James (James) Sanders, Jr. (D-SS10)
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Capitol: 518.455.3531
FAX: 518.426.6859
District: 718.523.3069
Senator
Room 711 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247

District Office:
1931 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
Elected: 2012    Next Election: 2022
Spouse: Andrea   DOB: 8/14/1957
Committee Assignments
ChairmanSenate Committee on Banks
MemberSenate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs
MemberSenate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation
MemberSenate Committee on Procurement and Contracts
MemberSenate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business
MemberSenate Committee on Labor
MemberSenate Committee on Insurance
Counties Representing
Queens

Bio

Now in his fourth term, New York State Democrat Senator James Sanders Jr., a lifelong public servant, Marine Corps veteran, proponent of education and advocate for working class families, continues to approach the legislature with a fresh perspective and promise to bring economic opportunities and resources to the people of Southeast Queens.

Sanders' passion for public service and politics began as a young man working for then-United States Congressman, Floyd H. Flake, engineering civic and community projects that aided in revitalizing social and economic opportunities in his District.

Senator Sanders is a product of Southeast Queens, born in Hammel Houses, a public housing development in the Rockaways and graduate of Far Rockaway High School. He served his country in the United States Marine Corps for three years. He then earned his Bachelor's degree in History, specializing in African-American studies from Brooklyn College in 1984.

Prior to his time in the State Senate, Sanders served 10 years on Queens School Board District 27; seven years as president and the first African-American to do so. As a married father of two, Sanders saw first-hand how economic advancement was dependent upon the quality of education within the community. He took an interest in youth and educational affairs by working in the nonprofit sector to organize and assist students and other youth throughout New York City. In 2001 Sanders was entrusted by the people to further aid his community when elected as New York City Council Member for the 31st District, representing the communities of Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Edgemere, Bayswater, Arverne and Far Rockaway. As Council Member, Sanders was unanimously voted Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, making him the first African-American in City history to hold the post. Having an immediate impact in his new role - overseeing the EDC and Department of Small Business Services - Sanders commissioned a major study that became the basis upon which New York City re-instituted policies of affirmative action, and enhanced opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses.

Sanders also authored the toughest anti-predatory lending bill in the country, and got passed legislation criminalizing the sale of ammunition to minors. His work in City Council rebuilt and updated many parks and libraries in the 31st District, and he led the charge against sexual assaults throughout Queens, forming a coalition of community activists to address safety and other issues affecting women.

Sanders served on the City Council 12 years, the term limit.

On September 13, 2012 the people elected Sanders to represent them once again, this time as Senator for the 10th Senatorial District which includes the neighborhoods of South Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens and most of the Rockaways.

In addition to being the Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Banks, Senator Sanders is a member of the Committees for Labor; Civil Services & Pensions; Commerce Economic Development & Small Business; Insurance; Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs; and Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation. Senator Sanders has been a fierce advocate for working people, families and unions. In his first term in office, he introduced the Fair Wage Act, which would increase the statewide minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, indexed to inflation. The Act would allow municipalities to set their own minimum wage up to $13.13 with the understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for places like New York City.

Sanders was a key leader in the fight for workers left out of wage increase negotiations to earn higher pay for airport food servers employed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Senator was also successful in protecting airport travelers by getting a bill passed to criminalize the use of laser pointers directed toward aircraft. With John F. Kennedy International Airport in the Senator's District, the legislation was critical in ensuring the safety of pilots and passengers, to discourage impairing the visibility of aircraft operators.

Among other several important pieces of legislation he authored and had signed into lawinclude law enforcement agencies required to immediately file a report when an adult is reported missing regardless of age, and another that requiring the Department of Homeland Security and emergency services to provide recommendations on implementing tornado warning systems in the state.

In addition to his legislative achievements, Senator Sanders provides many services to his constituents including- free legal assistance once a month for veterans, seniors and women; free tax preparation bi-weekly with representatives from the IRS; his Mobile that travels throughout the District to address constituents' questions, concerns, advice and suggestions; Clergy Breakfasts that monthly bring together the faith-based community to learn and receive training on issues important to them and their congregations; grant writing classes to teach local organizations how to obtain funding to start or expand programs that better the District, and employment opportunities including job fairs for residents.

Senator Sanders makes constituent services a top priority and believes in strengthening transparency and accountability in New York State's government.