Crystal Peoples Stokes first woman and first African American Assembly Majority Leader!

Speaker Carl Heastie on Monday appointed Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes (Buffalo) to serve as majority leader of the New York State Assembly. “Serving alongside Crystal Peoples-Stokes, I have had the opportunity to see first hand how hard she works for the people of Buffalo and for families across our state,” Speaker Heastie said “Crystal is a trusted colleague who I have known for many years and her experience and dedication to improving the lives of all New Yorkers is why I know she will make an ideal partner in leading the Assembly Majority. Crystal is widely respected by her colleagues and I am proud to appoint her as the next majority leader of the People s House.”

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the next Majority Leader for the 2019 Legislative Session. As both the first woman and minority to hold this position in New York State’s long history, I am proud to have the faith, support and confidence of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and look forward to working with him and all of my colleagues towards a productive session. I will continue to put people before politics and proudly represent Western New York and the Assembly Majority Conference; To God Be the Glory,” stated Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, D-141.

The majority leader is responsible for the day-to-day operational duties of the Assembly chamber including overseeing the floor during debates. Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes has represented the 141st Assembly district since 2003. She previously chaired the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations, as well as holding positions on the Ways and Means, Higher Education, Environmental Conservation and Rules committees. In 2017, she was elected chair of the bi-partisan, bicameral New York State Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Throughout her tenure in the Assembly, Assemblymember Peoples- Stokes has been an advocate for social Justice and representation in New York State. She has championed criminal justice reforms, particularly in the sealing of records for certain offenses and repairing the disproportionate harm drug policing does in communities of color. She has fought to improve economic equality for all New Yorkers since serving as the first chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Her Diversity in Medicine initiative has aided promising students or color gain entry to the medical field.

Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes is a graduate of Buffalo pubic schools and Buffalo State College. She is a former educator, administrator, community organizer and Erie County Legislator.