Bill Perkins

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Bill Perkins

Bill Perkins is a State Senator representing the 30th District of New York.


Perkins was awarded a scholarship to Collegiate Preparatory School in Manhattan and later a scholarship to Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1972 with a BA in Political Science Perkins returned to New York and dedicated himself to giving back to his community through activism and public service.[1]


Bill Perkins is a Berniecrat, a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[2]

New American Movement

In 1981, the members of Mayview Union thankedd Perkins for his work with the New American Movement saying,

Thank you Bill Perkins - skilled leader, organizer, friend. With love, your fellow Mayview Union members, Pittsburgh.[3]

In 1982 Bill Perkins was a members of Pittsburgh New American Movement, a labor organizer and member of South Hills NOW[4].

DSA Tribute to Ruth Messinger

1983 NYC DSA tribute to Ruth Messinger

Bill Perkins was amongst the endorsers of a March 1983 New York City Democratic Socialists of America tribute to DSA member Ruth Messinger.

DSA member

In 1985 Bill Perkins, a Harlem District leader, was a member of Democratic Socialists of America.[5]

Public Service

Prior to the State election, Perkins served on the New York City Council. During his eight year tenure, he was the third highest ranking member of the Council serving as the Deputy Majority Leader. Perkins introduced the Patriot Act Resolution in the City Council which mandates that anti-terrorism laws and policies be implemented in New York City that do not infringe on the fundamental rights and liberties of New Yorkers. He also opposed racial, ethnic and religious profiling. He sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities. He was instrumental in leading the fight for the Living Wage to provide a minimum wage that was also a living wage.[6]

Robeson event sponsors

On May 31 1998 the Peoples Weekly World held a Paul Robeson birth centennial celebration in New York, at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Speakers included Gus Hall, chairman of the Communist Party USA and Roger Green of the NY State Assembly.

Sponsors of the event included poet Amina Baraka, Grace T. Bassett, actress Vinie Burrows, former Peoples Voice editor Marvel Cooke, Councilmember Tom Duane, Attorney Rob Ellis, Assemblymember Roger Green, Gus Hall, Councilmember Bill Perkins, labor unionist Bobbie Rabinowitz, actor John Randolph, Pete Robinson, poet Sonia Sanchez, singer Pete Seeger, labor unionist Chris Silvera, PWW editor Tim Wheeler, New York City Coalition of Black Trade Unionists president Jim Webb and labor unionist Ira Williams.[7]

Global Day of Action

More than 250 U.S. cities took part in the March 20, 2004 Global Day of Action protesting Pentagon wars and occupations. The biggest demonstration was in New York, where 100,000 people marched and rallied.

The event was initiated by the International ANSWER--Act Now to Stop War and End Racism--Coalition, and United for Peace and Justice.

During the ANSWER segment of the rallies, Brian Becker, a co-director of the International Action Center and member of the ANSWER Steering Committee, applauded the courage of the Muslim community in turning out for the march, given the current repression, surveillance and raids.

Palestinian flags flew, and speakers in this segment included Ihab Darwish, Free Palestine Alliance; Lamis Deek, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition; Imam Asharaf Uz Zaman, Islamic Circle of North America; Ismail Kamal, Muslim Student Association; Mahdi Bray, Muslim American Society and Freedom Foundation; and Waleed Bader, Arab Muslim American Federation/National Council of Arab Americans.

Teresa Gutierrez of the International Action Center appealed to the crowd to boycott Coca-Cola, implicated in the assassination of workers unionizing its Colombian plants.

Brenda Stokely, chair of New York City Labor Against the War and president of AFSCME District Council 1707, vowed, "We're going to bring down the imperialist powers who think they have the right to slaughter our children!" Larry Holmes of the International Action Center spoke and a taped message from political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal urged resistance to racist oppression, police occupation and imperialist oppression.

In the UFPJ segment of the rallies, speakers included Suheir Hamma of Def Poetry Jam; Sinan Antoon, an Iraqi filmmaker; David Cline, national president of Veterans for Peace; and Todd Ensign of Citizen Soldier. Fernando Suarez del Solar of Military Families Speak Out said: "Bush lied. Who died? My son."

