New York, NY (February 1, 2023) – The American Red Cross in New York State this week celebrated five legislators for their commitment to building more resilient communities.
The Red Cross in New York State is composed of three regions – Greater New York, Eastern New York, and Western New York – and legislators from each region were presented this honor during a ceremony in Albany, NY
The 2023 Legislators of the Year are Hon. Michaelle C. Solages; Hon. Shelley B. Mayer; Hon. James Sanders Jr.; Hon. Michelle Hinchey; and Hon. Philip A. Palmesano.
“We are so grateful for the partnership we share with our legislators across the state. Their commitment to improve the lives of their constituents aligns with the Red Cross’ mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. They each share in our humanitarian spirit, and we are honored to recognize them for their efforts to help build more resilient communities,” said Mary J. Barneby, Nicholas Bond, and Kevin Coffey, CEOs of the American Red Cross Greater NY, Western NY, and Easter NY Regions.
"I am proud and honored to be recognized by the American Red Cross as a New York State Legislator of the Year. The American Red Cross’ work in our community has been indispensable, particularly during and after recent storms and fires in Port Chester, Yonkers, Harrison and Mamaroneck. I am grateful to the American Red Cross for its outstanding efforts on behalf of my constituents, and I look forward to our continued partnership as we work toward building stronger and more resilient communities and responses to disasters,” said Sen. Shelley B. Mayer.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to have been selected as the American Red Cross 2023 New York State Legislator of the Year as I proudly support this organization’s mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. It is very important to me to have participated in the American Red Cross’ Sound the Alarm campaign about home fires and spread the message that the Red Cross and local groups install free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as well as develop family escape plans in high-risk neighborhoods. Seven people die every day in a home fire and the Red Cross works diligently to prevent those fatalities and I am proud to have been a part of facilitating their good work,” said Senator James Sanders Jr.
"I am honored to be recognized by the American Red Cross. Their tireless work in serving all communities during times of emergencies is truly commendable. I recognize the crucial role that preparedness plays in safeguarding the welfare of all individuals, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. When New Yorkers are equipped with resources and contingency plans to respond to emergencies, it makes a significant difference in reducing the harm caused by natural disasters and other crises. Thank you, American Red Cross, for your continued dedication to serving those in need and for inspiring us to prioritize preparedness," said Assembly member Michaelle C. Solages.
“I’ve been incredibly proud to partner with the American Red Cross to keep our Hudson Valley communities safe, prepared, and well-cared for in the face of emergencies and life-threatening situations, and I am honored to be recognized as one of their 2023 New York State Legislators of the Year,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey. “The Red Cross has been a tremendous partner in our work to respond to and recover from severe weather, help solve a national blood shortage, and proactively ensure our smaller and more rural communities are informed on how to stay safe in times of crisis. I thank the Red Cross for this great honor and for the life-saving work they do in New York. I look forward to continuing our partnership in support of communities across the Hudson Valley.”
“I am truly humbled and want to thank the American Red Cross for this tremendous honor. Please know that I look forward to our continued collaboration and partnership in the future. Thank you so very much to all the dedicated staff, board members and volunteers across the state for your incredible, selfless commitment to helping those in need by providing invaluable support for so many. Whether it be providing critical assistance during an emergency or disaster, providing smoke detectors to families, serving our veterans or saving lives through your critical blood drives, the work you do at the Red Cross is truly “God’s work.” I cannot thank you enough for all you do to serve the people of the 132nd Assembly District and across this state, nation and world,” said Assembly members Philip A. Palmesano
2023 Legislators of the Year Background
Greater NY Region
The Greater New York Region of the Red Cross supports the more than 12.5 million residents of New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland Counties, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Greenwich, Conn.
2023 Legislators of the Year Honorees from the Greater NY Region are: Hon. Michaelle C. Solages; Hon. Shelley B. Mayer; and Hon. James Sanders Jr.
