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Senator Velmanette Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents of north and central Brooklyn, as well as to New Yorkers statewide.

In her role as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, Senator Montgomery is committed to helping young people achieve positive outcomes through reform of the State's juvenile justice, foster care and adoptive care systems. In 2008 the Senator authored a law that allows adopted children to claim two parents of record, even if one parent dies before the adoption is final.

Other significant laws sponsored by the Senator include a measure that allows community boards throughout New York City to apply for and receive state funding through the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program.

She is also responsible for a law that enables consumers to receive from their utility provider "Time-of-Day service, a cost-saving measure that redirects the use of electricity to off-peak, low-demand hours.

Senator Montgomery continues to be one of New York's leading proponents of school-based health care as a model system for delivering comprehensive primary and mental health services to children of all ages, in the school setting where youth spend most of their day. The Senator's Teen Health Agenda includes legislation that requires, among other things, the teaching of age appropriate, medically accurate sexuality education in kindergarten though 12th grade. Senator Montgomery is the co-sponsor of the law that allows for the certification of nurse practitioners, and she spearheaded the campaign to stem the spread of AIDS among intravenous drug users through legalized needle exchange programs.

As a respected advocate for criminal justice reform and a member of the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction, Senator Montgomery sponsored a law that prevents New Yorkers from being arbitrarily denied a license to barber or practice cosmetology just because they spent time in prison. The Senator is also the sponsor of a "merit time" bill, which has been praised by criminal justice advocates statewide, and continues to lead efforts to improve and expand transitional services for men and women released from prison

Food for Thought:

What system exists now to inform our elected politicians about our community visions and needs? How can we create partnerships which factor in and allocate resources to strengthen the work of community leaders who are advancing community resilience in low-income communities as opposed to approaching work in low-income communities from a limited needs based perspective? How can low-income communities organize and advocate for increased healthy food options in their neighborhoods? How can low-income community members advocate for safer parks,gardens and green spaces? What incentives exist for communities that create farmers markets from abandoned lots in their neighborhoods?


Director Greenthumb Edie Stone will speak to women gathered about Operation Greenthumb NYC and will speak to us about the ways that Greenthumb currently supports gardeners who are stewards of the urban forest.

Community gardens are the lungs of the urban forest. Come hear about the ongoing struggles to have our gardens preserved as green spaces for farming, health and recreation in NYC from this woman who has worked to preserve the green environment for most of her life.

1991-1992 Council on Economic Priorities, NY, NY Project Director, Corporate Environmental Data Clearinghouse

1992-1993 New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation, NY, NYUrban Park Ranger

1993-1998 Council on the Environment of New York City, NY, NY Outreach Coordinator, Open Space Greening Program

1998–2001 New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation, NY, NYDirector of Community Outreach, GreenThumb Program

2001-present New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation, NY, NYDirector, GreenThumb Program

Other Experiences and Professional Memberships

Board Member, American Community Gardening Association

Member Community Food Security Coalition

Founding Member Metro Ag Alliance for Urban Agriculture

Member Working Group Kleinstlandwirtshaft, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany


Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, New York

BA1983-1987Comparative Religion/Sociology

University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, Ann Arbor MichiganMS1989-1991Natural Resources Policy and Planning

Selected peer-reviewed publications (in chronological order).

Stone, Edie. Community Gardening in New York City Becomes a Political Movement, Perspectives on Small-Scale Farming In Urban and Rural Areas, Berlin Germany, 2000.

Svendsen, E. and Stone, E. New York City GreenThumb Garden Assessment Report, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, 2003.

The Benefits of Community Managed Space: Community gardens in New York City in Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-being through Urban Landscapes Lindsay Campbell and Anne Weisen eds. U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2009.


Dr. Aletha Maybank will address women who gather on the State of Feminine Health for the Central Brooklyn District and will speak to us on the various DOHMH initiatives which address health disparities, community health, community participation in fresh food initiatives and feminine health.

K. Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH


K. Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, recently appointed as an Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, serves as Director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office located in Central Brooklyn since April 2009.

The mission of the District Public Health Offices is to reduce health inequalities and promote health equity across New York City by targeting resources, programs, and attention to high-need neighborhoods in the South Bronx, East and Central Harlem, and North and Central Brooklyn.

Prior to this, Dr. Maybank was Founding Director of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in Long Island, NY since its launch in 2005. Under her leadership, the Suffolk County Office of Minority Health addressed the alarming health inequities and barriers to care for racial and ethnic minorities in Suffolk County through strategic implementation of the CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Standards and by working with communities to build relationships that encouraged equitable interactions. In 2007, Dr. Maybank, along with faculty at the Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research at Stony Brook University co-founded the Suffolk County Minority Health Action Coalition, which now involves over 50 community stakeholders all interested in improving the health outcomes of minority communities in Suffolk County.

Currently, Dr. Maybank serves on the Board of the New York State Public Health Association. She also serves on the voluntary faculty as Clinical Instructor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the SUNY (State University of New York)/Stony Brook University School of Medicine, teaching on topics related to health inequities and the value of being a culturally competent physician. Dr. Maybank has presented on topics related to health disparities, cultural competency, and health literacy at numerous local and national events and television shows. She has also been recognized for her public health contributions with various awards and honors.

Dr. Maybank holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, a MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and a MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. 

Our conference goal is to gather women working in government, women working in non-profits that advance issues which concern women and the people they love & women from civil societies . The conference has issued a call to various women leaders who serve in these capacities to ask them to come address the women who gather to heal on this day.


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