Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ story is featured prominently in a national campaign aimed at increasing awareness around various women’s issues.
Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat who became the first woman to head a New York state legislative conference earlier this year, is interviewed in a video touting the “Fair Shot” campaign, a national drive spearheaded by labor organizations and women’s groups, including Planned Parenthood.
The campaign, which was formally launched last month, focuses on a wide range of issues, from abortion rights to paid leave to getting more women into legislative office.
The six-minute video features a number of different women from different walks of life telling their stories. That includes Stewart-Cousins, who recalls growing up in New York City public housing without any female role models in public office.
“Women hold up half of the world,” Stewart-Cousins says in the video. “We are the experts in what we need and we cannot sit on the sidelines and allow other people to take our voices or to speak for us.”
The video, released late last month, focuses largely on women’s issues in the workplace, including the story of a single mother who was suspended from her part-time job when she had to leave to pick up her child.
Women’s issues were a major topic of discussion during the 2013 legislative session, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a 10-point “Women’s Equality Agenda” that included measures to impose tougher human trafficking and sexual harassment laws and boost protections against pregnancy discrimination.
But the bill was the victim of a legislative battle; Senate Republicans balked at a provision that would have strengthened the state’s abortion laws and passed the other nine provisions, while Assembly Democrats refused to separate the abortion plank and passed the 10-point plan as a single bill.
(AP photo / Mike Groll)
Here’s the “Fair Shot” video: