New State Senate Democratic Leader


Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Statement by Michael McKee of Tenants PAC in Support of Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Treasurer of the Tenants Political Action Committee Praises New Leader of the Senate Democrats

“We are delighted that the Senate Democrats have elected Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins as their leader.

We worked closely with the senator when she was a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators during the 1997 rent law war. She stood arm-in-arm with us when then-Senate Republican Leader Joe Bruno stated that he would not allow a vote to renew the expiring rent laws. And, she stood up for us again in 2003 when those pro-tenant rent laws were up for renewal in Albany, in both years sponsoring town hall meetings throughout her district to alert tenants to the expiring laws and recruit tenants in the campaign to preserve them. Time and again, her office filled buses with tenants and sent them to Albany to show wealthy landlords the grass-roots strength of New York's tenants.

At every turn, she has been a true progressive, a steadfast ally, and a hero for working and middle class families.

We were proud to support Senator Stewart-Cousins when she ran for the State Senate in 2004, and we worked hard to elect her in 2006.  Tenants PAC's strongest grassroots mobilization in our 15-year history came in November, 2006, when, on Election Day, Tenants PAC sent 75 volunteers to Yonkers and Greenburgh, and another 40 volunteers to staff a Get Out The Vote phone bank in lower Manhattan. All of them were working hard for Senator Stewart-Cousins and helped her win her crucial election.

Since she began serving in the State Senate in 2007, Senator Stewart-Cousins has been the voice ofNew York's tenants. She is the lead sponsor of our bill to repeal Vacancy Destabilization, which has displaced low-income and middle-income tenants and allowed landlords to convert hundreds-of-thousands of otherwise affordable apartments to market rates when they turn over in New York Cityand suburban counties. She is also the lead sponsor of the bill to keep Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 housing affordable, preserving the diversity and economic opportunity we need to keep our state strong.

We congratulate Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins on her election as New York's first female conference leader, and we congratulate her Democratic colleagues in the State Senate for their wise choice.”