Kevin S. Parker was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2002. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Senator Parker represents the diverse 21st Senatorial District which includes: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Boro Park. The now four-term Senator shoulders a central role in the Senate leadership serving as Majority Whip since 2008. In addition, he is Chairman of the Democratic Task Force on New American and the Commission on Science & Technology.
A product of the New York City Public School system, Senator Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of the ethnically diverse community he serves. As a private citizen, he was very active in community advocacy and has been a member of several civic organizations including, Community Board 17, the Community Service Society Associates Program and the Children's Defense Fund's Community Crusade for Children. His current civic engagement efforts include his contributions as a member of the Advisory Board of the New York State Blood Center.
Noted as a forward-thinking legislator, Senator Parker has sponsored 197 pieces of legislation and co-sponsored 535, 60 of which have passed the Senate. As Chair of the Commission on Science and Technology, Senator Parker has worked on developing a plan that will focus greater attention upon Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs for teachers and students. He has been outstanding in his efforts to create a renewable energy economy so that New York can step up its investment into green collar job career paths and formed the New York Ready Emergency Preparedness Unit alongside other leaders in the community. A former New York City Urban Fellow, Senator Parker was also a member of the Coro Foundation's Leadership New York XI class where he examined public policy, budget and infrastructure, race relations, education and health care issues.
In his first term in office he was selected as a prestigious Flemming Fellow, a program that trains emerging state legislators from across the 50 states. In 2005 he participated in an intensive government course work with elected and other professionals of various fields from around the country at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the country to receive a Toll Fellowship from the Council of State Government.
Senator Parker's professional background also reflects a wide range of public service and commitment to a better New York. As the Special Assistant to former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, he managed intergovernmental relations in New York City and was the liaison between the Comptroller and city, state and federal elected officials. He has extensive experience working in government and the private sector. He has worked in a managerial capacity with several elected officials, the New York State Urban Development Corporation and UBS PaineWebber. His work history also include the education sector where he takes his commitment to this issue to another level as a professor of both African-American Studies and Political Science at several colleges including: University at Albany, Baruch College - CUNY, SUNY-Old Westbury, John Jay College-CUNY, Medgar Evers College - CUNY, City College and Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. In addition, he is a faculty advisor to student organizations and activities at Brooklyn College and has taught graduate courses at Brooklyn College's Center for Worker Education.
For the 2009/10 legislative term, Senator Parker's Committee assignments include: Codes; Commerce Economic Development and Small Business; Energy & Telecommunications; Environmental Conservation; Higher Education; Finance; Insurance and Rules. Senator Parker has also been appointed as Parliamentarian to the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.
Senator Parker received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Service from Penn State and holds a Master's of Science Degree from the New School for Social Research Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Political Science at the CUNY's Graduate School and University Center. He is also a member of the Alpha Chapter of the Pi Eta Honor Society.
As a representative of the people, Senator Parker is committed to working with all communities in his district to realize his ultimate aim of ensuring adequate representation for all New Yorkers.