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Ellen Jaffee

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
97th District, New York State Assembly

Andrea Ciannavei, Lowell Peterson, Jenny Lumet (from L to R) in picture with Ellen and the Speaker. They represent the Writers Guild of America, East and were in Albany to support increased opportunities for young writers through inclusion in the Empire State Film Production Credit (A.2320/Jaffee).

Assemblymembers Jaffee, Crespo, Moya and Solages with activists from the NYS Youth Leadership Council at Speaker's press conference on Assembly passage of the DREAM Act.

Jaffee Sworn into State Assembly

By Adam Littman, New City Patch January 7, 2013

(Watch the video here)

Ellen Jaffee was re-elected to the New York State Assembly last November. She was sworn in Sunday at Orangetown Town Hall.

While the courthouse at Orangetown Town Hall was packed with standing room-only, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee knows that if she accomplishes all she wants to in her current term, Sunday will be a relatively small part of her next two years.

“It’s not what I say today that necessarily matters,” she said. “It’s what I do, and what we do moving forward that matters.”

Jaffee was sworn back in as a member of the New York State Assembly Sunday in Orangetown after winning her re-election bid last November. She holds the seat in District 97, which includes Orangetown, Chestnut Ridge, Spring Valley, New Square, Airmont, Hillburn and portions of Montebello and Suffern

She was first elected to the assembly in 2006. Sunday, Jaffee was surrounded by family, supporters and colleagues in the courthouse. There were also a few emergency responders in attendance who were honored for their work in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy last year.

“There are people that went well beyond what is anticipated and what is expected, who gave their time and effort and truly deserve our recognition and deserve the honor,” Jaffee said.

During her speech after being sworn in by Family Court Judge William Warren, Jaffee spoke about current hot button issues around the county and how the conversation always comes back to the government.

“Look at the headlines this week: a debate over disaster relief and a debate about stricter gun laws,” she said. “I have always been clear, and I stand where I stand on both discussions and debates. We need funds to rebuild our communities, our infrastructure, restore our lives. We need sensible gun safety laws to keep our communities free from unnecessary danger. Safe strong communities should always be our goal.”

Jaffee also spoke about education and the need to secure funds for education so that students receive quality education no matter what zip code they live in.

“It makes all the economic sense in the world. A Harvard Business Review article shows how unfunded schools lead to weakened economies,” Jaffee said. “A work force that can compete globally begins in childcare and extends to all levels of education. The way to a quality education is a solid beginning with strong quality pre-kindergarten and childcare programs. Every dollar spent on pre-k and kindergarten guarantees our child a brighter future, and eliminates spending on one industry we do not want to grow: state prisons, because quality early childhood education has proven in countless studies to stop our students from seeing crime as an option.”

Jaffee also said she wants to work to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour, plus an index for inflation.

Two members of Congress, Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel, joined the many elected officials on hand for the ceremony. Both spoke about not only the work Jaffee has done, but also about her character.

“What’s most important about Ellen is that she’s a person who wakes up everyday and says, ‘What can I do to make out community, our nation and this world a better place?’” Lowey said. “And I’ve always said, as a public official and I would certainly say it to you again, you can’t always agree with everything your elected representative does. But you want to be sure that the honorable person is truly honorable and makes the decision because she feels that it’s the right decision.”

Engel said it’s important for public officials to show that they’re actually working for the people and that they’re not in politics for themselves.

“She’s not in this for an ego trip, she’s not in this because someday she wants to run for higher office,” Engel said of Jaffee. “She’s in this because she believes that Rockland needs good representation in the New York State Assembly in Albany, and she’s willing to do it. She’s got her feet on the ground. She knows the community. She does what is motivating her, and that is her love for Rockland County.”

Other elected officials on hand for the ceremony included State Sen. David Carlucci, Chairwoman of the Rockland County Legislature Harriet Cornell, Rockland County Legislator Toney Earl, Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco, Orangetown Town Supervisor Andy Stewart, Piermont Mayor Chris Sanders, Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White, South Nyack Mayor Patricia DuBow, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, Suffern Mayor Dagan LaCorte and others.

There were also musical performances by the Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland (JAMCCAR) Ekklipse Steel Band, Pearl River High School Women’s Glee Club and East Ramapo High School Band. Members of the NAACP Youth Council led the room in the Pledge of Allegiance.

After the swearing in, Jaffee and many of the elected officials thanked the various fire and police departments in town for their work after the storm, along with many of the local departments of public works and others.

See addition pictures and video Here

To everyone in the new 97th Assembly District:

I thank you for giving me the privilege to continue to serve our community. The high turnout for this election, no matter whom you voted for, is a testament to your resilience in the face of personal loss, damage to your homes and businesses sustained from Hurricane Sandy.

A heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers and local officials; I truly appreciate the hours you spent at the phone banks, knocking on doors, reaching out to friends and neighbors, distributing flyers and putting up yard signs. Once again you stood by me and supported me. I am honored by your friendship, confidence and trust that I will continue to be a strong voice for Rockland.

Many in our community have called my district assembly office to seek help in restoring power or to get information about aid from the federal and state governments. For those who haven’t called, please be aware that we will provide all possible assistance.

Please check my web site for updates regarding visits from FEMA officials, state insurance staff and other experts. For helpful information about insurance and other financial matters related to the Hurricane, please go to or call Hotline Number: 1-800-339-1759. Residents in need of assistance with recovery, who have been displaced or unemployed due to the storm can call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or, if internet capable, visit

My immediate priority will be to work with federal, state, and local officials and agencies to assure that Rockland residents and business are provided the financial support that is urgently needed.

Again, thank you for putting your trust in me.

Most sincerely,

Ellen Jaffee

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
97th District, New York State Assembly

District Office
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
1 Blue Hill Plaza
Suite 1116
PO Box 1549
Pearl River, NY 10965

Albany office
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
LOB 530
Albany, NY 12248
Official Assembly Web Page

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