Biography

Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes
Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes has faithfully served New York State’s 141st Assembly district since 2003. An advocate with clear and principled service, she has always put people and policy before politics. She was appointed as Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Governmental Operations in 2015. This committee maintains oversight on ethics reform and FOIL requests, state police, homeland security, disaster and emergency preparedness, MWBE, crime victims, human rights, and military and naval affairs. In June 2017, she was voted by her colleagues to be Chair of the New York State Legislative Women’s Caucus which is a bi-partisan and bi-cameral group.

Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes sits on the following Assembly Committees and Subcommittees:

  • Environmental Conservation Committee
  • Higher Education Committee
  • Rules Committee
  • Ways and Means Committee
  • Oversight of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Subcommittee
  • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Subcommittee
  • Women’s Health Subcommittee

Her other memberships include:

  • Inaugural member of the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission
  • Inaugural member of the New York State Women & Girls Council
  • Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian (BPRHA) Legislative Caucus
  • Women of Color Subcommittee of the BPRHA Legislative Caucus
  • New York State Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues

Crystal continues to fearlessly fight for diversity in our state. She has been an integral part of ensuring that Minority and Women Owned Businesses have a fair chance in obtaining state contracts. Her Diversity in Medicine initiative has promoted entry into the medical field with academic and financial supports for promising students of color. Through a pilot program in Buffalo, a similar Diversity in Education initiative is currently working with teachers’ aides to help bridge the gap between their existing credentials and those required to teach in NYS.

The Assemblymember’s commitment to social justice is evident in her advancement of the community school model which provides both its students and its wider community with a wide array of vital and difficult-to-access services by maximizing existing school space. She has championed criminal justice reforms, particularly in the sealing of records for certain offenses. Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes sponsors the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” (MRTA) in the NYS Assembly. This legislation would begin repairing the disproportionate harm of drug policing in communities of color by ending marijuana prohibition.

She is a former Educator, Administrator, Community Organizer, and Erie County Legislator whose vision is to uplift, nurture and protect her constituents, the City of Buffalo, and the western New York region. A staunch advocate, some of her notable successes include securing $28 Million for the Educational Opportunity Center’s new facility in downtown Buffalo; $2 Million for capital improvements to the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor to promote cultural preservation and tourism; the advocacy to clean up 858 East Ferry’s toxic waste Superfund site; securing HEAL-NY funding to support the building of a new home for the Community Health Center of Buffalo; advocating for the redevelopment of St. Martin’s Village; procuring $50 Million towards Buffalo Public Schools adding a nurse in every school; and over $1.2 million towards the continued restoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, part of the historic Frederick Law Olmsted Park System to promote an active and healthy lifestyle and increased utilization.

Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes has received numerous honors and awards including the Herman D. Farrell, Jr. Policy Leader Award of the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition of NYS, the Health Champion Award, the Outstanding Representative of the People Award, the University at Buffalo’s Igniting Ideas Award, the NAN Truth Hammer Award, SCCC Community Service Award, the Black Achievers in Industry Award, the Community Service award from SCLC, the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Inc. Award, the National Federation for Just Communities Government Award, and many more.

As a graduate of both Buffalo Public Schools and Buffalo State College, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration. She was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Medaille College in May 2017. Assemblymember Peoples-Stokes attributes her achievements and abilities to her strong faith and family. She is a member of True Bethel Baptist Church and St. Luke’s AME Zion Church and currently resides in Buffalo, New York with her husband.