HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF BLACK & PUERTO RICAN LEGISLATORS
In 1917, The New York State Assembly elected its first African-American legislator, Assemblyman Edward A. Johnson, a man born into slavery in North Carolina. In 1937, Assemblyman Oscar Garcia Rivera was the first American of Puerto Rican heritage to be elected in the State Assembly.
From those small victories, slowly, two became three, three became four, and four became many. Upon the successes of civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s, the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. (NYSABPRL) was founded by legislative caucus members, on October 11, 1985, as a non-political, charitable organization, incorporated under Section 402 of the New York Not-for-Profit Incorporation Law, with a 501(c)(3) purpose and mission. NYSABPRL’s fundamental purpose is to promote the common good, social and general welfare of the various people of the community; foster and maintain an interest in racial tolerance in the world; to encourage the development of the community and promote economic growth.