Minority Whip 12 th District (Parts of Kings and Queens Counties)

304 Legislative Office Building
116-43 Sutphin Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11434
Email address:

A leading community activist first elected to the State Senate in 1988, Senator Ada L. Smith has forged an impres- sive reputation as a lawmaker dedicated to meeting the pressing and diverse needs of her constituents.

As one of only two African American female Members in the Senate, Senator Smith has worked throughout her tenure to improve educational opportunities for all New York City youth, particularly for students of racial and ethnic minor- ity backgrounds. Several youths from her district have ben- efitted from scholarships administered through the auspices of Senator Smith and the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus.

Greatly concerned by an increasing incidence of bias- related violence, Senator Smith is a staunch proponent of legislation that would provide harsh penalties for those who commit hate crimes. In the Senate, she has also pushed for legislation that would preserve vanishing Mitchell-Lama housing, and has strongly supported new laws improving ser- vices for the elderly -- among them the reform of the State's prescription drug program for seniors as well as an initiative limiting the amounts physicians can charge el- derly Medicare patients. Among other legislative accom- plishments, the Senator has authored state laws to fight homelessness in New York City and to ensure effective sub- stance abuse services for women.

Born in Amherst County, Virginia, on April 18, 1945, Sen- ator Smith is the only child of the late Lillian and Thomas Smith. She was educated in the New York public school sys- tem -- an experience that has laid the foundation of her deep concern for City school children-- and graduated from the Baruch College of CUNY. The Senator was the first fe- male and the only Black President of the Baruch College Alumni Association, and she still serves as Trustee and life director of the College Fund.

Prior to her election to the Senate, Senator Smith served as Deputy City Clerk of the City of New York. The Brooklyn lawmaker also brings to the Senate more than 20 years of community activism and public service. This commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Brooklyn continues today.

In honor of her myriad efforts and accomplishments, Sen- ator Smith has received an array of prestigious awards, in- cluding the Local 372 "Goodie Award," Baruch College's "Outstanding Achievement Award," the Rachel Jean Mitchell Scholarship Fund's "Outstanding Leadership Award," CUNY's "President's Medal," the "Arriba Juntos Community Service Award," and the National Women's Political Caucus' "Leader- ship Award."

Senator Smith serves as Whip of the Senate Minority and is a ranking member of the Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. In addition to her regular Senate Committee assignments, Senator Smith is a member of the Sen- ate Democratic Task Force on Women's Issues, the Senate Dem- ocratic Task Force on the Financing of Affordable Housing, and the Senate Minority Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force. She serves as Vice President of the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, and as Treasurer of the New York State African American Clergy and Elected Officials, Inc.

Standing Committee Assignments 1995 - Corporation, Author- ities and Commissions (Ranking Minority); Elections; Insur- ance; Investigations, Taxation and Government Operations; Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; and Transportation.

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