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Andrea Stewart-Cousins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Andrea Stewart-Cousins 2013.jpg
Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York Senate
Assumed office
January 9, 2019
DeputyMike Gianaris
Preceded byJohn J. Flanagan
Minority Leader of the New York Senate
In office
December 17, 2012 – January 9, 2019
DeputyMike Gianaris
Jeffrey D. Klein
Preceded byJohn L. Sampson
Succeeded byJohn J. Flanagan
Member of the New York Senate
from the 35th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2007
Preceded byNicholas Spano
Personal details
Born (1950-09-02) September 2, 1950 (age 69)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationPace University (BA, MPA)
City University of New York, Lehman

Andrea Stewart-Cousins (born September 2, 1950) is an American politician and educator from Yonkers, New York. A member of the Democratic Party, Stewart-Cousins represents District 35 in the New York State Senate. She serves as the body's Majority Leader and Temporary President. Stewart-Cousins is the first woman in the history of New York State to lead a conference in the New York State Legislature and is also the first female Senate Majority Leader in New York history.

Stewart-Cousins was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2006. Prior to her Senate service, Stewart-Cousins was a Westchester County Legislator from 1996 to 2006. In 2012, she was chosen by her colleagues to lead the Senate Democratic Conference. After the Democratic Party won an outright Senate majority in the 2018 elections, Stewart-Cousins became Majority Leader in January 2019.

Early life, education, early career, and family

Andrea Stewart was born on September 2, 1950 in New York City. She is the daughter of Bob Stewart, a decorated World War II veteran and repairman, and Beryl Stewart, a stenographer and community activist.[1][2] The Stewart family resided in public housing in Manhattan and the Bronx, and Andrea suffered from chronic asthma. At age 19, Andrea Stewart gave birth to a son.[1] In 1979, Stewart married Thomas Cousins, and the couple moved to Yonkers.[2] Stewart-Cousins has three children and four grandchildren;[3] Thomas Cousins died on November 26, 2007.[4]

Stewart-Cousins spent twenty years in the private sector, including thirteen years in sales and marketing with New York Telephone (later known as AT&T).[5] After New York Telephone went out of business, she received a buyout and pursued a college degree while working for Gannett Newspapers.[1] She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Pace University and her teaching credentials in Business Education from Lehman College.[6] She received her Masters of Public Administration from Pace University in May 2008 and is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the public administration honor society. She also pursued careers in journalism and teaching before entering public service.[7]

Yonkers Director of Community Affairs

Stewart-Cousins's public service career began in 1992 when she was appointed Director of Community Affairs in the City of Yonkers.[8] In that role, she created an internship program for the hearing-impaired and for children in working families. She also advocated for and contributed to the revitalization of the City of Yonkers and was a founder of the original "Art on Main Street". Stewart-Cousins was a co-creator of "River Fest", a widely attended multi-cultural citywide celebration on the Hudson River in Yonkers.[9]

Westchester County Legislator

Prior to her election to the New York State Senate in 2006, Stewart-Cousins served as a Westchester County Legislator representing Yonkers. First elected in 1995,[10] she served from 1996 to 2006.[11] During her tenure, she was elected Majority Whip and Vice-Chair. Stewart-Cousins she authored and passed living wage laws, smoke-free workplace laws, tougher gun laws, laws that prosecute predatory lenders, tax cuts for seniors and veterans, and Westchester County's first human rights laws.[12]

New York State Senator

Stewart-Cousins first ran for New York State Senate in 2004, but was defeated by 18 votes by incumbent Republican Sen. Nicholas Spano.[13] In 2006, she challenged Spano again and defeated him.[14][15] As of 2019, Senate District 35 includes all of Greenburgh and Scarsdale and portions of Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle.[16]

Stewart-Cousins voted in favor of same-sex marriage legislation on December 2, 2009, but the bill was defeated.[17] A same-sex marriage law was eventually passed in 2011. Stewart-Cousins is a vocal supporter of abortion rights, and has pushed for legislation to expand abortion access in the State of New York.[18]

On April 17, 2010, it was reported that Stewart-Cousins was under consideration by then-gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo to be his running mate. Cuomo chose Bob Duffy instead.[19]

Senate Democratic Leader

On December 17, 2012, Stewart-Cousins was elected Senate Democratic Leader.[20][21] Stewart-Cousins is the first woman in history to lead a conference in the New York State Legislature.[22][23]

