At its annual meeting on June 10, 2009, the Legislative Women’s Caucus of New York (“the Caucus”) elected officers for its next two year term. Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) was re-elected Treasurer of the Caucus, a post she has held for the past 20 years. Joining Senator Oppenheimer as members of the Caucus leadership are:
Chair Assemblywoman Michele Titus
First Vice-Chair Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo
Second Vice-Chair Assemblywoman Janet Duprey
Secretary Assemblywoman Vivian Cook
Treasurer Senator Suzi Oppenheimer
Delegates-at-Large Assemblywoman Sandra Galef
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton
Assemblywoman Annie Rabbit
Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson
Senator Catharine Young
The Legislative Women’s Caucus is an organization comprised of the 52 women elected to the New York State legislature. The Caucus, which was established in 1983, works to improve the participation of women in all areas of government, advance issues that affect women within the State and provide a support network for women in the legislature.
Caucus members meet regularly during the legislative session to set priorities and discuss issues and programs of interest to women. This year’s priorities include initiatives aimed at improving women’s health, promoting minority and women-owned businesses, and providing paid family leave. Criminal justice policies, child and dependent care and education are also among the top priorities of the Caucus. During this year’s difficult budget negotiations, the Caucus fought to preserve appropriations for programs and services that benefit women.
On women’s health, Caucus members have met with the American Heart Association on initiatives to improve the heart health of women. Health care professionals have met with the Caucus to discuss cervical cancer prevention and treatment, the impact of clinical trials on women’s health, the reality of frontline medical care for the poor and the impact of Medicare policy on both providers and patients, most of whom are women.
Caucus members have also met with the women presidents of CUNY and SUNY to discuss the concerns of women faculty and students at public colleges and universities. In other Caucus programs, women legislators have discussed the effect of the Rockefeller Drug Law on women, the role of state regulations in quality assurance for child care, and women’s sports under Title IX.
“Improving the lives of women and children throughout this State has been my life’s work,” said Senator Oppenheimer, who also chairs the Senate Democratic Task Force on Women’s Issues. “The Legislative Women’s Caucus is an enormous resource to advance the goals of women legislators and I am happy to have played an active role in the Caucus since its earliest days.”