Diane Savino has dedicated her entire professional career towards improving the lives of working families. She began her career in public service as a caseworker for New York City’s Child Welfare Administration, providing direct assistance to abused and neglected children.
An active member of her local labor union, the Social Service Employees Union, Local 371, DC 37 of AFSCME, she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Vice President for Political Action & Legislative Affairs, where she became one of the most respected labor leaders in New York State.
As a labor official, she actively and successfully campaigned for an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15—the first raise for New Yorkers in over a decade.
In 2004, she was elected to represent the 23rd Senatorial District, encompassing the North Shore of Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn, including Borough Park, Coney Island, Bensonhurst, and Sunset Park.
In their endorsement of Senator Savino, the New York Times described her as “scrappy and effective”. Her dedication to her constituents earned her the Staten Island Advance’s “strongest endorsement for a third term”, saying “no lawmaker works harder and no lawmaker commits herself to the fight for her constituents more than Ms. Savino".
Senator Savino has passed important legislation, including a law that ended the 5-year statute of limitation on sexual assault, a bill establishing a task force for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, the Olive Oil Labeling Bill, which prohibits additives in virgin olive oil, the Prompt Pay Bill, which ensures prompt payment to construction contractors and their employees and a cost-of-living increase in the death benefit for widows and widowers of police officers and fire fighters killed in the line of duty.
In addition, Senator Savino has championed legislation protecting hard-working New Yorkers, such as Paid Family Leave, which establishes up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a sick family member or newborn, Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, expanding basic worker protection rights to domestic workers, and a law that would limit public authorities from contracting out for services that can be performed by public employees.
Local initiatives include the establishment of a Quiet Zone on the Staten Island Ferry, an annual Ferry Service Survey, a Mobile District Office, Back to School Fairs, Women’s Health Events, a series of hearings on the foreclosure and subprime lending crisis, district-wide workshops for seniors on the Medicare prescription drug plan, and statewide hearings on HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine.
Senator Savino sponsors a wide array of programs in the 23rd District, including the only Kosher soup kitchen in New York City, Staten Island’s Downtown Drive-In Movies, a mobile mammography unit, as well as a wide variety of programs for at-risk youth and senior citizens.
Standing Committee Assignments 2011: Children and Family (Chair), Civil Service and Pensions, Banks, and Veterans Homeland Security and Military Affairs.