As a New Yorker, I still feel the sadness, the grief, the tragedy of September 11th. We pause to reflect and remember our loved ones who we lost that day, thirteen years ago. They were our friends, our family members, our neighbors, our co-workers, our first-responders including EMTs, firefighters, and police officers.
In the days that followed, a new resolve began. People came together, to help each other in our greatest time of need. Today, that resolve has become a National Day of Service. I applaud those who are volunteering their time this September 11th, for this Day of Service strengthens individuals, communities and our nation.
Today is Grandparents Day, and I’d like to recognize the important role these relatives play in our lives. They are often our first storytellers, teaching us about our family and more importantly, about life. And today, many grandparents are also helping to raise their grandchildren because a parent or their own child is unable to.
I voted in favor of a resolution declaring September as Kinship Care Month in New York. More than 150,000 children in our state are living with grandparents, and nationwide, that figure is 2.7 million children. We should recognize and thank these elders for sharing their love and their homes, and forging the special bond of a kin or relative.
On this Labor Day, let us not forget the roots of this national holiday originally proposed in 1882 by the Central Labor Union of New York as a day to pay tribute to the working class. These men and women over the centuries made important contributions to our great state that should be celebrated. But there is still work to do on behalf of workers. We must continue to fight for a living wage, not the minimum wage of $8 an hour, so we can raise more people out of poverty. And we must make sure the workplace is a safe one, with equal protections and pay.
“This Women’s Equality Day, as we celebrate the historic passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, we must also recommit ourselves to ensuring the women of New York receive the rights and protections they deserve. We have made great strides in achieving equality for women here in New York but the Senate Republicans’ refusal to pass the Women’s Equality Act clearly demonstrates that we still have much more work to do.
“Today should serve as a reminder to all New Yorkers that we have not yet realized the goal of fully protecting women’s rights and health. My Senate Democratic colleagues and I will continue to fight for women's equality.”
Democratic Conference Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined Senator Terry Gipson on Saturday, August 2nd, for the 3rd Annual Breaking Barriers Cultural Arts Expo in Poughkeepsie. The mission of Breaking Barriers is to bridge the gap between cultures and diverse orientations in the community.
Special greetings to my Muslim constituents on Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking.) Your holiday with family and friends follows the holy month of Ramadan and includes charitable giving in recognition of your blessings. May your three day celebration be a joyous one. Eid Mubarak ! (Blessed Eid !) Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair ! (May every year find you in good health.)
Are you uninsured or underinsured? The Health Department will be offering FREE immunizations for 12 months to 18 year olds, by appointment. Navigators will be on hand to help parents and guardians sign their children up for the health insurance they need.
As New Yorkers join in the celebration of the 238th birthday of our nation today, let us not forget those who came before us. The determination to establish our independence resulted in the birth of our country. Their strength, courage and spirit remain American characteristics today.
We cannot take for granted the freedom and protections we enjoy and expect.We owe a debt of gratitude to all veterans and those who serve in the military fighting for our freedom.
Today is June 19th, and on this Juneteenth, celebrated as Black Independence Day by African-Americans, I pause to commemorate the end of slavery. In 1862, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation but it took close to three more years before all slaves were freed.
Albany, NY - Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic Conference Leader, supports an agreement by Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders on a package of reforms to combat the growing heroin epidemic facing communities throughout New York State.
“Within the last decade opioid use, particularly among young adults, has risen at an alarming and unacceptable rate,” Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “We have a responsibility to combat this addictive and deadly substance and educate the public against its use. This package of bills is a step in the right direction. These laws will be an effective tool in fighting the heroin and opioid scourge that our state is facing. "
“Oscar-nominated actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee paved the way for many of us by setting a wonderful example of strength and courage. She made her mark on history, from Broadway to Hollywood, fighting for racial equality in the arts after standing with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
With less than two weeks of session left, the New York Women's Equality Coalition was joined by Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in front of the Senate Chamber as session was happening on Tuesaday, June 10th, to urge her Senate colleagues to bring the Women's Equality Act to the floor for a vote.
Democratic Conference Leader Stewart-Cousins, joined by Senators Addabbo and Krueger, urged her colleagues in the Senate to pass the Paid Family Leave Insurance Bill (S.4742-B) before the end of session at a press conference held on Monday, June 9th. The bill, which passed the Assembly in March and is sponsored by Senator Addabbo in the Senate, would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial wages during time off from work taken to care for an infant or seriously ill family member. This bill would be entirely employee-paid through small payroll deductions that start at just $0.45 cents and rise to roughly $0.88 a week over four years.
Exempt Certain Veterans From Property Taxes: S4136A will provide a 100% property tax exemption for veterans (or their unmarried surviving spouses) of engagements that certain campaign ribbons and medals have been issued for, and who are designated 100% disabled as a result of military service.
June was chosen as LGBT pride month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969. Today, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated worldwide with festivals, parades, concerts, and parties where LGBT community members and allies gather to celebrate their pride, rights, contributions to society, openness and diversity.
Today, please take a moment to honor the brave men and women of our armed forces, particularly those who have fallen in service to our nation. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our veterans, active military personnel and their families for the sacrifices they have made to defend our way of life and preserve freedom and peace in America. They make these sacrifices with pride and humility so we must show our appreciation today and every day by giving thanks and lending a helping hand to them and others in need. So on this Memorial Day, I hope you will join me in thanking our veterans and honoring those who have fallen. Their service inspires us all. Happy Memorial Day.
The County of Westchester has received $737,924 to put young people from low-income households to work this summer.
Funded through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the Summer Youth Employment Program connects thousands of selected participants all over the state to jobs that will help them gain valuable work experience and much-needed income. Participants will work in places such as parks, nursing homes, summer camps, child care organizations, senior centers, community recreation centers, and other participating local businesses.
Veterans to Receive Benefit Information When Applying for a Driver’s License or ID: Sponsored by Democratic State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senate Bill S2226B will provide an option on DMV application forms for any veteran to authorize the DMV to share data with the Division of Veteran Affairs through Vets Connect.
Albany, NY – On Tuesday, May 20th, Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF – 35th District) and members of the Senate Democratic Conference joined women’s rights advocates to call on the Senate Republican Coalition to pass the full Women’s Equality Act (WEA). Despite being passed twice in the State Assembly, the full Women’s Equality Act has not been brought before the Senate for a vote.