Racial tensions are mounting over the state Senate’s new, virtually all-white ruling coalition.
Three black senators — Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Bill Perkins of Harlem, and Ruth Hassell-Thompson of The Bronx — are expected to join the Rev. Al Sharpton Saturday in a campaign to empower 15 black and Hispanic Democrats with key committee chairmanships and more influence, said a source.
New York NAACP leader Hazel Dukes is also expected at Sharpton’s National Action Network House of Justice headquarters in Harlem for the rally.
Sharpton claimed the coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats denies black and Latino senators power that should be “rightfully theirs” given that Democrats won a majority of Senate seats last month.
Gov. Cuomo — a Democrat who is not fighting the unprecedented coalition — separately came out with a “litmus test” of priorities for the alliance, including legalizing casinos, raising the minimum wage, decriminalizing minor pot possession, partial taxpayer financing of political campaigns, protecting abortion rights and climate-change initiatives.
The five-member Independent Democratic Conference, which includes Malcolm Smith, a black senator from Queens, embraced Cuomo’s ideas.
The GOP declined to comment on Cuomo’s specific proposals.
The Senate Democratic Conference said it supports the governor’s agenda.
Source: NY Post