State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins was named leader of the state’s Senate Democratic Conference in December, making her the first female to lead a state legislative conference in New York history.
On Thursday, the Business Council of Westchester hosted a brief reception to salute Stewart-Cousins, who represents the 35th District, which includes part of Yonkers, part of of White Plains, part of New Rochelle and Scarsdale.
“This is just such a historic moment,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the council. “We have a close working relationship with her here in the business council. It’s essential for representatives to work with businesses to help our economy, and so we wanted to show our support for her tonight.”
Stewart-Cousins echoed those sentiments while speaking to the group of 40-plus in attendance Thursday night.
“We can make partnerships work,” she said. “We can communicate, we can listen, we can get the job done and make whatever our situation was better not only for us, but for those that we serve.”
Many people Stewart-Cousins said she’s worked with, including a bunch of elected officials, were in attendance Thursday night, and she told them they can expect more of the same from her moving forward.
“Most of you know that the way I’ve always approached this is that it is an honor and a privilege to impact lives, and whether it’s finding resources for New York Medical College, which I was very happy to do, or finding municipal support for my municipalities and school districts,” she said.
The event was held at Berkeley College in White Plains, and Dario A. Cortes, president of the school, said Stewart-Cousins has been a great supporter of the college.
“The senator’s support helped financial aid programs, such as the tuition aid program, [which is] very important for our Berkley students because with that support our students not only are able to finish their education, but graduate and become true citizens,” he said. “Those individuals not only get an education, but also remain and create economic development in this beautiful state of New York. More importantly, they also pay taxes and they vote.”
Additionally, Stewart-Cousins said that if without partnerships, it makes it hard to accomplish things that actually benefit people.
“We understand that without all of us working together nothing happens, and we also understand, I think most of you who have worked with me understand, that I know how to put my ego aside. I know how to compromise,” she said. “I know how to extend an olive branch and work across the aisle because I know that what I do only matters if it works for the people I represent, and I know that unless they have good education and they have housing and they have a level playing field and economic opportunities and jobs and the opportunity to innovate and opportunities to have your innovative ideas be received, then I’m not doing my job and nobody benefits.”