State Sen. Malcolm A. Smith, Father of Prep Sophomore, Marks Historic Moment
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Posted by: Michael Graziano
St. Francis Prep sophomore, Amanda Smith, will be absent from class today. She will be in Albany to witness an historic occasion as her father, Sen. Malcolm A. Smith, becomes the state's first black Senate majority leader, thereby securing a Democratic Majority in the State Senate for the first time in 43 years. Under the leadership of Senator Smith, the Senate will attempt to move New York State in a new direction, taking steps to create "a more open, accountable and inclusive legislative process."
“Through the appointment of committee chairs with real standing and duties, and a comprehensive review of the Senate's rules of procedure, we will restore the Senate's ability to achieve the peoples' agenda,” said Senator Smith.
Congratulations to Senator Smith from the entire St. Francis Prep community!
The following story appeared in Newsday.com
Democrats officially take control of State Senate
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 8, 2009
ALBANY - Democrats took control of New York's Senate for the first time in 43 years and elected the first black legislative leader in state history yesterday.
Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Harvard-trained Queens businessman, was elected majority leader and president pro tem of the Senate in a party-line vote.
Democrats won a 32-30 majority in the Nov. 4 elections, only to see it threatened by three dissidents who said they might switch to the Republicans if they didn't get lucrative leadership posts and policy considerations they sought. A deal wasn't struck until Tuesday night.
"To the 32," Smith said addressing his Democratic conference and emphasizing the need for unity. "To the 32... history will record, you can be assured, that there were 32 people who no one else believed in, but you believed." The usually businesslike politician had a rare emotional moment when introducing his wife, Michele.
"Michele," Smith said with a faltering voice. He then paused in his acceptance speech on the Senate floor for several seconds before he choked out: "She has some understanding. It takes a lot to be the wife of a politician, and she's a very special woman ... and I love her."
The vote for Smith gave Democrats control of the Senate, Assembly and governor's office for the first time since the 1930s.
Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, of Rockville Centre, was elected minority leader by the Republicans.
Under the Democrats' deal announced Tuesday night, Sens. Ruben Diaz Sr. and Pedro Espada Jr., both of the Bronx, and Sen. Carl Kruger, of Brooklyn landed committee chairmanships and the stipends they carry.
"We're more united than ever. I'm satisfied," said Diaz, repeating his answer to reporters since the deal was struck with Smith. But asked if he will likely vote with the Democrats on most issues, he paused, smiled, and said: "It depends on the issue."