About Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Democrat, Working Families Democrat, Working Families

District 35

Andrea Stewart-Cousins - About image



Andrea Stewart-Cousins holds the positions of President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, and she is the Senator for the 35th District. As the longest-serving Democratic Majority Leader in New York State Senate history, and the first woman and African American woman to occupy this role, her tenure is distinguished by significant legislative achievements and a steadfast commitment to addressing the needs of New Yorkers. 

In response to the national challenges to reproductive rights, Stewart-Cousins has been instrumental in protecting and advancing women's health rights in New York. Her leadership has been crucial in safeguarding these rights against external threats, ensuring that New York remains a beacon of support for women's health and autonomy. 

Education has been another key focus of her tenure. Stewart-Cousins played a pivotal role in securing historic funding for New York schools, fulfilling the promise to fully fund the state's educational system. This achievement marks a significant milestone in providing equitable and high-quality education for all students across New York. 

Under her guidance, the Senate has passed groundbreaking legislation, further solidifying her reputation as a trailblazer in state governance. One of her most notable achievements includes the enactment of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), hailed as one of the most ambitious climate change legislation globally. This act positions New York at the forefront of the fight against climate change, emphasizing sustainable development and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Born and raised in New York, Andrea Stewart-Cousins' journey in public service began well before her election to the State Senate in 2006. Representing Greenburgh, Mount Pleasant and the city of Yonkers she has been a consistent advocate for the underserved and working families. Her previous roles include serving as a Westchester County Legislator, where she was Majority Whip and Vice-Chair, and as the first African American Director of Community Affairs for the City of Yonkers. 

Stewart-Cousins' legislative portfolio is diverse and comprehensive, covering critical areas such as voting reforms, gun safety, LGBTQ rights, the justice system, labor rights and combating sexual harassment in the workplace. Her leadership in passing robust tenant protections and affordable housing packages has also been a hallmark of her career. 

Her extensive legislative work and community service have earned her numerous recognitions, including being named a “Trailblazer of Democracy” by Eleanor’s Legacy and receiving awards such as the “Dolores Huerta Award” and the “Champion of Choice” honor. She also has been scored one of highest ranks for environmental protections by the New York League of Conservation Voters.  

Stewart-Cousins holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Pace University, teaching credentials from Lehman College, and a Master of Public Administration from Pace University. She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, a Public Administration Honor Society. Her diverse professional background includes roles in customer service, journalism, and education. 

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a resident of Yonkers, was married to the late Thomas Cousins and is a proud mother and grandmother. Her legacy continues to be defined by her unwavering dedication to public service and her transformative impact on New York State legislation.