Metro Weekly

HRC president Alphonso David will help create Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue in Brooklyn

Commission is comprised of family, friends, and colleagues of Ginsburg's, as well as civil rights leaders

Alphonso David — Photo: Todd Franson

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has appointed Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, as one 23 members of a new commission that will oversee the creation of a statue in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Brooklyn.

The commission includes 18 people, including members of Ginsburg’s family, close friends, colleagues, and representatives from various human rights groups, and will provide recommendations to Cuomo regarding the artist, design, location, and installation of the statue.

Besides David, other members include Jane Ginsburg, the justice’s daughter; Mimi Ginsburg and Clara Spera, Ginsburg’s granddaughters; Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO, National Women’s Law Center; Trevor Morrison, the dean of NYU School of Law and a former clerk for Ginsburg; and Nina Totenberg, the legal affairs correspondent at National Public Radio and a close friend of Ginsburg’s.

The commission also includes five prominent women political figures from New York who will serve as honorary members, including: former Secretary of State and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Janet DiFiore, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York; New York Attorney General Letitia James, Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and the feminist activist and co-founder of Ms. Magazine, Gloria Steinem.

“Last month I announced New York State will honor the life and legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a statue in her native Brooklyn,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Justice Ginsburg will forever stand as a singular figure in history, unmatched in her pursuit of justice and equality under the law for all Americans.

“Only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was a tireless champion for women’s rights and throughout her lifetime brilliantly navigated a complex landscape of gender-based discrimination to ultimately ascend to the highest court in the land. She leveraged that position to fiercely advocate for equal rights and ensure those who followed in her footsteps would face fewer obstacles along the way,” Cuomo added.

See also: RBG documentary tells the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg embodied a set of ideals often missing in today’s civic dialogue — she showed us reason, empathy and hope. Her legacy as a jurist, professor, lawyer and scholar will endure for generations and we are honored to erect a permanent statue in memory of Justice Ginsburg. Lord knows she deserves it.”

David has previously praised Ginsburg’s legacy, particularly as it pertains to advancing LGBTQ and civil rights, calling her “an unqualified, undisputed hero” and “a force for good” who brought the country “closer to delivering on its promise of equality for all.”

“[Ginsburg] was and will remain an inspiration to young people everywhere, a pop culture icon as the Notorious RBG and a giant in the fight for a more just nation for all,” David said in a statement following the legendary justice’s death. “What she represented — fairness, justice and equality for all — we must all continue to fight for. Those principles are not transactional, they are fundamental to our democracy.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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