Sen. Shelley B. Mayer (37th Senate District)
The Red Cross in Greater New York recognized Senator Shelley B. Mayer for her continued advocacy and dedication to building more resilient communities. After local fires as well as after larger disasters like Hurricane Ida, Sen. Mayer has stood alongside the Red Cross to help support residents and help protect their neighbors through preparedness education. In addition, Sen. Mayer has sponsored blood drives in her district.
Sen. James Sanders Jr. (10th Senate District)
The Red Cross in Greater New York recognized Senator James Sanders Jr. for his lifetime of service dedicated to supporting New Yorkers. Sen. Sander has joined Red Cross volunteers to install free smoke detectors as part of the Red Cross Sound the Alarm. Save a Life campaign and has hosted preparedness programs to help build more resilient communities across his district.
Asw. Michaelle C. Solages (22nd Assembly District)
The Red Cross in Greater New York recognized Assembly woman Michaelle C. Solages for her commitment to help educate constituents on Long Island about how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. Asw. Solages has hosted Red Cross preparedness programs and rolled up her sleeves to install smoke alarms on Long Island as part of the Red Cross South the Alarm. Save a Life. campaign. Sound the Alarm helps to raise awareness of the importance of having working smoke alarms.
Eastern NY Region
The American Red Cross Eastern New York Region is comprised of three chapters along with 3 blood donation centers: Central & Northern New York Chapter; Hudson Valley Chapter; and Northeastern New York Chapter. Together, these chapters serve a population of more than 3.6 million people across 27 counties and more than 51,000 square miles.
The Legislator of the Year from the Eastern NY Region is Hon. Michelle Hinchey
Sen. Michelle Hinchey (41st Senate District)
The Eastern NY Region recognized Sen. Michelle Hinchey for her steadfast commitment to provide lifesaving information to her constituents. Specifically, after an ice storm battered her district, Sen. Hinchey sponsored preparedness programs to help educate families about how to prepare for, respond to, and recovery from emergencies. In addition, she has supported programs for veterans and service members together with the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program.
Western NY Region
The American Red Cross, Western New York Region, spanning 27 counties, comprises three chapters – Western NY (Buffalo), Greater Rochester, and the Southern Tier. The Western New York Region is a significant part of the storied history of the American Red Cross as founder Clara Barton established the very first Red Cross Chapter in Dansville, NY in 1881.
The Legislator of the Year from the Western NY Region is Hon. Philip A. Palmesano
Assistant Minority Leader Philip A. Palmesano (132nd Assembly District)
The Western NY Region recognized Asm. Philip Palmesano for his partnership across various Red Cross lines of service, including Biomedical services, Disaster Cycle Services, and Service to the Armed Forces. Asm. Palmesano has supported events including blood drives, smoke alarm installations, and the collection of comfort items – toiletries and other items that soldiers and veterans need.
Past recipients of the Red Cross New York State Legislator of the Year Award include:
Asm. Richard Gottfried, Asm. Crystal People Stokes, Sen. Thomas O’Mara and Asm. John McDonald.
Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Sen. Timothy Kennedy, Sen. Joseph Robach, Asm. Al Stirpe, Asm. Angelo Santabarbara and Asm. Marcos Crespo.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Sen. John Brooks, Sen. Patrick Gallivan, Sen. Sue Serino, Asm. Martiza Davila and Asm. Donna Lupardo
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Asw. Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Asm. Desmond Meeks, Sen. Daphne Jordan, Sen. Anna Kaplan, and Senate Minority Leader Robert G. Ortt.
During calendar year 2022, the Red Cross in New York State:
- Assisted 7591 people affected by local disasters
- Hosted nearly 10,000 blood drives and collected more than 220,000 units of blood
- Taught lifesaving skills (CPR/First Aid/ AED, Aquatics/Water Safety) to more than 188,000 people
- Supported more than 16,000 military members, veterans and their families
- More than 8,200 volunteers donated over 500,000 hours of service to deliver hope and help every day
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.