Young Global Leaders Introduced in New York State Capitol

Albany, N.Y. The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) traveled to New York State’s capital in Albany with our Young Global Leaders to meet with Assembly-members such as Rebecca Seawright and Danny O’Donnell. Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle introduced us on the floor of NYS Assembly Chamber.

The J. Luce Foundation was inspired by Dr. Stanford Leonard Luce and established by his son, Jim Luce, in 2009 with the mission of Supporting Young Global Leadership. The Foundation’s Young Global Leadership Initiative (Facebook) was launched in 2016 to empower young global leaders wishing to better humanity to think, write, speak, organize, and utilize social media more effectively.

The Initiative includes opportunities for service with the New York Global Leaders Lions & Leos Club (Facebook), the Foundation’s Toastmasters Club (Facebook) as well as The J. Luce Leadership Experience to Greece’17, Indonesia’18, and Jamaica’19 (Facebook).

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L to R: Pasathorn “Bix” Luce (Thailand), Jim Luce (Ohio), Mathew Luce (Indonesia),
Valentine Camano (Mexico), Lina Escobar (Colombia), Isaac Bayoh (Sierra Leone),
Chloe Hoang (Vietnam).
Photo: The Stewardship Report.

Assembly-member Danny O´Donnell became delighted by our visit and arranged for a special office meeting following Rebecca Seawright’s office which caused an astounding impact with her signed bills on the wall. Daniel O’Donnell is the first openly gay man elected to the N.Y.S. Assembly and has been a progressive voice advocating fair and sensible legislation since he was elected to represent the Upper West Side.

35229530_1424986237646021_8403268664706465792_nJim Luce with Assembly-member Daniel O’Donnell. Photo: The Stewardship Report.

Born in Queens, Mr. O’Donnell graduated from CUNY Law School. After seven years as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society, he opened his own public interest law firm on the Upper West Side. His community practice helped clients with tenant representation, as well as civil rights litigation ranging from employee discrimination to First Amendment rights.

During his tenure in the Assembly, Mr. O’Donnell has been the prime sponsor of several trailblazing bills, most notably the Marriage Equality Act, a bill O’Donnell led to passage in the Assembly five times before it was finally signed into law in June 2011. He was also the prime sponsor of New York’s anti-bullying legislation, the Dignity for All Students Act, which requires public schools in New York to combat bias-based bullying and harassment. Both O’Donnell and his husband John are ardent supporters of CUNY.

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Visiting Daniel O’Donnell’s office. Photo: The Stewardship Report.

Rebecca Seawright represents Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side in the N.Y.S. Assembly. She is a longtime advocate for women’s rights and a proponent of the long-awaited, Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She is a brave and determined fighter against discrimination and intolerant at all levels of our society. Ms. Seawright served as the Assistant District Attorney in Kings County and later became a fundraiser for the incredible Texas Governor Ann Richards.

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Visiting Rebecca Seawright’s office. Photo: The Stewardship Report.

Ms. Seawright and her husband Jay Hershenson, former CUNY vice chancellor, are ardent supporters of the City University of New York. During Becky´s term, 10 bills were passed by assembly and 7 Seawright bills have been passed into law. Two important Seawright legislation that passed both houses were: air quality and asthma study in Manhattan and 3D mammography with no additional co insurance or co pay.

Following the meetings, our group went on a tour to visit the Senate Chamber, Governors’ Hall, and Governors’ Executive Office. We were amazed at the meticulous architectural design, as well as the interesting historical facts about the building. Construction of the Capitol & Legislative building started in 1867.

35294576_1425473320930646_3654317681932238848_oMs. Seawright arranged a tour for us to explore the capitol building.
Photo: The Stewardship Report. 

It took five different architects and twelve years to complete the building. In 1899, Gov. Theodore Roosevelt declared the New York State Capitol as complete. The total cost of construction exceeded $25 million dollars. When the building was first built, electricity did not exist. It was later be incorporated and be seen as a state of the art-progressive building. 

Another remark of the trip was our visit to the Senate Chamber. The New York State Senate is the upper house of the New York State Legislature. Its sixty-three members represent New York State and its more than 19 million citizens.

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The young global leaders also toured the New York State Senate Chamber.

Our trip to Albany was a great success. We were honored to be recognized for our work the floor of the Assembly Chamber. Our Young Global Leaders also found the trip helpful as they gained deeper understanding of the legislative process inside the New York State Assembly and Senate Chambers. We want to thank Ms. Seawright and her staff for their warm welcome and hospitality, and we look forward to seeing her again at our 19th Annual Gala in Manhattan this Winter.

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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