June 10, 2023
BW News

BW Spotlight: Senator Stewart-Cousins to be Inducted into Westchester Women’s Hall of Fame

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westchester womenTarrytown, NY — Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be inducted into Westchester Women’s Hall of Fame during 7th Annual “In The Company of Women” Luncheon at the Westchester Marriott, 670 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, Friday, May 6th. Best-selling author,  inspirational speaker and medal-winning Para-Olympic skier, Bonnie St. John will deliver the Keynote Address at the 7th Annual “In The Company of Women” Luncheon.

The YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester continues to build this highly acclaimed event, which draws over 500 diverse and successful women (and a few good men!) from across Westchester County and beyond.

The Westchester Women’s Hall of Fame award will be presented to Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins by the Women’s Research and Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that promotes equality and justice for women in Westchester County through training, advocacy and recognition of their achievements.

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a resident of Yonkers, was elected by her colleagues to serve as Leader of the Senate Democratic Conference in December 2012, becoming the first female leader of a legislative conference in New York State history. She was first elected to the 35th State Senatorial District in 2006 and currently represents Greenburgh, part of White Plains, part of New Rochelle, part of Yonkers and Scarsdale.

Stewart-Cousins was selected because she espouses the values of empathy, empowerment and civic engagement. Her strong belief in advocating for the underserved and championing the needs of working families, has distinguished her as a trailblazer.

Senator Stewart-Cousins has created a number of valuable community programs to support the youth in her district. For instance, she developed the JAM (Just About Me) Program in conjunction with The Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority and the Mary J. Blige Center for Women, in February 2010. Senator Stewart-Cousins was instrumental in bringing “Operation SNUG”(which is ‘guns’ spelled backwards) to the City of Yonkers. This front-line anti-gun and gang violence prevention effort helps local law enforcement and anti-violence community groups create innovative programs to steer at-risk New Yorkers away from the culture of gangs and illegal drugs. The program is based on a successful initiative in the city of Chicago.

Sen. Stewart-Cousins also served for a decade as a Westchester County Legislator. During her tenure (from 1996-2006), she was elected Majority Whip and Vice-Chair, and she authored and passed landmark legislation, including: Westchester County’s first human rights laws; living wage laws; smoke-free workplace laws; tougher gun laws; laws that prosecute “predatory lenders”; and laws that have provided tax cuts for seniors and veterans. As Chair of the Health Committee, Andrea Stewart-Cousins brought the “Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program” to Westchester County – after a successful pilot of this program in Yonkers. This model has since become a national cornerstone of enhanced community/medical rape crisis assistance.

In 1992, Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins became the first African-American to serve as Director of Community Affairs for the City of Yonkers. While there, she created an internship program for the hearing impaired and for children in working families and also advocated for and contributed to the revitalization of the City of Yonkers. She was a founder of the original “Art on Main Street,” as well as a co-creator of “RiverFest”, which is a widely attended, multi-cultural, ecologically oriented city-wide celebration.

bonnieBonnie St. John, a best-selling author, inspirational speaker and a medal-winning Para-Olympic skier, will deliver the Keynote address for the event.  Bonnie has risen to the highest levels of achievement in a variety of endeavors throughout her life.  Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, she became the first African-American ever to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in ski racing, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

BW congratulates Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousin for being inducted in the Westchester Women’s Hall Of Fame and for her years of service in Westchester County and the black community.

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