly won and we are no longer a democracy. We will have become the autocracy of the bullies that he spent four years trying to make America into. And, what a shame that will be."