According what feels like every news org in NY, the New York State Senate has voted to expel State Senator Hiram Monserrate. The 53 to 8 vote was based on Monserrate’s conviction for assaulting his girlfriend.
Not surprisingly, Monserrate is already mounting an appeal with high profile attorney Norman Siegel representing him. Monserrate and his supporters feel like the expulsion vote is about more than domestic violence (because apparently that’s not enough). Some feel it’s payback for Monserrate siding with the GOP during a “coup” that kept the lawmaking body at a standstill. Of course there is also the matter of Monserrate voting against marriage equity in New York State. This could set a precedent, with Monserrate being the first state senator to be kicked out for a misdemeanor conviction.
I’m not a Monserrate apologist. I live in his district where in the summer his office sponsors free school supply giveaways in the summer. I have stood with him in rallies and marches but accusations and convictions of domestic violence are no joke. I say this fully understanding how much the domestic violence court system doesn’t work. I used to work in DV court and have been a victim of domestic violence. I think what has really bothered is more what Monserrate hasn’t done. While clinging to his innocence would it have been so hard for him to say something about why cutting a woman’s face is not a good thing? Why dragging a woman isn’t a sign of love? Monserrate, for all his defensiveness, defending his position, his reputation and his machismo still has yet to say anything about defending the mujeres in our communities.