(Albany - June 25th) Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic Conference Leader, delivered her closing remarks on the Senate floor Thursday. While important legislation was passed, she also touched on the missed opportunities to create more affordable housing, tax relief for working families, mandate relief for local government and increasing the minimum wage to lift more people out of poverty. Click here for the full remarks.
(Albany - June 9th) Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins addressed the chamber with the presentation of a resolution to Ms. Edith M. Flanigen, recognizing her for being one of the eight recipients of the National Medal of Science and Technology, the nation’s highest honor in science. With a career spanning over 50 years and counting, Ms. Flanigen revolutionized the world of science for future generations. The Senator recalled that when Ms. Flanigen was born in 1929, women scientists, women innovators, or women who were creating new fields in science didn’t exist. With the inspiration of a nun, Ms. Flaniegn pursued a love and passion for science and technology.
(Albany - May 28th) “It’s not all of us who aspire to be heroes. It’s not all of us who devote as much time and attention to the little and big things in the communities we live in.” This quote by Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins concluded her address to the Senate chamber commending Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli who has proven through his actions to be a great hero in his community. DePaoli, who is also a 30 year employee of the Irvington Parks Department, displayed a tremendous amount of courage when he spotted a man attacking a woman with a knife and did what he instinctively knew best as a first responder; he jumped out of his car, took his daughters baseball bat and stopped what would have been an otherwise fatal assault.
(Albany - May 19th) Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined a crowd of teachers, students, delegates and other constituents in support of additional funding for Yonkers Public Schools at the State Capitol. The Leader addressed the crowd at the event, "We have an opportunity here to get it right, and to get it right for you. We don't care how long, how hard, how much we have to knock on doors, to beg, rally, scream.. whatever it takes to get you what you need. And one of the things that we'd like to do here today is to turn this million dollar staircase into a 28 million dollar staircase.
(Albany - April 27th) Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senator Daniel Squadron, sponsor of the bill, held a news conference to push for legislation to tighten campaign finance regulations and close the LLC donation gap. Representatives from organizations such as the Brennan Center and Citizens Action, Citizen Union, Common Cause, League of Women Voters, and NYPIRG also support the bill. Senator Stewart-Cousins said almost every day new allegations of abuse and corruption are leveled at state government.
(Cuba - April 20th) Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins had the opportunity to be a member of the first trade mission to Cuba organized by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Catch a quick glimpse of the trip including meeting with the Cardinal, a tour of old Havana, and catching up with SUNY students and Chancellor Zimpher.
(Albany - March 31st) Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins addressed her colleagues in regards to the Education Budget Bill. She prefaced her remarks by mentioning that she is a product of public school education, her children went to public school, her grandchildren went to public school and she had the opportunity to teach in public school. As one of the leading advocates for children and education in New York State, the Senator criticized the bill for the expeditious implementation of the common core and the lasting effects it could have on students and their teachers. She reflected on all the different areas of her district and the way they banded together over the rush to place the common core in schools.
(Albany - March 31st) “What happened in this budget, and the story of this budget, is more of a story of who was included, who was left out, and its also more of a story of what didn't happen as opposed to what did. We failed to raise the minimum wage that would've lifted thousands of New Yorkers out of poverty. We failed to provide desperately needed property tax relief for homeowners and business owners across New York State. Yet, we gave tax breaks to yacht owners and airplane owners. We failed to deliver relief for renters and provide adequate funding for affordable housing.
(Albany - March 24th) “Keep doing what you’re doing….When we invest in you, you invest in us.” Encouraging final words from Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to the Transit Workers Union (TWU) 100 in Albany on March 24th. The Senator is a strong supporter of the TWU. Her father, a World War II veterans, became a car maintenance operator and proud TWU union member. The Leader said she and her Democratic Conference members understand what they do, how they do it, and how important their work is to everyone who relies on public transportation.
(Albany - March 17th) Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced a State Senate Resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when, on March 7th, 1965, civil rights protesters marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in the fight for voting rights. That fateful day, over 600 men, women and children were beaten as they attempted to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke about the courage of the marchers and their firm belief that justice and equality would prevail. The brutality these unsung heroes faced sparked awareness that allowed for the right things to happen to minorities across the nation.
(Albany - February 10th) Noting the strides made by African-Americans in our nation, our state and even in positions of leadership in the New York State Legislature, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Minority Leader, spoke on the Senate Resolution designating February as Black History Month. “With this resolution, I wanted to make sure we understood there are leaders that change our lives. Obviously, nationally noted, and then right in our communities; even right here in our legislature.”
(Albany - February 2nd) “I didn’t have the privilege of serving with Governor Mario Cuomo, but I had the privilege of knowing him outside of the formal atmosphere of governor.” This was a snippet of the heartwarming reflection given by Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins about Governor Mario Cuomo. The Senator addressed the Senate to pay homage to the late governor. The decision to honor his life and legacy came unanimously supported through a resolution which Senator Stewart-Cousins co-sponsored. She spoke on the ways in which he created opportunity for individuals who typically would not. She recollected that he was so successful as a leader because he understood what it was like to be that person on the outside, on the inside.
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers, the Democratic Conference Leader, accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge that Senator Dean Skelos nominated her for. She had help fulfilling the challenge from Yonkers-native 31-year-old Pat Quinn, who was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, a year ago, and helped create this unique fundraising challenge. Pat's idea has helped the ALS Foundation raise $15 million in a short period of time. To learn more about Pat Quinn and how you can get involved, click here.
On the last day of Session, Democratic Conference Leader explaining her support of the medical marijuana bill, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, telling a story of a long-time friend whose husband had to go to California to receive relief for his illness.. and how this shouldn't have had to happen.