Assemblywoman Ellen C. Jaffee (D-Suffern) was first elected to the NYS Assembly in 2007. She represents the 97th Assembly District.
In Albany, Ellen has provided innovative leadership and advanced legislation to improve the lives of women, children, families, and older adults, tirelessly advocating for quality education, child care, women’s equality, job creation, property tax relief, small business assistance, public health and safety, criminal justice reform, and environmental protection. Environmental Advocates of New York has awarded her a perfect score of 100% for her legislative record.
As Chair of the Committee on Children and Families, her priorities include ensuring that every family has access to safe, high-quality, affordable child care, early childhood education, the well-being of children and youth in foster and kinship care, and securing funds so that communities have the resources, services and programs they need to support our most vulnerable.
Ellen also serves on the Environmental Conservation, Health, Mental Health, and Education committees.
In 2013 Ellen was appointed Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy. Her agenda included developing programs to improve nutrition, especially among children, older adults, and the underserved; supporting the Hunger Prevention Nutrition Programs; promoting New York farm products and making it easier to farm in suburban areas, so consumers have access to farm fresh local food.
Former Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues, Ellen’s standout bills include New York’s landmark Breast Density Inform Law, helping to increase early detection standards in breast cancer screening; speedy anti-HIV/AIDS treatment for victims of sexual assault; access to services for women suffering from addiction; and expanding work force assistance and training programs for women.
An outspoken advocate for the communities she represents, Ellen regularly holds public information sessions in response to community needs, most recently on kinship care, health insurance enrollment, foreclosure rescue scam prevention, as well as TPS and DACA. She has also partnered with area hospitals to offer free breast cancer screenings and flu shot clinics.
Ellen’s accomplishments include fighting to increase the state’s minimum wage, establish paid family leave, securing funds for Rockland’s public schools; getting state oversight of the East Ramapo School District; and bringing state leaders to meet with residents of Rockland’s river villages to discuss safety, the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the impact of the new Mario Cuomo Bridge.
For her work, Ellen has received numerous awards and honors from a diverse set of organizations, including: The Rockland NAACP; Rockland Business Women’s Network; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; the Nyack Center; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; the Rockland School Board Association; Childcare Resources of Rockland, Big Brothers,Big Sisters, The Early Care and Learning Council, Kinship navigator and many others.
Born in Brooklyn, Ellen and her late husband Steve Jaffee moved to Suffern in 1978 where they raised two children, Marc and Allison.
She earned her B.A. in Education from Brooklyn College, her M.S. in Special Education from Fordham University, and worked as a resource room teacher at the Pomona Junior High School / Middle School for 20 years.
Elected as a Village of Suffern Trustee in 1994, Ellen went on to serve in the Rockland County Legislature where she remained until her election to the Assembly in 2007.