Andrea Stewart-Cousins Biography

Andrea Stewart-Cousins was born and raised in New York to parents that encouraged a life grounded in education and service. Since the very beginning of her tenure in government, Andrea Stewart-Cousins has espoused the values of empathy, empowerment and civic engagement. These values, along with her strong belief in advocating for the underserved and championing the needs of working families, has distinguished her as a trailblazer in local and State government.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins was elected by her colleagues to serve as Leader of the Senate Democratic Conference in December 2012, becoming the first female leader of a legislative conference in New York State history. She was first elected to the State Senate in 2006 and currently represents Greenburgh, part of White Plains, part of New Rochelle, part of Yonkers and Scarsdale.

Senator Stewart-Cousins is a strong advocate for human rights; quality education; accessible and affordable health care; and making government more efficient, transparent and accountable to all citizens. Her belief that creating change locally affects changes on the State level has driven her legislative and policy agenda at home and in Albany.

Senator Stewart-Cousins has sponsored and passed transformative legislation that has become law, such as the landmark Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act. This law empowers communities across the State to consolidate local governments, which reduces overlap of municipal services and saves taxpayer dollars. She also sponsored and passed Jimmy Nolan’s law, which was enacted into law in 2009. This law extends the time by which 9/11 responders can file compensation claims for injuries sustained from the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations. Finally, she sponsored and passed the Child Health Plus and School Meal Enrollment Coordination Law, which was signed into law in 2010. This law allows families to use their proof of eligibility for Free or Reduced Price School Meal Programs as proof of income to enroll their child in Medicaid and Child Health Plus.

Senator Stewart-Cousins has created a number of valuable community programs to support the youth in her district. For instance, she developed the JAM (Just About Me) Program in conjunction with The Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority and the Mary J. Blige Center for Women, in February 2010. This monthly speaker series acts as a way to reach out to young women in municipal housing and directly address issues that they face. Topics have included self esteem, healthy relationships and career development. In addition, Senator Stewart-Cousins was instrumental in bringing “Operation SNUG”(which is ‘guns’ spelled backwards) to the City of Yonkers. This front-line anti-gun and gang violence prevention effort helps local law enforcement and anti-violence community groups create innovative programs to steer at-risk New Yorkers away from the culture of gangs and illegal drugs. The program is based on a successful initiative in the city of Chicago.

For her extensive legislative work and community service, Senator Stewart-Cousins has been honored with numerous citations and awards from organizations, including: the American Cancer Society, American Civil Liberties Union, the Hudson River Museum, and the National Association of Social Workers. The Senator was also named, "Woman of the Year" by the Business and Professional Women’s Club; "Legislator of the Year" by the Community Health Association of New York State; "Leader in Social Justice" by Pace Law School; "Champion of Choice" by NYS Family Planning Advocates. In January of 2009, Senator Stewart-Cousins made New York State history as the first African-American woman to preside over the Senate. In that role, she was charged with maintaining order, interpreting the rules and practices of the Senate, and calling on members to debate and vote on legislation brought to the floor.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins also served for a decade as a Westchester County Legislator. During her tenure (from 1996-2006), she was elected Majority Whip and Vice-Chair, and she authored and passed landmark legislation, including: Westchester County’s first human rights laws; living wage laws; smoke-free workplace laws; tougher gun laws; laws that prosecute "predatory lenders"; and laws that have provided tax cuts for seniors and veterans. As Chair of the Health Committee, Andrea Stewart-Cousins brought the "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program" to Westchester County – after a successful pilot of this program in Yonkers. This model has since become a national cornerstone of enhanced community/medical rape crisis assistance.

In 1992, Andrea Stewart-Cousins became the first African American to serve as Director of Community Affairs for the City of Yonkers. While there, she created an internship program for the hearing impaired and for children in working families and also advocated for and contributed to the revitalization of the City of Yonkers. She was a founder of the original "Art on Main Street," as well as a co-creator of "RiverFest", which is a widely attended, multi-cultural, ecologically oriented city-wide celebration.

Senator Stewart-Cousins earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Pace University and her teaching credentials in Business Education from Lehman College while raising her children as an adult. In 2008, she earned her Masters of Public Administration from Pace University, and is a proud member of Pi Alpha Alpha - a Public Administration Honor Society. Prior to entering public service, she spent twenty years in the private sector, working in sales and marketing for New York Telephone/AT&T for thirteen years and also worked as a reporter and teacher.

Senator Stewart-Cousins resides in Yonkers, was married to the late Thomas Cousins and has three children and two grandchildren.


