File #: Res 1288-2016    Version: * Name: Establishing a Rosa Parks Day.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations
On agenda: 11/29/2016
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution establishing a Rosa Parks Day to commemorate the Civil Rights leader
Sponsors: Mathieu Eugene, Elizabeth S. Crowley, Daniel Dromm , Rosie Mendez, Margaret S. Chin
Council Member Sponsors: 5
Attachments: 1. November 29, 2016 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files

Res. No. 1288


Resolution establishing a Rosa Parks Day to commemorate the Civil Rights leader


By Council Members Eugene, Crowley, Dromm, Mendez and Chin


Whereas, Rosa Parks, was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913; and

Whereas, As a prominent Civil Rights activist, Rosa Parks was a long-time member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as the chapter’s secretary; and

Whereas, On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks’ famously refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, which lead to a city-wide boycott of buses; and

Whereas, In 1900, Montgomery passed a city ordinance to segregate bus passengers by race, and created a white-only section in the front and a “colored” section for black people in the rear of the bus; and

Whereas, According to the law, no passenger would be required to move or give up their seat and stand if the bus was crowded and no other seats were available, though by custom Montgomery bus drivers adopted the practice of requiring black riders to move when there were no white-only seats available; and

Whereas, While returning home from her job as an assistant tailor at a department store, Rosa Parks and four other African-Americans were asked to give up their seats to white passengers who were standing; and

Whereas, After refusing to give up her seat, Rosa Parks was arrested and convicted of disorderly conduct and violating Montgomery’s racial segregation laws; and

Whereas, Her act of civil disobedience resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King Jr. where  African Americans refused to ride city buses and instead walked or organized carpools; and

Whereas, 42,000 African Americans boycotted the Montgomery city buses for 381 days, beginning on December 5, 1955, until the bus segregation laws were changed on December 21, 1956; and

Whereas, The United States Supreme Court ruled on November 12, 1956 that the Montgomery segregation law was unconstitutional, and on December 20, 1956, Montgomery officials were ordered to desegregate buses; and

Whereas, Rosa Parks is the recipient of many awards and accolades for her efforts on behalf of racial harmony, including the Springarn Award, the NAACP’s highest honor for civil rights contributions, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor, and the first International Freedom Conductor Award from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; and

Whereas, In 1999,  President Bill Clinton honored Rosa Parks, on behalf of Congress, honoring her contributions to the United States and declaring her “the first lady of civil rights” and the “mother of the freedom movement”; and 

Whereas, Her birthday, February 4, and the day she was arrested, December 1, have each been celebrated as “Rosa Parks Day” commemorated in California, Missouri, Ohio, and Oregon; and

Whereas, On December 1, 2005, transit authorities in New York City, Washington, D.C and other American cities symbolically left the seats behind bus drivers empty to commemorate Rosa Parks; and

Whereas, Within such a culturally diverse city that honors civil rights leaders, the Council should recognize Rosa Parks’ contributions; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York establishes a Rosa Parks Day to commemorate the Civil Rights leader.