Category: Archive

The Black & The Green Honoree: Herman D. Farrell

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In March 1994, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Farrell Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. He is also a member of the Rules Committee and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, as well as the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. From 1979 until 1994, Farrell was Chairman of the Assembly Banks Committee. In 1983, Governor Cuomo appointed him to the Temporary Committee on Interstate Banking. From 1981 to 1984, he conducted a course at the New School for Social Research on Banking in New York. In 1981-82, he was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions of the National Conference of State Legislators.
Farrell’s outstanding accomplishments in the Legislature began with the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Act, pioneer legislation that enables the state to fund community groups to provide tenant advocacy and fight housing abandonment in their neighborhoods. Legislation was also passed requiring banks to disclose their interest rates and other pertinent information in chart form, clearly marked in boldface type, on all mail solicitations. These two state banking laws became the model for federal legislation.
Among the legislation Farrell has introduced, he is proudest of the passage of the Omnibus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act. The provisions of this landmark act include consumer protections in the auto leasing industry. In addition, the bill prohibits discrimination based on residency in the opening of bank accounts.
Prior to Farrell’s election to the Assembly, he was the Assistant Director of the Mayor’s office in Washington Heights, and had been a Confidential Aide to a State Supreme Court Justice.
Farrell has served the State of New York politically for decades. His first election was in 1970, when he was elected as a State Committeeman for two years. In 1973, Mr. Farrell was elected District Leader, a position he continues to hold. He was elected County Leader of his political party in New York in 1981, and is still serving in this position. In 1983, Farrell was elected Vice Chair of his State Party. Three times he has been an Elector in the Electoral College, most recently in 2000. In 2001, he was elected Chair of his State Party, a position he held until 2006.

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