Richard Conti, New York, 1997
Common Council, Ward 6
Albany, New York
Elected Novemer 1997
Re-elected 2001, 2005
Press Release about Richard Conti's leadership in Albany
Albany Common Council passes landmark transgender civil rights bill
New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, Inc. & Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, Inc.
April 7, 2004, Albany, NY
On Wednesday, the Albany Common Council passed a landmark transgender civil rights bill that would amend Albany City's human rights ordinance to prohibit discrimination based upon gender identity and gender expression.
Council Member Richard Conti (D-6th Ward) introduced the bill (Ordinance Number 18.61.03) on June 3, 2003, which was cosponsored by Council Members Calsolaro, Herring and Sano. Albany Common Council President, the Honorable Helen Desfosses provided crucial support for the ordinance since first approached in June 2002.
The Common Council passed the bill by a vote of 13-1. The legislation now amends the Albany human rights ordinance to add the phrase 'gender identity or expression,' the first addition of a new protected category since the amendment of the law in 1992 to include sexual orientation.
The Council members had acted upon a recommendation from locally based activists in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, specifically Libby Post, president emeritus of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, Inc. and Moonhawk River Stone, co-chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, the first statewide transgender advocacy organization in New York.
After the vote, Post commented, "The lesbian and gay community is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our transgendered brothers and sisters to guarantee the full spectrum of civil rights to all of Albany's citizens. It is actions such as these that make Albany the great city it is.
Congratulations to the Common Council for taking the right step at the right time."
Sixty-five jurisdictions have already adopted transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Tucson, San Francisco, Louisville, New Orleans, Seattle, Atlanta, and the states of New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Minnesota and California.
"The City of Albany has taken an enormous step toward guaranteeing full equality under law for all transsexual, transgendered, and gender-variant people," declared NYAGRA Co-Chair Pauline Park, who led the campaign for the New York City transgender rights law, enacted in April 2002.
"We in NYAGRA commend Councilman Conti, Common Council President Desfosses, and all their colleagues who cosponsored or voted for this landmark legislation." "The Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council has been proud to partner with NYAGRA in supporting this extension of civil rights protections to the Transgendered Community in the city of Albany," said Keith Hornbrook, Executive Director of the Council. Mike McArdle, Council President, added, "The mission of the Council is to promote Pride, Growth and Strength for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered citizens of the Capital Region. The passage of this ordinance speaks strongly to our mission."
"The right to work and to live free from pervasive discrimination based on one's gender identity or expression is a basic human right," states NYAGRA Co-Chair Moonhawk River Stone. "I am delighted Albany has joined with other municipalities in this state in providing this vital protection for transgender people."