Analysis of law and policy
As the NYCLU’s legislative director, Bob was responsible for developing the organization’s legislative agenda. He analyzed proposed legislation, addressing substantive issues of law and policy as well as the political dynamics that would influence deliberations on a bill.
He has written extensively on civil rights and civil liberties in reports, briefing papers, legislative memorandums and op-ed articles.
Bob has litigation experience in the areas of employment discrimination and police misconduct.
Bob also served as the NYCLU’s principal lobbyist; in that role he advocated for the protection, or enhancement, of individual rights and liberties related to criminal justice and corrections, racial and economic justice, personal privacy, freedom of speech, sexual orientation and gender identity, women’s equality, and reproductive rights.
He testified on behalf of the NYCLU at hearings conducted by state and New York City legislative committees. And he made the case for the NYCLU’s position in the electronic and print media.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Bob was a free-lance writer and editor, undertaking assignments on a broad range of policy issues, including juvenile justice, child poverty, and reproductive rights.
Robert Perry was the principal author of the NYCLU report Mission Failure: Civilian Review of Policing in New York City, 1996-2006.
Design and implementation of legislative strategy
Bob is also an organizer; he has helped coordinate coalition-driven legislative campaigns that led to –
▪ A mandate that the state provide the funding necessary to ensure effective legal representation of indigent persons facing criminal prosecution;
▪ Reform of the Rockefeller drug laws;
▪ Enactment of New York’s landmark Marriage Equality statute;
▪ Recognition of farmworkers’ rights under the state’s labor law;
▪ A ban on the NYPD’s use of a database to store information regarding individuals who had been stopped and frisked;
▪ Nullification of the state’s death-penalty statute;
▪ Defeat of anti-terrorism legislation that would have overturned a century of common-law rulings protective of civil liberties.
Engaging hearts and minds
Bob is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness meditation – a form of raja yoga. He presents frequently on the use of contemplative practice to support movements for peace, human rights and social justice.
He participated in panel discussion on this topic at the United Nations NGO conference in 2018.
Workshop on the use of contemplative disciplines to support movements for societal change held at the United Nations NGO Conference in 2018