Biografía de Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Andrea Stewart-Cousins nació y se crió en Nueva York de padres que la alentaron a una vida fundada en la educación y el servicio. Desde el inicio de su servicio público en el gobierno - como la primer Afro-americano en  servir como la Directora de Asuntos de la Comunidad en la ciudad de Yonkers, Andrea Stewart-Cousins ha abrazado los valores de la empatía, la potenciación y el servicio. Estos valores, junto con su firme convicción en la defensa de los desfavorecidos y la defensa de las necesidades de las familias trabajadoras se ha distinguido como una pionera en el gobierno local y estatal.

Antes de su elección para el Senado de Nueva York en el 2006 y ella representa a Greenburgh, Yonkers, White Plains, Scarsdale, and New Rochelle, Andrea Stewart-Cousins fue durante una década legisladora del Condado de Westchester. Durante su tenencia (1996-2006), fue elegida Majority Whip y Vicepresidente, y la autora de la legislación histórica aprobada, incluyendo: en primer lugar humanos del Condado de Westchester de los derechos de las leyes, las leyes salario digno; las leyes del trabajo libre de humo; endurecimiento de las leyes de armas , las leyes que juzgar "prestamistas depredadores", y las leyes que han proporcionado los recortes de impuestos para los ancianos y los veteranos. Como Presidente del Comité de Salud, Andrea Stewart-Cousins trajo el "Asalto Sexual Nurse Examiner" Programa para el Condado de Westchester - después de un piloto con éxito de este programa en Yonkers. Este modelo se ha convertido en una piedra angular nacional de la comunidad/de asistencia médica en casos de violación.

A partir de 1992 como Directora de Asuntos Comunitarios de la Ciudad de Yonkers, Andrea Stewart-Cousins creó un programa de pasantías para los sordos y para los niños de familias trabajadoras. Ha promovido y contribuido a la revitalización de la Ciudad de Yonkers y fue fundadora del arte original "en la calle principal", así como un co-creadora de la "Fiesta del Río", que - en su decimoséptimo año - es un una amplia participación multi-cultural, orientada hacia la ecología de la ciudad y es una celebración a través de toda la ciudad.

Senador Stewart-Cousins es una defensora de los derechos humanos, educación de calidad, accesibles y asequibles de cuidado de la salud, el desarrollo de la juventud, la protección del medio ambiente, y, haciendo un gobierno más abierto, transparente y responsable a todos nuestros ciudadanos. Su creencia de que el cambio afecta a la creación a nivel local los cambios en el nivel de los Estados ha llevado a su programa legislativo y de política en el país y en Albany. En su primer término en el Senado del Estado, luchó con éxito para salvar el Hospital de la Comunidad en Dobbs Ferry de cierre, y trabajó con sus colegas en la Legislatura del Estado para proporcionar fondos adicionales para servicios de la ciudad de Yonkers y las escuelas, garantizando al mismo tiempo que las ayudas estatales a las bases las escuelas de Westchester vieron los mayores aumentos en la última década.

Por su labor legislativa amplia y el servicio comunitario, la senadora Stewart-Cousins ha sido reconocida con numerosos galardones y premios de organizaciones, entre ellas: la American Cancer Society, American Civil Liberties Union, el Museo del Río Hudson, y la Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Sociales. La senadora también fue nombrada "Mujer del Año" por la Empresa y el Club de Mujeres Profesionales; "Legislador del Año" por la Asociación Comunitaria de Salud de Estado de Nueva York, "Líder en la justicia social" por Pace Law School, "Champion of Choice" by NYS Family Planning Advocates; y fue la beneficiaria de la" Thurgood Marshall Award "de la NAACP. En enero de 2009, la  senadora Stewart-Cousins hizo historia en el  estado de Nueva York como la primera mujer afro-americana para presidir el Senado. Como Presidente, la senadora Stewart-Cousins se encarga de mantener el orden, la interpretación de las normas y prácticas del Senado, e invita a los miembros para debatir y votar sobre la legislación en el suelo.

Senador Stewart-Cousins obtuvo su licenciatura en Ciencias de la Universidad de Pace y sus credenciales de enseñanza en la educación de negocios de Lehman College. Ella es una graduada reciente de la Universidad de Pace (mayo de 2008) con una Maestría en Administración Pública y es un orgulloso miembro de Pi Alpha Alpha - Administración Pública Honor Society. Pasó veinte años en el sector público, y después de trece años en ventas y marketing con New York Telephone/AT & T, persiguió una carrera en el periodismo y la docencia, antes de ingresar al servicio público.

La Senadora Stewart-Cousins reside en Yonkers, estaba casada con el fallecido Thomas Cousins y tiene tres hijos y dos nietos.