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Poll looks at race relations in NYS as nation remembers Dr. King

A Siena College poll looked at the state of race relations in New York as the nation observes a holiday for a civil rights leader.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Today the nation observes and honors civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his major contributions to the civil rights movement in the United States. Siena College did a poll looking at race relations in New York.

806 registered voters were polled across the state of New York.

Here are some of the questions asked and the results.

Do you think that minority New Yorkers have the same opportunities to be successful as white New Yorkers, or not? 

Yes 52% 

No 41% 

According to Siena pollster Steven Greenberg,  there is a disparity by political party, gender, and race.

"58% of white New Yorkers and 55% of Latino New Yorkers believe that minorities have the same opportunities as whites to succeed. However, 71% of Black voters say no, minorities do not have the same opportunities."

How would you describe the state of race relations in New York State? 

Excellent 8%

Good 28%

Fair 41%

Poor 19%

Greenberg said, "the Blacks and whites feel very much the same in terms of the state of race relations in New York."

Do you think minorities including Blacks, Latinos and Asians who live in New York State experience racial or ethnic discrimination, or not? 

Yes 72% 

No 19% 

Sometimes/occasionally 2%

Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at an MLK event in Brooklyn. She said Dr. King's dream is for all people, but she acknowledged the need to tackle tough issues. "I signed a bill into law on December 23rd, my first batch of bills as Governor, I signed a bill introduced by Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblymember Taylor Darling that declared that racism is a public health crisis today. Let's call it what it is as a public health crisis."

Greenberg is aware that poll results are a snapshot of what people think. "It certainly informs our leaders of how their constituents feel and certainly I think there would be, if not unanimity, pretty darn close to unanimity among upstaters and downstaters, democrats and republicans and blacks and whites that we'd all like to see the state of race relations in New York improve."

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