Senate Majority Leader

The Democratic Party won a Senate majority in the 2018 elections. On January 9, 2019, Stewart-Cousins was elected Senate Majority Leader. She serves as the body's Majority Leader and Temporary President, and is the first female Senate Majority Leader in New York history.[24] In 2019, Stewart-Cousins sponsored the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which overhauled the rules affecting rent-controlled apartments in New York City.[25][26] During Stewart-Cousins's first year as Senate Majority Leader, New York passed a variety of progressive laws on issues like climate change, voting rights, abortion rights, criminal justice reform, gender equality, gun control, marijuana decriminalization, LGBT rights, and immigration.[27] According to City & State New York, Stewart-Cousins employs a "consensus-driven approach" to leading the Senate Democratic Conference that sets her "apart from her predecessors".[28]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Cioppa, Deanna (August 19, 2014). "Andrea Stewart-Cousins' Quiet Storm". Westchester Magazine. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Vincent, Isabel (January 6, 2019). "Letitia James and Stewart-Cousins talk breaking barriers". New York Post. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  3. ^ Craig, Jon (November 13, 2018). "Stewart-Cousins Poised To Make History As Democrats Take Over State Senate". Yonkers Daily Voice. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  4. ^ "Sen. Stewart-Cousins' Husband, Thomas Cousins, Passes Away". Yonkers Tribune. November 27, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Eidler, Scott (November 12, 2018). "Andrea Stewart-Cousins: I'll protect suburban interests in Albany". Newsday. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  6. ^ ""Daily Voice" featured Pace University's double alumna Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester in "Stewart-Cousins' Elevation As NY's First Female Majority Leader Lauded By Cuomo, Pace President" | PACE UNIVERSITY". Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Coltin, Jeff (September 17, 2018). "She waited. Will good things come to Andrea Stewart-Cousins?". City & State New York.
  8. ^ "Andrea Stewart-Cousins". Westchester Magazine. November 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Samin, Suzanne (September 8, 2013). "Riverfest Celebrates 21st Birthday in Yonkers". Yonkers Daily Voice. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Santos, Fernanda (November 17, 2006). "Perseverance Pays Off for a State Senate Challenger". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  11. ^ Lipsitz, Raina (February 12, 2019). "Andrea Stewart-Cousins Is Albany's Best Hope". The Nation.
  12. ^ Lungariello, Mark (November 7, 2018). "Andrea Stewart-Cousins re-elected, likely to be leader of New York State Senate". Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  13. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. (February 9, 2005). "In State Senate Marathon, Incumbent Wins". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Wilson, David McKay (April 4, 2018). "Five things to know about state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins". Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  15. ^ "Our Campaigns - NY State Senate 35 Race - Nov 07, 2006". Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  16. ^ "About Andrea Stewart-Cousins". NY State Senate.
  17. ^ "How the Votes Were Cast". The New York Times. December 2, 2009.
  18. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy (May 5, 2015). "On abortion, Stewart-Cousins accuses Senate of 'slumbering'". Politico PRO.
  19. ^ Spector, Joe (April 17, 2010). "N.Y. eager for Cuomo to announce bid". Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  20. ^ Paybarah, Azi (December 17, 2012). "Moving on from Sampson, State Senate Democrats elect Andrea Stewart-Cousins". Politico PRO.
  21. ^ Campbell, Colin (December 17, 2012). "Democratic Senators Embrace Andrea Stewart-Cousins as Their New Leader".
  22. ^ Spector, Joseph (November 26, 2018). "Andrea Stewart-Cousins makes history as first woman Senate leader". Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  23. ^ Carl Campanile, Bruce Golding (November 25, 2018). "'A historic moment': First woman to be picked as NY state Senate majority leader". New York Post. Retrieved November 27, 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  24. ^ Precious, Tom (January 9, 2018). "After 242 years, a woman is in charge of the State Senate". Buffalo News. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  25. ^ Bredderman, Will (December 13, 2019). "Newsmaker 2019: Stewart-Cousins makes history and upsets Albany's status quo". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Senate Bill S6458". New York State Senate. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  27. ^ Campbell, Jon; Spector, Joseph (June 21, 2019). "20 major laws passed at the New York State Capitol this year". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  28. ^ Williams, Zach (August 11, 2019). "New room, new rules". City & State New York. Retrieved February 7, 2020.

External links

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Nicholas Spano
Member of the New York Senate
from the 35th district

Preceded by
Betty Little
Chair of the New York Senate Local Governments Committee
Succeeded by
Jack Martins
Preceded by
John L. Sampson
Minority Leader of the New York Senate
Succeeded by
John J. Flanagan
Preceded by
John J. Flanagan
Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York Senate
This page was last edited on 7 February 2020, at 07:06
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