About Andrea Stewart-Cousins
President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader
Democrat, Independence Party, Working Families Democrat, Independence Party, Working Families
In just her first year as Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins led the most productive legislative session in state history. She has been widely recognized as a trailblazer in local and state government and champion for progressive action. In 2012, she became the first woman, and African American woman, to lead a New York State legislative conference. In 2019, she shattered the glass ceiling when her peers elected her as Temporary President and Majority Leader of the State Senate.
Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins oversaw the passage of historic and transformative legislation on issues including voting reforms, gun safety, women’s rights and health care, immigration and DREAMers, the LGBTQ community, the justice system, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, the Senate Majority under her leadership passed the most comprehensive and aggressive climate change legislation in the nation, and the strongest tenant protections and affordable housing package in state history.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins was born and raised in New York to parents who encouraged a life grounded in education and service. These values, along with her strong belief in advocating for the underserved and championing the needs of working families, have distinguished her as a public servant and progressive leader.
First elected to the State Senate in 2006, Senator Stewart-Cousins currently represents Greenburgh, Scarsdale, and parts of White Plains, New Rochelle, and Yonkers. She previously served as a Westchester County Legislator, and during her tenure was elected Majority Whip and Vice-Chair. As a County Legislator, she authored and passed landmark legislation, including the first human rights laws in Westchester County. Before elected office, Andrea Stewart-Cousins was the first African American to serve as Director of Community Affairs for the City of Yonkers.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has been honored with hundreds of recognitions and awards due to her extensive legislative work and community service. She was named a “Trailblazer of Democracy” by Eleanor’s Legacy; “Delores Huerta Award” by the New York Communities for Change; “Woman of the Year” by the Business and Professional Women’s Club; “Legislator of the Year” by the Community Health Association of New York State; “Leader in Social Justice” by Pace Law School; and “Champion of Choice” by New York State Family Planning Advocates. Andrea Stewart-Cousins has also been inducted into Westchester County’s Women’s Hall of Fame and the American Women of African Heritage’s Spirit of Women Archive.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Pace University and her teaching credentials in Business Education from Lehman College while raising her children as an adult. In 2008, she earned her Masters of Public Administration from Pace University. She is a proud member of Pi Alpha Alpha - a Public Administration Honor Society. Before entering public service, Andrea Stewart-Cousins worked in a variety of professions including customer service, sales and marketing with New York Telephone/AT&T, journalism, personnel, and as a teacher for Yonkers Public Schools.
Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins resides in Yonkers, was married to the late Thomas Cousins, and has three children and four grandchildren.