Also featured were Tony Benn, former member of the British Parliament, representing Stop the War UK; New York City Councilmember Bill Perkins; and U.S. Rep. Major Owens. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Dorothy Zellner, a Jewish activist, advocated an end to Israeli occupation, and Ziad Abu Rish of SUSTAIN--Stop U.S. Tax Aid to Israel Now--supported Palestinian self-determination.[8]

Communist Party award ceremonies


On November 4, 1999 New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried presented State Assembly citations to four honorees, Iris Baez, founder and president of Community and Parents Against Police Violence, Ron Daniels, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Elizabeth Hall, a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA and Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees, and Bobbie Rabinowitz, a founder of the New York City Labor Chorus at the Peoples Weekly World 75th anniversary celebrations at the Henry Winston Unity Auditorium in New York. Event co-chairs were Maria Ramos of the United Federation of Teachers and Carolyn Rummel, managing editor of the Peoples Weekly World. [9]

Harlem based City Councilor Bill Perkins said he was honored to be participating, because the honorees "were such extraordinary people, active on the concerns that all of us share". Perkins presented the honorees with City Council citations.[10]


On October 22, 2000 the Peoples Weekly World held its 4th annual celebration luncheon in New York, at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Awardees were;[11]

Speakers included City Councilmembers Bill Perkins and Christine Quinn, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, State Senator Tom Duane, Larry Moskowitz of the Communist Party USA and Working Families Party and Elena Mora for the Communist Party.

US Rep. Charles Rangel sent greetings and State Senator Eric Schneiderman sent a letter of commendation to the honorees.[12]


Local People's World readers and contributors held their annual Better World Awards banquet May 29, focusing on the fight for quality public education.

Pioneering civil rights activist Dorothy Burnham was warmly received with a standing ovation after she received her award. At 96 years old, the program was not long enough to mention all her life's work, which began in the 1930s with the American Student Union and continued in the 1940s with the Southern Negro Youth Congress in Birmingham. She has long been active in women's and peace organizations, and is currently she is president of the Louis Burnham Awards Fund.

State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, another of the honorees, stayed to talk with Dorothy and took several pictures for their local paper. State Sen. Bill Perkins appeared to show his appreciation and respect for his colleague, Sen. Montgomery, who fought a hedge fund-backed opponent over the issue of public education in the recent election.

City Council Member Letitia James sent a tribute to the People's World, printed in the program's ad book. She praised the work of the World in making New York - and beyond - a better place in many ways. And she praised her "mentor" Velmanette Montgomery.[13]

Not In Our Name

In August 2004 Bill Perkins, New York City Council endorsed an anti “Bush Team” Protest at the Republican National Convention in New York, organized by Not In Our Name, an organization closely associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party[14].

New York Legislature

Bill Perkins was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2006.Perkins represents the 30th Senatorial District which is part of New York County and encompasses Harlem, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights. A life long resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins started his political career as a community activist.

Communist honor

The New York Friends of the Peoples Weekly World newspaper held its annual Better World Awards Gala May 6 2007, to celebrate the May Day and Cinco De Mayo holidays and to benefit the paper.

2007 Better World Award honorees include New York City Councilman Robert Jackson, and Latino community activist Adolfo Fana. Past honorees and speakers have included former State Assemblyman Frank Barbaro, NY State Senator Bill Perkins, Rev. Lucius Walker of Pastors for Peace, Congressman Major Owens, and many local union and community activists from throughout the state.[15]

Communist history event

On March 23, 2007, "people jammed in to sit on folding chairs or stand shoulder-to-shoulder and listen to speakers tell of the Communist Party USA’s contributions to American labor and democratic rights". The crowd studied display cases full of photos, buttons, leaflets and letters from the 2,000 boxes of archives donated by the Communist Party to New York University’s Tamiment Library, which specializes in left and labor history.

The presence of dozens of party and Young Communist League members in the crowd indicated that the Communist Party continues to be an important and growing part of the American political scene.

Speakers included, Tamiment Library director Michael Nash, Committees of Correspondence leader Leslie Cagan, a leader of United for Peace and Justice, Rutgers University professor and CPUSA member Norman Markowitz, Steve Kramer, executive vice president of Service Employees Union Local 1199, New York State Sen. Bill Perkins, New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, CPUSA Executive Vice Chair Jarvis Tyner , American Communist History editor Daniel Leab , University of Houston professor Gerald Horne and CPUSA leader Teresa Albano

New York State Sen. Bill Perkins told how during eight years in the New York City Council, he sat in the seat once occupied by Communist Councilman Ben Davis, who never lost an election but was removed from office in chains under the McCarthyite Smith Act.

