Weekly Update: Week of March 25th to April 1st

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

April 11, 2011

In Albany

Statement on 2011-2012 New York State Budget: As you know, the State Legislature recently passed the 2011-2012 Budget. This budget was, by all accounts, very difficult to undertake, but it includes many encouraging measures which I was pleased to support such as the closing of 3,700 prison beds. Still, I had serious concerns with the education portion and the impact that it would have on the school districts of Yonkers, Greenburgh and Mt. Pleasant. Particularly in Yonkers, the school district is struggling from the expiration of Federal stimulus dollars, and mounting contractual obligations to the Teacher and Employee Retirement Systems. The Mt. Pleasant School District is facing the elimination of entire programs, and the Ardsley School District has said they will need to lay off teachers resulting in larger class sizes. I could not in good conscience, vote for this portion of the budget and put the futures of the children of the 35th District in jeopardy in order to close the deficit.

Hillside Elementary School Visits Albany: This week, the Hillside Elementary School choir from Hastings on Hudson visited Albany and delivered an outstanding performance in the concourse of the Empire State Plaza. The school visited as part of “Music in Our Schools Month”.

In the District

Speaking to Westchester County Association: Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke to the Westchester County Association this week, at their annual Legislative Breakfast. The Senator and other legislators took questions from the group of business leaders about the State budget, redistricting and taxes. Click here to see video of Senator Stewart-Cousins answering a question about redistricting.

Women’s History Month at Blue Door Art Gallery: Senator Stewart-Cousins celebrated Women’s History Month this week at Blue Door Art Gallery in Yonkers. She read an excerpt from an original poem by Westchester resident Dorothy Saraceno, which discussed groundbreaking women throughout history.

Honoring Outstanding Members of the Community: This week, Senator Stewart-Cousins issued proclamations from the New York State Senate to Dwanita Crosby, Phyllis Jackson and Elvina Schullere for their outstanding service to the community. The three ladies were honored at the Yonkers Branch of the NAACP’s Women’s History Month Program.

Did you know?

Next Week is National Public Health Week: The first full week of April, is designated as National Public Health Week. Organized by the National Public Health Association, this week is an opportunity to recognize the significance of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our communities. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah will visit Tarrytown next Friday as part of his statewide speaking tour for National Public Health Week to discuss proactive medicine with the Medical Society of the State of New York.