April 30, 2018

Statement from Speaker Carl Heastie
Welcoming New Members of Assembly Majority

Congratulations and welcome to the new members of the Assembly Majority Conference:

Steve Stern, 10th Assembly District, is an Elder Law attorney representing seniors and people with special needs. Prior to his election, Assemblymember Stern served on the Suffolk County Legislature. He has assisted in coordinating congressional hearings for the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging on elder abuse, long-term care and health and legal services for Long Island's seniors.

Aridia Espinal, 39th Assembly District, is a Corona native, and after graduating from St. Francis College, took the position of Director of Constituent Services for former Assembylmember Francisco Moya where she fought for the rights of immigrants, women and union laborers. As an aspiring community leader, Assemblymember Espinal organized soup kitchens, coat drives and mobile office events to help better the lives of those in need.

Harvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, has been a public interest lawyer in New York City since graduating from CUNY Law School in 1994, and was a housing and economic development attorney at the Legal Aid Society and Legal Services NYC. For the last decade he worked as Director of the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center. Assemblymember Epstein served as PTA President at the Neighborhood School, which his children attended.

Nathalia Fernandez, 80th Assembly District, began serving the 80th Assembly District as Executive Coordinator and then Chief of Staff to then-Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and in 2016 was selected to be State Committee Woman for the district. She went on to become Bronx Regional Representative for Governor Andrew Cuomo, working to inform the community about programs like the Excelsior Scholarship and Paid Family Leave program. I am so proud that our conference remains one of the most diverse in the country.

Since we opened this legislative session in January, the Assembly Majority has worked hard to push an agenda that reflects the values and needs of New Yorkers from the shores of Lake Erie to the tip of Long Island. We passed legislation to reform our criminal justice system, protect women's reproductive rights, enact commonsense gun measures and expand voting opportunities. In this year's state budget, we were able to secure funding for education from pre-k to college. We enacted comprehensive sexual harassment reform, provided funding to combat the opioid crisis, and worked to provide much needed resources for public transportation across the state.

But our work is not done yet. I look forward to working with our new colleagues as we continue to craft policies and legislation to help make New York State a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Again, to our new Assembly Majority members, congratulations and welcome to the People's House.