New York, NY – The Progressive Caucus condemns the comments made by hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, taking aim at New York State Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester, the chamber’s first black female majority leader. In a Facebook post, Loeb, a major financial supporter of Governor Cuomo, said, “hypocrites like Stewart-Cousins who pay fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”
To compare the first female legislative leader, specifically the first black female legislative leader, in New York State history to a white supremacist terrorist organization is shocking and shameful. In her decades long career, Stewart-Cousins has been a champion of same-sex marriage, equitable education, women and human rights, equal housing opportunities, and a living wage. Members of the Progressive Caucus denounce these comments that perpetuate the dangerous, racist rhetoric that equates those working to advance civil and human rights with the actions of known hate groups, a rhetoric that seems to be creeping into our national discourse. As progressive electeds, we reject this rhetoric which skews focus from the important work of making New York State a place where equal opportunity and respectful dialogue thrives. The Progressive Caucus stands in solidarity with Andrea Stewart-Cousins.