The New York State Senate held its annual “Women of Distinction” ceremony at the State Capitol this past Tuesday where women were honored for their achievements and impact to their home communities. Senator Jack M. Martins honored Elmont’s own Leslyn Stewart as his choice for the 7th Senate District. The ceremony was presided over by State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and all Senators throughout New York State.
“Leslyn is an incredible woman who has taken a tragedy and works to help those involved in law enforcement understand the ultimate sacrifice. She is a trailblazer in health care as a registered nurse at Winthrop Hospital and continues to give of herself locally at the Dutch Broadway PTA and community groups,” said Senator Martins.
The celebration for the “Women of Distinction” took place at the State Capitol in the “Well” of the Legislative Office Building. Honorees were presented with New York State Senate Resolutions, commemorative plaques and were part of a Women of Distinction Statewide display at the Capitol.
Senator Martins hosted Leslyn, her parents and daughters for the day. He invited her to join him on the Senate floor for session where Senators debated bills and paid tribute to the “Women of Distinction Program.” During the visit, Senator Martins introduced the Stewart family to Senators Chuck Fuschillo, Andrew Lanza, Kemp Hannon and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
On November 28, 2005, Leslyn Stewart’s life would change forever. On that day, her husband, New York City Police Office Dillon Stewart, was fatally shot while trying to pull over a driver in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
After losing the love of her life, Leslyn showed her strength and courage, raising her two beautiful daughters, Alexis and Samantha, and working as a registered nurse at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola.
A year after the loss of Dillon, Leslyn teamed up with former State Assemblyman Tom Alfano in helping pass “Dillon’s Law” which takes illegal guns off the streets. The law was named after Dillon as he lost his life as a result of an illegal gun. The bill’s passage was the culmination of a grass roots effort throughout the State.
Leslyn continues to honor Dillon’s memory by being active in promoting police safety as a volunteer. She serves as an inspirational speaker and volunteer in the New York Police Department’s Brooklyn South Patrol Borough Base Training. She also served as the Chairperson of the Health and Wellness Committee for the National Organization of Black Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) New York Chapter. In addition, Leslyn established the Long Island local chapter of the Concerns Of Police Survivors, an organization that provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
In Leslyn’s professional life, she is a medical surgery nurse at Winthrop Hospital. “Leslyn is a leader who inspires people and takes an active role in every facet of a cause or community event she works in,” said Senator Martins. "She is a positive force that gets things done.”
“This was such an incredible day for me and my entire family. It was such an honor to be recognized with such incredible honorees from around New York State in this ceremony. I truly thank Senator Martins for choosing me as his honoree. This is something I will never forget," Leslyn said.