Andrea Stewart-Cousins was elected by her colleagues to serve as Leader of the Senate Democratic Conference in December 2012, becoming the first female leader of a legislative conference in New York State history. She was first elected to the State Senate in 2006 and currently represents Greenburgh, Scarsdale and part of White Plains, New Rochelle, and the city she calls home, Yonkers.
Senator Stewart-Cousins is a strong advocate for education, equal rights and opportunities, economic development, tax fairness and making government more efficient, transparent and accountable to all citizens. As Leader of the Democratic Conference, she has pushed for common sense and progressive reforms for all New Yorkers, including passing four on-time state budgets in the last four years with record education aid additions that have restored the state’s financial stability. The middle class tax rate is the lowest its been in 60 years.
Senator Stewart-Cousins has sponsored and passed transformative legislation that has become law, such as the landmark Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act. This law empowers communities across the State to consolidate local governments, which reduces overlap of municipal services and saves taxpayer dollars. With her help, the Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry remains open today, continuing to serve the healthcare needs in her district. Recognizing the flawed roll-out of the Common Core, Senator Stewart-Cousins led the fight for reforms that are now in place including student privacy protections and a Parents Bill of Rights, student testing reductions, an indefinite moratorium on how these tests will affect student records and a two year teacher evaluation moratorium.
For her extensive legislative work and community service, Senator Stewart-Cousins has been honored with numerous citations and awards. In 2013, she was honored by the Business Council of Westchester for her leadership in the New York State Senate, the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Rockland and Westchester Counties for her efforts to promote minority and women-owned business enterprises, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at their annual Women’s History month celebration, just to name a few.
Prior to serving in the State Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins spent a decade as a Westchester County Legislator. During her tenure (from 1996-2006), she was elected Chair of the Health Committee, Majority Whip, and Vice-Chair. She authored Westchester’s Human Rights Law and piloted a sexual assault training program for nurses that is widely used today.
As an adult, Senator Stewart-Cousins earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Pace University and her teaching credentials in Business Education from Lehman College while working and raising her children. In 2008, she earned her Masters of Public Administration from Pace University, and is a proud member of Pi Alpha Alpha – a Public Administration Honor Society. Prior to entering public service, she spent twenty years in the private sector, working in customer service, sales and marketing for New York Telephone/AT&T for thirteen years and also worked as a reporter, personnel manager and teacher.
While so much has been accomplished, Senator Stewart-Cousins knows there is still much more work to do. She is still fighting to grow our economy, create jobs, and for a real increase in the minimum wage which includes local control because we know that $8 an hour is not sufficient. We are still fighting for common sense campaign finance and ethics reforms because New Yorkers deserve a government that serves the people with honesty and integrity. And even in 2014, we are still fighting for women’s equality including pay equity, protections for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and a guarantee that women have the right to make personal health decisions.
New Yorkers sent a clear message in 2012 when they elected a majority of Democrats to the State Senate. This election year, let’s finally give New Yorkers the progressive government they voted for.
Senator Stewart-Cousins thanks you for your continued support and with your help, we can bring real change to New York State.