Senator Rob Rolison, Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey Condemn Rising Tide of Antisemitism, Racism 

Senator Rob Rolison, Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey Condemn Rising Tide of Antisemitism, Racism 

Bipartisan voices speak out against prejudice after local and national incidents of hate

NEWBURGH — State Senator Rob Rolison (R-39th District) and City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey today released a joint statement in order to condemn recent acts of racism and antisemitism occurring locally and nationally. Harvey was targeted by an anonymous poster after meeting with a group of Hasidic Jewish property owners in July. The pamphleteer alleged that Harvey was “selling Newburgh to the Jews.”
According to reports, another poster advancing anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and hateful tropes was found in the city in July. In March the FBI reported that hate crimes, defined as those targeting a victim for personal characteristics such as race, ethnicity and religion, increased almost 12% in 2021. That same month the Anti-Defamation League noted that incidents targeting Jewish people rose to an all-time high in 2022.

“Hatred and intolerance are contrary to our country and its shared traditions of liberty, community, and the can-do spirit,” said Rolison. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington anniversary reminds us that we are to judge others by the content of their character, not their genetic material nor the religion they profess. As a former mayor and a current state senator, this is not a Republican or Democrat issue: it’s a matter of right and wrong. I hope others will join us in speaking out against hate and standing up for a more hopeful vision of the common good. This begins by condemning racism and antisemitism in all its twisted forms and guises.”

Said Harvey: “The type of hateful rhetoric displayed in our city recently referencing me as the mayor who will be selling the city of Newburgh to the Jewish community should never be a part of our political discourse or our American culture. This was hate speech, period. It displayed a very evil element in our community that should be condemned by everyone.

“I have fought my entire life against racism and discrimination in any form. Ironically, this posting happened during the same week in August that the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his profound ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ 60 years ago. This posting was typed and posted in multiple areas throughout our city during the same week thousands of people in our nation organized a March on Washington, D.C. in 2023 to commemorate the civil rights movement and its principles of freedom, democracy, equality and brotherly love for all humanity.


“My job as mayor is to hear all sides and craft solutions for any existing problem. We have come a long way but there’s still so much more to do in Newburgh and in our United States of America. I thank Senator Rolison for joining me in speaking up and speaking out publicly on this important matter. Dr. King said our lives begin to end when we become silent about the things that matter,” said Harvey.


Rob Rolison (R-39th District) was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2022 and is serving his first term. The 39th Senate District includes parts of Dutchess, Putnam, and Orange counties.

Author: Harlem Valley News