Heather Stewart: heather[at], 917-623-0940
Carmela Gaines: c.dg.1[at], 347-497-8748

March 29th, 2018

New York, NY–In response to Governor Cuomo’s office’s assertion that the female staffers of elected officials are an acceptable alternative to Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins being present in the room where budget negotiations are currently taking place, grassroots activists in New York State have released the following statement:

We wholeheartedly reject the notion that the presence of female staff members is an appropriate substitute for the full participation of our duly-elected female leader in these all-important budget discussions. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins leads a conference of 23 Democratic senators, who collectively represent over 7 million constituents in New York State. The presence of any unelected female, even if she holds the highest position on the Governor’s staff does not fulfill even the most basic mechanics of representative democracy. For a Governor who dedicated his State of the State to advancing the democracy agenda, this failure to respect the democratic process is abysmal.

Danielle Brecker (Brooklyn)
Lisa DellAquila (Manhattan)
Allison Downing (Manhattan)
Carmela Gaines (Queens)
Claudia Galicia (Brooklyn)
Judith Hertzberg (Brooklyn)
Susan Kang (Queens)
Rebecca Lish (Bronx)
Samelys Lopez, Community Activist
Rhea Mallet (Rockland County)
Elizabeth Mann (Manhattan)
Susan Martin (Brooklyn)
Honor Mosher (Queens)
Mia Pearlman (Brooklyn)
Rockland Citizens Action Network
Rockland United
Shannon Stagman (Brooklyn)
Heather Stewart (Manhattan)
Joan Strasbaugh (Brooklyn)
Tasha D. Young (Westchester)