Female Senate Minority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins of New York, is Being Shut Out of Budget Talks

by Jamie Bogert


Only 24.1 percent of state legislators are women, a number that has not changed since last year and one that is proving to be problematic in the state of New York. Senate Minority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the only woman leader in the state legislature, is getting a big “talk to the hand” from Gov. Andrew Cuomo as negotiations about the state budget ensue without her.

Representing 24 democrats, Stewart-Cousins stated that the tradition of having only three men negotiate the state budget actively excludes millions of New Yorkers she and the members of her party represent. The issue also lies, in part, with who exactly is in that room with the Governor. Two men plus a third who is of a lower ranking and represents only four democrats is sitting down to talk about the budget that has a fast approaching deadline. All of which has many scratching their heads in confusion.

The Minority Leader has been making efforts on her end to open up the conversation with Gov. Cuomo, and she is not alone. Women’s advocacy organizations have been taking to Twitter in order to help get Stewart-Cousins in the door (literally).

The Westchester Women’s Agenda has started the hashtag #MakeRoomNYS and #MakeRoomCuomo to help spark engagement on the issue:

“We continue to follow the broken tradition of three or sometimes four men in the room, hammering out massive state policy that impacts all New Yorkers without true and equal representation,” Stewart-Cousins said, as reported by WNYC. With such a large group being underrepresented, Gov. Cuomo should seriously be thinking about who he sits down with in the last couple of weeks before the budget deadline.

images via timesunion.com and Twitter

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