In early December 2018, New York State Attorney General-elect Letitia James appointed ECBA co-founding partner Andrew G. Celli, Jr. to her Transition Committee and selected him to lead the Committee’s working group on civil rights enforcement. Celli, who served as Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the Office of the Attorney General from 1999 until 2003, convened a group of 35 leading civil rights lawyers to generate ideas and comment on priorities for the new Attorney General. He presented the group’s findings to General James and the full Transition Committee at the Committee’s final meeting on January 23, 2019.
ECBA client Jazmine Headley gave powerful testimony to the New York City Council at a City Council hearing on February 4, 2019. Ms. Headley spoke to lawmakers about her experiences in December 2018 when she was attacked, arrested, and forcibly separated from her one-year-old son, after sitting on the floor in an HRA office as she waited for her appointment. Ms. Headley advocated for a number of reforms, including “social workers not security officers” and more on-site staff at HRA offices. Ms. Headley told the Council, “We need to change the way HRA provide services to people when they are most in need.” Members of the Council commended Ms. Headley for her important testimony, and called her treatment “painful and heartbreaking,” acknowledging that it reflected a “system-wide issue.”
Ms. Headley is represented by ECBA attorneys Katie Rosenfeld and Michele Yankson.
Watch Ms. Headley’s testimony here. Additional press coverage of Ms. Headley’s testimony can be found here, here and here.