|Address||195 Willoughby Ave |
Brooklyn, New York , United States
Aug 12, 2016 10:24pm
|Info||Velmanette Montgomery was elected to the New York State Senate in 1984. She represents the 18th Senatorial District, population 311,260, that covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Park Slope, Red Hook and Sunset in Brooklyn. |
Prior to becoming a legislator, Ms. Montgomery was a teacher, adjunct professor and Day Care Director. In 1978 Senator Montgomery co-founded the Day Care Forum of New York City. As Director of Organizing, she traveled to neighborhoods throughout the city and state, organizing parents, professionals, labor activists and concerned citizens around the issue of child care. It was her work as a child care advocate that resulted in state funded college campus child care centers at SUNY and CUNY, as well as a state funded child care resource and referral network throughout the state. In 1979 Senator Montgomery was elected president of Community School Board 13, where she was instrumental in reviving the District wide President's Council and improving parent participation in local schools.
In her role as Chairperson of the Senate Minority Task Force on Primary Health Care, the Senator has held hearings throughout the state and introduced legislation addressing such issues as educational career ladder access for nurses, pension plan portability for health professionals, school based health and quality community based primary health care. She is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's National Advisory Committee for "Making the Grade: State and Local Partnership to Establish School-Based Health Centers".
Notably, Senator Montgomery has led efforts in the legislature to pass a proposal which would legalize needle exchange programs as a means to deter the spread of AIDS by intravenous drug users to their partners and children. The Senator, who is recognized for her commitment to improving the environment for learning and teaching in New York, is also a proud co-sponsor of a landmark law that changes the governance of New York City's public schools. Senator Montgomery also authored a law that eliminates the fee for testing gifted children, and has advanced legislation to keep public schools free of commercial advertising.
Given the charge to help improve New York State's criminal justice system, Senator Montgomery was appointed Co-Chair of the NYS Senate Democratic Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform and held public hearings in this capacity. The Senator and other Task Force members heard testimony from criminal justice advocates from across the state, which has served as a basis for legislative proposals to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws, implement transitional services for prisoners returning to their home communities, end the use of special housing units to discipline prisoners for minor infractions, and other criminal justice reform measures.
Senator Montgomery has been honored and recognized by numerable organizations for her public service record, as well as for her professional and legislative achievements, including: The 1994 National Teen Leadership Award by Advocates for Youth, a national youth advocacy organization; The Visiting Nurse Association of Brooklyn Legislative Leadership award for her support of quality home health care for residents of New York State; Legislator of the Year Award by the New York Therapeutic Communities, Inc. for her commitment to providing community based substance abuse treatment; and was named one of "America's Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women."
The March 1992 issue of the nationally syndicated Parade Magazine featured Senator Montgomery in the cover story titled "Why Don't You Run for Office" as a legislator who retains a community focus in all legislative activities.
She appeared on the Village Voice Honor Roll of Straights for Gay Rights in 1986. In 1998, Senator Montgomery was the only New York State Senator to receive a 100 percent approval rating by the New York State Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) for her exemplary record with regard to women's issues.
A native of Texas, Senator Montgomery became a New Yorker by choice. She received her Masters Degree in Education from New York University, traveled widely in Africa and studied at the University of Accra in Ghana.
Senator Montgomery was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Joseph's College in 1991. Before her election to the State Senate she was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University and in 1981 was awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership Fellowship. Senator Montgomery is married to William Walker and they have a son, William Montgomery Walker.