John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks, is a tireless advocate for people with Down syndrome and all people with differing abilities. John took time today to thank New York Assemblyman Steve Stern for his support for people with differing abilities by presenting the Assembly with a Certificate of Appreciation from John’s Crazy Socks.
“Assemblyman Stern truly cares and he listens when we talk about issues important to people with Down syndrome and all people with differing abilities,” said John Cronin. “And he takes action. He is a co-sponsor of bills in New York that promote inclusion and fairness for people with differing abilities.”
John added, “Assemblyman Stern has presented me with several proclamations so it is only fair that we give him a Certificate of Appreciation.” John also gave the Assemblyman a box of his socks as a sign of gratitude for the work the Assemblyman has done on behalf of people with a disability.
Assemblyman Stern accepted the gift and certificate from John with a huge smile. “John is a star in our community. I am grateful to have him as an ally in our work to promote inclusion and fairness for all New York citizens.”
Fair Pay for All: Eliminating the Subminimum Wage
Assemblyman Stern is a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 4347 that would eliminate the subminimum wage in New York. More than 140,000 Americans earn less than minimum wage simply because they have a disability. Some are paid as little as $0.25 an hour. The Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938 includes section 14(c) that allows organizations to receive a permit to pay people with a disability less than minimum wage. These are known as 14(c) certificates. The legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Stern would eliminate section 14(c) waivers in New York.
“This is a matter of fairness,” said Assemblyman Stern. “We cannot allow one group of New Yorkers to be treated less than all others.”
Saying Congratulations to Parents with a Newborn with Down Syndrome
John’s partner and father, Mark X. Cronin, recently published an article in the Huffington Post about the terrible way he and his wife found out that John had Down syndrome. The covering OB/GYN said, “I am so sorry. I have bad news. It appears that your son may have a slight case of Down syndrome.”
Too many parents of a child with a disability hear such wrong-headed words. They should hear “Congratulations.”
Assemblyman Stern has co-sponsored New York Assembly Bill 4138 that would require health care providers working with a parent or parents who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome to distribute accurate, up-to-date, and widely accepted information developed by national and local Down syndrome organizations. And the bill would provide information on hotlines specific to Down syndrome, relevant resource centers and contact information for national and local Down syndrome organizations.
“This legislation is so important,’ said Mark X. Cronin, “to ensure that parents are given accurate, up-to-date information and that they are connected with support groups that can help them see the joy and the hope in their child’s birth.”
Celebrating Down Syndrome
On March 21, 2022, World Down Syndrome Day, Assemblymembers Stern and Jarett Gandolfo introduced a resolution in the New York State Assembly to recognize John Cronin for his success as an entrepreneur, his advocacy for people with down syndrome and for spreading happiness. They introduced John to the entire New York Assembly, where he received a standing ovation.
Mark X. Cronin said, “We gave this Certificate of Appreciation to Assemblyman Stern because he not only listens but takes action. He stands up for inclusion and for the rights of people with disabilities. We are incredibly grateful for his support.
John and John’s Crazy Socks Advocacy Work for People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
Advocating for people with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) is important to John’s Crazy Socks. John and Mark are members of the CEO Commission for Disability Employment and the Neurodiversity at Work Business Roundtable. They were recently added to the Suffolk County Workforce Development Board by County Executive Steve Bellone.
John is on the board of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and both John and Mark serve as ambassadors for NDSS. They are keynote speakers who speak at conferences, corporate events and colleges and universities on the topic of workforce inclusion for all.
“In our advocacy work, we do not ask if you are a Democrat or a Republican,” said Mark, X. Cronin, “We only ask if you support the rights of people with differing abilities.”
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $625,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at email@example.com.