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NYC Public Advocate James says women are being shut out of Cuomo budge talks with legislative leaders.
Text of press release.

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 19, 2015 Press Release
Contact: Anna Brower,, 917-671-8704

PA James Calls for More Inclusive State Budget Process

Demands Senate Minority Have a Seat at the Table

(New York, NY) — On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Public Advocate Letitia James attended a press conference hosted by Council Member Laurie Cumbo to call for a more inclusive budget process. Below are the Public Advocate’s remarks, as prepared.

You wonder why there is feminization of poverty?
Because there are no women at the table.
When there are no women at the table, reproductive health is not at the table.
When there are no women at the table, the women’s equality act is not at the table.
When there are no women at the table, wage equality is not at the table.
New York State is a vast, diverse place. The economic and social needs of all of our people cannot possibly be captured by 3 or 4 men‎ behind a curtain of secrecy.
The closed door, insular nature of the current budget negotiation structure violates basic good government principles and it's harmful to the fabric of our democracy.
The symbolism of shutting out Andrea Stewart Cousins - the first woman to lead Democrats in the history of the State Senate - is dangerous and disheartening.
It sends the message that women are not welcome at the table.
But it's not about any one individual - shutting out the leader of a conference that represents millions of New Yorkers is a slap in the face to those New Yorkers whose voices aren't being heard where it matters most.
Every conference should have a seat at the negotiating table. This includes Senate Democrats and, yes, Assembly Republicans.
New Yorkers deserve equal representation. They deserve an honest and transparent government.