ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) - Protesters traveled from Buffalo to Albany on Wednesday confront New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to demand the immediate removal of Carl Paladino from the Buffalo Board of Education.
Parents, educators, youth and concerned residents of Buffalo gathered in Albany to meet with Elia after she denied a previous request to meet with representatives from their group.
The group chanted and sang in protest in the lobby of the New York State Education Department building during lunch hour.
"We came all the way here to show Commissioner Elia how serious we are about Paladino's removal," said Whitney Crispell, a member of Showing Up for Racial Justice. "We are asking her not only to remove Carl Paladino from his seat but to come to Buffalo and hold a public hearing. Most people cannot take a day off of work or arrange the childcare necessary to come to Albany. Commissioner Elia should come to us and hear directly from the people dealing with Paladino's racism."
Protesters have been calling for Paladino's removal since he made some comments regarding President Barrack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama in an article that came out in Artvoice in December.
"White supremacists like Carl Paladino should not sit on the Buffalo Board of Education," said Anika Ochoa-Koritz, another member of Showing Up for Racial Justice. "I'm a BPS (Buffalo Public School) graduate and resident of Buffalo, and we all deserve better. It's been 139 days since the Board majority voted for his removal. How much longer do we have to wait for Commissioner Elia to remove Carl Paladino?"
Protesters requested that a hearing be held in Buffalo.