A woman will lead the New York State Senate for the first time in history. Senate Democrats on Monday formally tapped Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers to lead the Senate when the 2019 session begins in January.
In a statement, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said, “It is an historic day in Albany, and I want to extend sincere congratulations to Andrea Stewart-Cousins on her election as Majority Leader of the state Senate.
Throughout her distinguished career, Sen. Stewart-Cousins has represented her constituents and her conference with integrity, intelligence and an unwavering commitment. Those characteristics will serve her well as she becomes the first woman to lead a legislative chamber in Albany.
While our political views differ, Sen. Stewart-Cousins and I have often found common ground on changing the status quo at the Capitol and bringing the state’s closed-door mentality out of the shadows. I hope those remain among her top priorities in the upcoming legislative session.
As we recognize this incredible moment and achievement, I wish Sen. Stewart-Cousins well as Senate Majority Leader and hope all parties will take a collaborative approach to addressing the many challenges facing our great state.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo also put out a statement Monday.
“Congratulations to Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on her much-deserved election to be leader of the Senate majority and the first African-American woman to lead a majority conference in the Legislature.
“Since the beginning of her career in public service, Leader Stewart-Cousins has always been a trailblazer. From being the first African-American woman to serve as Director of Community Affairs in the City of Yonkers, to authoring and passing landmark legislation in the Westchester County Legislature to strengthen gun laws and protect human rights, to taking on local property taxes and fighting for our communities in the State Senate, she is a proven leader and a skilled legislator.
“Today more than ever, we need people like Leader Stewart-Cousins to forge the path ahead for this great state. I look forward to working with her to stand up to the extreme conservative agenda and to fight together for our bold progressive priorities.”