Peoples-Stokes to be NY Assembly’s 1st woman majority leader

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker from Buffalo will be the first woman and first African American to serve as the majority leader in the New York state Assembly.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes was tapped for the Assembly’s No. 2 position by Speaker Carl Heastie on Monday.

The 66-year-old lawmaker was first elected to the Assembly in 2002. A former teacher and county legislator, Peoples-Stokes is known as an advocate for reforms to the state’s criminal justice system and has emerged as a leading supporter of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Her elevation is a significant win for western New York, as it could increase the region’s influence in the state Capitol.

Peoples-Stokes says she is honored to have been chosen and will use her new position to help all New Yorkers.