As Election Day approaches, Senator Stewart-Cousins is reminding registered New Yorkers to vote. And with the new paper ballot system, the Senator and the Westchester Independent Living Center are raising awareness about the Ballot Marking Device (BMD), which helps voters with disabilities privately and independently cast their ballots.
(Tarrytown) - Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF/ I – 35th District) is calling on Federal and State officials to include mass transit options in plans to rebuild the Tappan Zee Bridge. This comes in the wake of President Obama’s selection of the 3 mile Hudson River crossing as one of fourteen nationwide infrastructure projects to receive expedited federal review and approval. Her statement is below.
Joining thousands of parade-goers and marchers, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins took part in the 84th Annual Yonkers Columbus Day Parade. Organized by the Yonkers Columbus Day Celebration Committee the parade celebrates Italian heritage in the city of Yonkers and beyond. Marchers included dance and music performers as well as community groups and elected officials. During the parade, the Senator stopped for a picture with Miss Westchester and Miss Teen Westchester.
(Tarrytown) - Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF/ I – 35th District) praised President Obama for selecting the Tappan Zee Bridge as one of fourteen infrastructure projects nationwide for expedited federal review and approval. She also thanked Governor Cuomo for advocating the need for this project to the Federal Government. Her statement is below.
Senator Stewart-Cousins attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Shoreline Stabilization Project in Dobbs Ferry. The project will restore and stabilize portions of the eroding Hudson River shoreline in the village’s Waterfront Park, which have not been reinforced in more than 50 years. It was jointly financed by the Village of Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, a grant from the New York Department of State’s Waterfront Revitalization Program, and a generous $1 million donation from Dobbs Ferry philanthropists Marie and Arch McKellar. This is the first phase of the village’s broader waterfront revitalization program, which will eventually include a River Walk, a kayak launch and additional green space for recreational activities.
Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke at a press conference with US Senator Charles Schumer, calling on state, local and county officials to clear debris from the Saw Mill River. She also called on FEMA to cover the costs of this clean-up through their Public Assistance Grant Program, which helps government entities pay for storm recovery.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and County Legislators Mary Jane Shimsky and Alfreda Williams would like to invite you to "Coffee and Conversation." Come discuss critical issues with your State and County officials. This event is open to the public, so please pass this information along to your e-mail list, friends and neighbors. See below for details.
The New York State Legislature approved an historic marriage equality bill that will allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in the State of New York. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF- 35th District), who voted in favor of the bill, released this statement:
"This is an historic day for New Yorkers. As the world watched, the legislature took a stand and declared that discrimination is not acceptable in any form to any person or group. Tomorrow, same sex couples will wake up knowing that this government recognizes them as equal citizens of New York and they can take comfort in the fact that their right to a civil marriage in New York State will be granted.
"Civil marriage is a relationship sanctioned and licensed by the State and it provides protections, rights, responsibilities, obligations and benefits that gay couples have the same right to enjoy as different sex couples. It is important to note that this bill includes strong religious exemptions to respect the beliefs of clergy and religious organizations.
"I was proud to support marriage equality because loving and willing gay couples deserve the freedom to get married. Once again, New York has shown itself to be a leader in advancing the cause of freedom and equality to all people"
Allows Financing of Teacher Pension Costs; Yonkers will Save $4.9 million
The New York State Senate passed legislation (S. 4067-A) today that would allow school districts throughout New York to finance their teacher pension costs, a process called "amortization". Under current law, school districts must pay contributions to the New York State Teacher Retirement System in one lump sum. This bill permits districts to issue bonds to cover these costs, which allows them to make payments over time and provides much-needed cash to struggling school districts.
Senator Stewart-Cousins joined thousands of residents and visitors at the annual Tarrytown Street Fair on Main Street. The all day family affair featured vendors from Westchester County and beyond selling food, clothing and other products.
Senator Stewart-Cousins attended the Summer Celebration at the Eileen Fisher LAB Store in Irvington. Located at the Eileen Fisher corporate headquarters, the LAB Store offers four categories of women's clothing; current designs, recent designs, samples and recycled clothing. All proceeds of sales from the recycled clothing are directed to charities that help women and girls
Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke at a memorial service in remembrance of Yonkers activist Helen Auerbach, who passed away in March. Ms. Auerbach was a founding mother of My Sister’s Place – a Westchester based organization that works with victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. A tireless advocate for social justice and peace, Ms. Auerbach was active in the Westchester People’s Action Coalition, the Yonkers Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was co-founder of the Yonkers Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. She also worked for decades at Leake and Watts Children’s Home in Yonkers. At the memorial, held at the Community Unitarian Church in White Plains, friends and family shared their memories of how Helen Auerbach touched their lives and the lives of others. Senator Stewart-Cousins recalled Ms. Auerbach’s magnetic spirit and smile adding that she always admired Ms. Auerbach’s efforts to effect change in the local community and around the world. At the end of her speech, the Senator presented a proclamation from the New York State Senate to Ms. Auerbach’s son.
Senator Stewart-Cousins attended the New York premiere of the film "More to Live For" at the Irvington Town Hall theatre. The documentary- film tells the stories of three individuals struck by leukemia, and details their struggles to find the vital bone marrow matches that would save their lives. The subjects of the film were all talented and ambitious men with no obvious connection to each other. They were the late Michael Brecker, a longtime resident of Hastings who was one of the most influential tenor saxophonists of all time; James Chippendale, who owns a company that insures musical performances and large-scale events; and Seun Adebiyi, who hopes to become the first Nigerian to compete in the winter Olympics. The film was directed by Noah Hutton, of Irvington, and produced by Susan Brecker, wife of Michael and longtime resident of Hastings. The Senator had the opportunity to meet Mr. Hutton and Ms. Brecker as well as one of the subjects of the film, Mr. Adebiyi. She is pictured here with Mr. Hutton (left) and Mr. Adebiyi (middle).
(Albany) – The New York State Legislature passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF- 35th District) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D- 87th District), which allows Westchester County to finance their 2010 Early Retirement Incentive payments. This will provide immediate relief to the county budget and save taxpayer dollars in the long term.
Colonel Theresa Mercado- Sconzo Sent to Abu Ghraib to restore Honor to United States After Prisoner Abuse Scandal
(Albany)- Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF- 35th District) inducted Colonel Theresa Mercado-Sconzo (United State Army Nursing Corp) into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Albany. Colonel Mercado-Sconzo, of Pleasantville, NY, was deployed to Abu Ghraib prison in March of 2005 to serve as officer in charge of the detainee camps and emergency room shortly after the prisoner abuse and torture scandal was exposed.
Colonel Theresa Mercado- Sconzo Sent to Abu Ghraib to Restore Honor to United States After Prisoner Abuse Scandal
(Albany)- Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF- 35th District) inducted Colonel Theresa Mercado-Sconzo (United State Army Nursing Corp) into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony today in Albany. Colonel Mercado-Sconzo, of Pleasantville, NY, was deployed to Abu Ghraib prison in March of 2005 to serve as officer in charge of the detainee camps and emergency room shortly after the prisoner abuse and torture scandal was exposed.
“This ethics bill is a victory for the people of New York who for years have been calling on Albany to reform the way it does business. When I came to the Senate in 2007, I pledged to restore integrity to the Capital, and this bill takes a meaningful step toward doing just that. By strengthening campaign finance laws, requiring greater disclosure of income, placing new restrictions on lobbyists, and requiring corrupt public officials to forfeit their pensions, we are making New York’s government more fair and accountable to the people it serves. While this legislation is not perfect, I am pleased that it moves our State forward to a more transparent and responsible system of government.”