Tag: stewart cousins

“After 242 years, a woman is in charge of the State Senate”*

On Wednesday, January 8th, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was voted Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader by her colleagues.

This is the official end of the “3-men-in-a-room” NYS governing process!

AND – In the newly-elected NYS Senate, now 20 of the 63-member body are women – (Still not an accurate reflection of the State’s gender make-up but a heck of a lot better!)

The changing demographics of New York State are more clearly reflected by this Senate body than any before it. Among the newly-elected senators are the first Muslim, first Iranian American, first Chinese America, first Salvadoran American, first Costa Rican American, first Indian American and two Colombian Americans.

And in the NYS Assembly, For The First Time EVER

For the first time in the State’s history, a woman, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo, was named Assembly Majority Leader. Surrounding Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes were 50 women which is a record number for the Assembly.

Approximately 32% of those serving in the NYS Senate and Assembly in 2019 are women. Nevada has the highest percentage in the country of women serving in its State legislature, with 51% being women.

Assembly Majority Leader, Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes said, “I’m not sure I can put into words how insurmountable I think the significance of this day is. It’s exciting. It’s to some extent overwhelming. It’s humbling.”

Governor Cuomo did not attend the opening session of either the NYS Senate or the NYS Assembly.

*For more information, read The Buffalo News, After 242 Years, a woman is in charge of the State Senate.

Witness Herstory in Albany!

Herstory in the Making!

Join us on Wednesday, January 9th, to witness the swearing-in of NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to be the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate. (The Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus has a bus going to Albany. Click here for Details.)

Senator Stewart-Cousins will be the first female Majority Leader in the her-history of the New York State Senate.

Senator Stewart-Cousins will also be making her-history as the first female leader of either house in Albany.

Senator Stewart-Cousins’ historic mark is as an African-American woman assuming the mantle of a position until now only held by men.

With the support of the voters of NYS, Senator Stewart-Cousins is putting an end to “three men in a room”!

AND this could not happen at a more important time!

We are returning to the time of total states’ rights which means that the individual states will determine whether abortion is illegal, or not.

Congratulations to Majority Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and to the voters of NYS!

Onward!

A Constitutional Amendment? Not with the IDC!

Governor Cuomo has proposed a New York State constitutional amendment codifying Roe v. Wade in State law.

That sounds great. But here’s the problem: this process would take four years at the very least. (And that’s only if we get rid of the IDC!)

Why? Because passing a constitutional amendment into law is a very lengthy process.  **Each house of government, the Senate and the Assembly, must pass the legislation twice – one time in two different elected sessions; **Then, and only then, the proposed amendment can be put on the ballot for a public vote.

But here’s the reality and the truth.  This constitutional amendment will NEVER make it to the floor while the 8 rogue Democrats of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) remain aligned with the Republican Party of Trump and govern with them. The IDC has deliberately turned the duly elected Majority Party, the Democratic Party, into the Minority Party, and have catapulted the Party of Trump, the Republican Party, into the majority. Because of these 8, our New York State Senate has failed to do the business of the People for which they were elected. In a nutshell, these 8, who are more concerned with personal power than party and principle, sold out their constituents and  including and specifically the women of New York State.

Given Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, the original author of the Hobby Lobby decision, to the Supreme Court, we need Governor Cuomo to demand these 8 rogue Democrats return to the Democratic Caucus. There is no time to waste!  Trump is doing everything in his power to turn the clock back on women.

If these 8 “Democrats” did their jobs and put women first, here’s how we could get this done immediately: NY State Senate Minority Leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, rightfully be the Majority Leader, has sponsored a law — the Reproductive Health Act — that would do immediately what the Governor is proposing to take years to do. The Senate would then go on to make the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA) law, and pass a budge that would provide for Planned Parenthood and neighborhood clinics.

It is not too late to fix this. Call the IDC members and tell them to:

  1. Return to the Democratic Caucus;
  2. Pass the Reproductive Rights Act; and
  3. Make the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act law!

Tell Gov. Cuomo, “Words are NOT enough!”

Governor Cuomo is not abiding by his own campaign promises of standing up for equality for women!

In January 2013, Governor Cuomo announced a sweeping ten-point Women’s Equality Agenda (WEA) for New York that included protections for abortion rights, pay equity, against housing and pregnancy discrimination, and more.

The WEA never made it to the floor of the Senate for a vote because a group of five Democrats, led by Senator Jeff Klein, split with their party after it won a majority in the 2012 elections. These five rogue Democrats empowered the Republicans by creating a power-sharing deal that basically allowed the GOP to decide what bills should come to the floor for a vote. Republican leader Dean Skelos made it perfectly clear that the 10-point WEA would never to come to the floor for a vote.

According to RH Reality Check, 7/30/2014, “Gov. Cuomo gave his blessing to the deal that put two men in charge of the Senate, rather than the pro-choice [duly elected majority] leader of his own party, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the first Black woman to lead a New York State legislative caucus.” But we don’t know that for sure…

What we do know is that in the 2014 New York gubernatorial election, Cuomo unveiled a brand-new Women’s Equality Party complete with a commercial starring himself and his family. The commercial made clear that the passage of the WEA was of utmost importance to Governor Cuomo. Women deserved nothing less.  But then the Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, and Klein and his buddies, despite pre-election promises, joined forces with the Republicans again, and Andrea Stewart-Cousins became the New York State Senate Minority Leader.

Fast forward to today. It is budget time in Albany. Sheldon Silver is no longer Assembly Speaker. The Governor and everyone else in Albany has declared it a time for transparency.

Governor Cuomo has the opportunity to make his championing of Women’s Equality mean something. After all, that is what he ran on: equality for women.

Instead, Cuomo invited into the behind-closed-doors budget negotiations Senate Leader Republican Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Democrat Carl Heastie and JEFF KLEIN. WHERE IS SENATE MINORITY LEADER ANDREA STEWART-COUSINS? WHY WASN’T SHE INVITED IN?

Cuomo invited Jeff Klein who represents 5 Senators in but left Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins who represents 25 Senators outside. That is not equality and this is disrespectful. Klein has no business in the room. He does not represent any recognized political party, while Andrea Stewart-Cousins represents the Democratic Caucus.

Sign this petition and let Governor Cuomo know what you think: Let Her In! 
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/let-her-in.fb52?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=5603782

Remember, it’s Women’s History Month! Let’s make some Good Herstory!