ALBANY, NY (WENY)-- Sixty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I have a dream' speech paving the way for civil rights in the United States. Monday, some local lawmakers said while the state has come  a long way, there is still more work to do. 

“We need to continue working hard every day, as I think New Yorkers have, over the decade since Martin Luther King to foster this equality and to remove racism and hate in our state," said Senator Tom O’Mara (R-Big Flats).

O'Mara highlighted that New York State has seen a rise in hate crimes in recent years. According to a report from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, hate crimes against individuals have increased more than six percent. 

“Whatever we can do to promote brotherhood and equality goes a long way in New York State," O'Mara said. 

O'Mara said one of the ways lawmakers can do this is by addressing the issue of affordability. 

“So that all can have the opportunity to succeed and pursue the American dream," he said.