Denny Farrell

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Denny Farrell

Template:TOCnestleft Herman D. (Denny) Farrell, Jr. is a senior New York State legislator.

Mr. Farrell is the father of three children, Monique Farrell-Guidry and Herman Farrell, III and Sophia Ilene Farrell.[1]

Political career

Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr. was elected to the State Assembly in 1974 from a district that encompasses West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood.

In March of 1994, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Mr. Farrell Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. He is also a member of the Rules Committee and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, as well as the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. From 1979 until 1994, Farrell was Chairman of the Assembly Banks Committee. In 1983, Governor Cuomo appointed him to the Temporary Committee on Interstate Banking. From 1981 to 1984, he conducted a course at the New School for Social Research on Banking in New York. In 1981-82, he was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions of the National Conference of State Legislators.

Among the legislation Assemblyman Farrell is proudest of is the passage of the Omnibus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act. The provisions of this landmark act include consumer protections in the auto leasing industry; the establishment of a toll-free number at the New York State Banking Department to enable consumers to receive free information on credit card interest rates, fees and grace periods; and a requirement that banks provide low-cost lifeline checking accounts. In addition, the bill prohibits discrimination based on residency in the opening of bank accounts, and requires banks to make annual reports of the number and amount of small business and small farm loans.

Assemblyman Farrell's accomplishments in the Legislature began with the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Act, pioneer legislation that enables the state to fund community groups to provide tenant advocacy and fight housing abandonment in their neighborhoods. Other legislation that Farrell is responsible for includes the passage of check clearing legislation that requires banks to clear checks in a shorter period of time and to notify depositors of the time it takes to clear checks. Legislation was also passed requiring banks to disclose their interest rates and other pertinent information in chart form, clearly marked in boldface type, on all mail solicitations. These two state banking laws became the model for federal legislation. He also strengthened anti-redlining laws by requiring stricter enforcement of community reinvestment provisions and was successful in passing legislation to monitor bank branch closings.

Prior to Assemblyman Farrell's election to the Assembly, he was the Assistant Director of the Mayor's office in Washington Heights, and had been a Confidential Aide to a State Supreme Court Justice.

Assemblyman Farrell was elected County Leader of his political party in New York in April 1981. He was initially elected on a platform of speaking to the issues important to New Yorkers and since the inception of his tenure, the Committee has taken positions on significant issues of our day, including reproductive freedom, gay and lesbian civil rights, trade-in of Westway funds and the restoration of federal monies for important social programs. Three times he has been an Elector in the Electoral College, most recently in 2000. Assemblyman Farrell's first election was in 1970, when he was elected a State Committeeman for two years. In 1983, Assemblyman Farrell was elected Vice Chair of his State Party, a position he held for ten years, and was elected Chair in 2001. In 1973, Mr. Farrell was elected District Leader, a position he continues to hold.[2]


Organizations that Farrell has been honored by include: New York State Supreme Court Officers Association Man of the Year Award, Harlem Week Committee, New York State Psychiatric Institute, State University of New York Educational Opportunity Center, Harlem Commonwealth Council Foundation, Frank Scanlon Tenants Association, Ralph J. Rangel Tenants Association, Federation of Negro Civil Service Organizations, Chew Lun Association, Child Memorial Church, Parole Officers, New York State Affirmative Action Council, Boricua College, New York State Court Clerks Association and the Muriel Silberberg Award.[3]

Blacks and Jews

When Ed Koch lied about Basil Paterson, first in interviews, and then, more maliciously, in his book, some Jews did speak up, as best they could, including Rabbi Balfour Brickner, Haskell ­Lazerre of the American Jewish Committee, union leaders Jack Sheinkman and Victor Gotbaum, Sol Stern, Victor Kovner, and Letty Pogrebin.

When Jesse Jackson lied, and then admit­ted his bigoted “Hymie/Hymietown” slur against Jews, some black leaders did speak up, as best they could, including Basil Paterson,­ the Amsterdam News, Julian Bond, Reverend Calvin Butts, col­umnist William Raspberry, Denny Farrell, David Dinkins, Carl McCall, and Al Vann.[4]

Harlem Democratic Party

David Dinkins rose through the Democratic Party organization in Harlem and became part of an influential group of African-American politicians that included Percy Sutton, Basil Paterson, Denny Farrell, and Charles Rangel.[5]

Member of DSA NYC Local

Circa 1983 New York City DSA Local report to National Office

A circa 1983 New York City Democratic Socialists of America Local report to National Office identified Assemblymembers Jerry Nadler, Eileen Dugan and Denny Farrell as members of the Local.

It also named Councilmembers Ed Wallace, and Ruth Messinger.

Identified DSA member

Denny Farrell was identified as a member of Democratic Socialists of America in DSA's Democratic Left, January 1983 issue, page 14

In New York, DSA State assembly members now include Eileen Dugan, Denny Farrell, and Jerry Nadler. Ed Wallace remains on the New York City Council, as an at large member, while Ruth Messinger was re-elected to the council...

Endorsing Bill Thompson

According to Danny Rubin of the People's World, "Bill Thompson will have the overwhelming vote of the African American and the Afro-Caribbean community, where his roots are. He has strong ties in Brooklyn where both he and his father had long political careers, and has been endorsed by Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano, state Senator Jose Serrano, Jr., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and the Bronx Democratic Party. . As well, Thomson has the endorsements of a growing number of African American elected officials, including Manhattan Democratic Party leader Denny Farrell, State Assemblyman Karim Camara, Congressman Gregory Meeks and the Rev. Floyd Flake.[6]