(Albany - January 26th) State Senator and Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has dedicated her career to promote the health of women and their families and to secure access to confidential, quality reproductive health care for all New Yorkers. So, it was no surprise as she stood beside many of her colleagues from the New York State Assembly and Senate including Senators Liz Kreuger, Brad Hoylman and Toby Stavisky, in support of members of the Family Planning Advocates who continue to fight to ensure that women’s health, safety and equality be protected by state law.
Our area is currently under a Blizzard Warning, with weather forecasters including the National Weather Service predicting an historic storm beginning at 1 pm today and continuing into Tuesday morning. We could see snow accumulate between 18 and 24 inches, with higher amounts possible. The snow may fall at rates of 2 to 4 inches an hour late tonight into Tuesday morning.
Please keep yourself and your family safe and protected during this blizzard. Governor Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency for all New York counties south of Sullivan, which includes Westchester, and has said the New York State Thruway and other state-controlled highways may close at 10 p.m. Mass transit will be impacted. Metro-North and the LIRR will shut down at 11:00 PM Monday night.
Governor Cuomo’s State of the State and Executive Budget proposals did not get much attention Thursday in the wake of the Sheldon Silver arrest. But the governor’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda did introduce a lot of new proposals that need discussing. Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins joined us to discuss Cuomo’s proposals and did weigh in on the charges against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
(35th Senate District - January 19th) Senator Stewart-Cousins spent the day remembering the life and contributions of our nation's most beloved civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her first stop was the annual MLK Day Breakast in Yonkers at the Nepperhan Community Center, followed by a stop at the James Harmon Community Center in Hastings where she participated in the singing of "We Shall Overcome," and later, at Tarrytown at the Foster Memorial AME Zion Church MLK Day Celebration.
In his State of the State and Budget Address, Governor Cuomo unveiled an ambitious agenda and offered New Yorkers a vision of a stronger, more prosperous state. The Senate Democratic Conference has championed so many of the initiatives the Governor discussed in his speech, including raising the minimum wage, providing property tax relief, implementing stronger legislative ethics, passing the Dream Act and reforming our state’s criminal justice system. The Senate Democratic Conference will continue our fight to ensure all New York students, regardless of what zip code they reside in, have access to the high-quality education they deserve.
The new Tappan Zee Bridge is the most ambitious and largest infrastructure investment project in the United States, and, once completed, it will have a positive impact for our community and all of New York State. As this project has progressed, I have consistently called for steps to be taken to ensure the tolls remain as low as possible, as higher tolls would have a negative impact on our local community and the entire state economy. I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to invest a portion of bank settlement funds into infrastructure projects like this one, located within my district in Tarrytown, to ease the burden on taxpayers and commuters, and allow New York and its residents to continue on a path toward prosperity.
Today we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the holiday commending the life and extraordinary achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of our nation's most beloved and influential civil rights leaders.
For many, Dr. King's message of peace, justice and equality resonates this year in graphic ways. Amid nationwide marches, cries for criminal justice reform, and the movie "Selma," we are simultaneously reminded of how far we've come and how far we have yet to go.
Today’s legislative maneuvering is clearly a political ploy by the Senate Republicans. To once again reject the full Women’s Equality Act is deeply disturbing. Let us remember that the final point is simply codifying current federal law into New York State law and saying anything to the contrary is a deliberate distraction from their extremist anti-choice views. Women’s health should never be a partisan issue. In 1970, a dozen Senate Republicans joined with their Democratic colleagues to address reproductive rights in New York State. It is troubling that today’s Republican conference has once again proven that they are all against women’s reproductive rights.
(Yonkers - January 10th) Senator Stewart-Cousins hosted an open house to give her constituents the opportunity to learn a little bit more about what her office can do for the people in her district. It was a well-attended event with constituents, friends and colleagues in the government and community organizations from all corners of her district stopping by to say hi to the Senator.
Albany, NY - State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins took the oath of office Wednesday with her children by her side, continuing her historic leadership role in New York, as the first female legislative conference leader (elected 2012, re-elected 2014), and the first female State Senate Minority Leader.
In her opening remarks delivered on the Senate floor, Senator Stewart-Cousins thanked her constituents for re-electing her and her Democratic colleagues for their continued support. She pledged to make Albany an example of good government. “We will not allow partisan bickering to obstruct our efforts to serve our constituents and together we will give all New Yorkers the responsible and productive government they deserve.”
(January 7th - Albany) Senator Stewart-Cousins was joined by her three children, Candice, Steve and Kevin, as New York State's Chief Judge Lippman administered the oath of office to her on the Senate floor. The 2015 legislative session has begun. Here's the link to the Senator's opening remarks.
(Yonkers - January 2nd) Senator Stewart-Cousins was honored to attend the swearing in of Yonkers first Democratic African-American City Judge, the Honorable Evan Inlaw (left). The Hon. Bruce E. Tolbert, (right), was Yonkers first African-American Republican City Judge, and now serves as a State Supreme Court Justice, and Yonkers first African-American City Councilwoman, Symra Brandon, who is currently the Yonkers Democratic City Chairwoman.
(Elmsford - December 31st) The week long celebration of African culture and traditions known as Kwanzaa ends on New Year's Day. This event was held Tuesday night in New Rochelle. Happy Kwanzaa..and Happy New Year!
My thoughts and prayers are with the Governor and his family. Mario Cuomo was a voice for the voiceless and he stood up for those that could not stand up for themselves. He is the ideal that Democrats strive toward. New York and our Country as a whole are better places because of his leadership. He will be truly missed.
“Minimum wage earners throughout New York State continue to struggle to make ends meet and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Though our lowest paid workers will get a small wage increase today they will not reach a scheduled $9.00 per hour until New Year’s Day 2016. New York could and should do better. The Senate Democratic Conference will continue to fight for a real minimum wage increase."
(Yonkers - December 28th) Senator Stewart-Cousins honoring the 80th anniversary of the Yonkers Jewish War Veterans Post #68 with a Senate Proclamation. Pictured with the Senator are Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, Senator George Latimer, Elliott Palais, Stan Bernstein and Yonkers City Council Minority Leader Michael Sabatino.\
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Owen Johnson. Senator Johnson was a true gentleman who provided decades of service to the residents of New York State. As a colleague and friend, I am truly grateful for the kindness and respect Owen showed me during our time together in the State Senate. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children and loved ones.”
(Irvington - December 21st) Senator Stewart-Cousins celebrating Hanukkah in Irvington by lighting the menorah outside the fire house with some little helpers on Sunday. Organizers put together family fun & activities including music and entertainment.