NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Coffee and Conversation is an ongoing series of informal public gatherings sponsored by the League of Women Voter with guests discussing public issues. On April 15th, Coffee and Conversation was honored to have State Senator Andrea Cousins meet with members of the New Rochelle community at the New Rochelle Public Library. She talked about her background growing up in public housing in Yonkers, and living through the Yonkers desegregation process. Now the Democratic leader of the Assembly, Ms. Stewart Cousins discussed her frustration with trying to open up budget negotiations beyond “the three men in the room”. She did say, however, that the State ended up with a “pretty good budget” that included minimum wage increases, dropping of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, and inclusion of paid family leave.
Ms. Stewart Cousins also took time to discuss her concern for the treatment of veterans, especially with the rise of heroin and opiate abuse. She noted that female veterans are often overlooked. She also took time at the end to listen to and answer questions from the audience.
On May 20th, Jeanne Zaino, PhD, Professor of Political Science at Iona College and frequent commentator on political and electoral issues, was the guest at Coffee and Conversation. She discussed the state of the Presidential elections on the eve of the party conventions, and answered questions from attendees.
Dr. Zaino has served as chair of the Political Science Department, director of the Honors Program, and interim dean of the School and Arts and Science at Iona College. She has been published and quoted in national and local print media and has been a frequent guest on national and local radio and television. She was the featured speaker last year at the New Rochelle League’s Annual Meeting, during which she spoke to an engaged audience about the damaging efforts to limit those who can vote around the country.