“His record in the council,” Perkins said, “is one that many of us are still trying to live up to, because he was among the first to champion laws for workers, for housing rights and for civil rights in the City Council.” .[16]

Left Forum 2007

Left Forum

Jarvis Tyner, co-chair of Black Radical Congress, Khalil Almustafa of Uptown for Peace and Justice, Dorothy Benton Lewis, co-chair of International N, COBRA, Hank Williams of CUNY, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, LeShane Lindsey, Labor Organizer for Local 1199 and Bill Perkins, New York State Senator Dist. 30 representing Harlem and West Side were speakers on the Today's Black Agenda: Fighting for Full Employment and Social Justice under the impact of War and Globalization panel sponsored by Black Radical Congress at the Left Forum. The forum was held March 9 - 11, 2007 at Cooper Union College, New York City.[17]

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 2008 William Perkins a State Senator, 30th District, New York signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal.[18]

Dream of Equality awardee

William Perkins is a past recipient of Asian Americans for Equality's annual Dream of Equality award.[19]

Communist gathering/"We're Not Going Back"

March 2015, a crowd of New Yorkers lined up at the security desk in order to make their way up to the third floor to Melba's Restaurant and the annual "We're Not Going Back" celebration of African American culture and struggle.

2014's guest speaker was Angela Davis, and the occasion was held downtown at the Henry Winston Unity Hall. This year's featured speaker was the newly elected mayor of Newark, the Honorable Ras Baraka.

The meeting's theme was "Support City Officials Who Fight for Equality, a Living Wage and Against Racism."

Estevan Bassett-Nembhard, New York organizer of the Communist Party USA, opened the program, greeting the over 200 participants and emphasizing the need for unity in the vital struggle to end racism. "We stand on the shoulders of those who defeated slavery and Jim Crow. Our history tells us that united we stand and divided we fall." He continued, "We're not going back! Our pledge is to stick together."

Naquasia LeGrand chaired the event, winning a round of applause when she announced that she was a fast food worker and an organizer of that movement.

A large and politically diverse host committee was formed to welcome Mayor Baraka, including representatives from labor, fast-food workers, police reform, immigrant rights, LGBTQ, religious and peace and justice movements. Among them were Alisha Garner, the sister of Eric Garner murdered by police on Staten Island, and elected officials including State Senator Bill Perkins, State Assemblyman Keith Wright, along with a representative of City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez. Baraka received proclamations from Perkins, Wright and Rodriguez. He also received a letter of welcome from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer stopped by briefly to greet the gathering crowd.

As the evening ended one participant said, "This was a great event that showed that left and center forces in our city can work together to build principled unity and a stronger movement to help defeat racism and poverty."[20]

Albany rent control arrests

June 3, 2015 ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10) - The New York State Police arrested dozens of people, including a few lawmakers, at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon. Protesters blocked the entrance to the Hall of Governors and refused to move. They were protesting rent control regulations. State Police arrested 55 people for Disorderly Conduct. According to police, three Assembly members, three Senators, and three New York City council members were arrested.

Senators Bill Perkins, Adriano Espaillat, and Brad Holyman, as well as Assembly members Richard Gottfried, Rodneyse Bichotte, and Maritza Davila-Amador were among the lawmakers charged.

Everyone who was arrested was issued appearance tickets for the City of Albany County split among June 10, June 11 and June 12.

The following were arrested, according to NYSP:


  1. [[1]]Official State Bio. Accessed 06/07/11
  2. Berniecrats, accessed August 24
  3. 10th Anniversary Booklet for the New American Movement, 1981
  4. Women Organizing, Winter 1982
  5. [New York Democratic Socialist January/Feb. 1985]
  6. [[2]]Official State Bio. Accessed 06/07/11
  7. PWW March 21, 1998, page 2
  8. [Stop the wars & occupations Global day of protest NEW YORK Reprinted from the April 1, 2004, issue of Workers World newspaper]
  9. PWW "PWW celebrates 75 years and honors activists"December 11, 1999 page 2
  10. PWW December 11, 1999 page 12
  11. PWW October 7, 2000, page 2
  12. PWW, NYC, November 4, 2000, page 2
  13. PW People’s World hosts awards banquet in New York, Gabe Falsetta June 2 2011
  15. Progressive Newspaper Holds Better World Awards, Press Statement April 10, 2007
  16. Peoples World, Party of hope archives show living history, by: Dan Margolis, March 31, 2007
  18. Signers of Campaign to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Now
  19. [AAFE 2013 Banquet Journal, by Douglas Lim at Mar 26, 2013]
  20. PW, Mayor Ras Baraka tops Harlem evening of black culture and struggle by: Jarvis Tyner March 18 2015
  21. Dozens arrested at Capitol while protesting rent control By: Andrew Murphy Posted: Jun 03, 2015 04:40 PM EDT