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:
142-01 Rockaway Boulevard
South Ozone Park, NY 11436
Elected: 2012    Next Election: 2024
Spouse: Andrea   DOB: 8/14/1957
Committee Assignments
ChairmanSenate Committee on Banks
MemberSenate Committee on Procurement and Contracts
MemberSubcommittee on Economic Development
MemberSenate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering
MemberSenate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs
MemberSenate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business
MemberSenate Committee on Insurance
MemberSenate Committee on Labor
Counties Representing
Queens

Bio

Senator Sanders currently represents the neighborhoods of Breezy Point, Jacob Riis Park, Roxbury, Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Arverne, Far Rockaway, Wave Crest, Edgemere, Bays Water, Rosedale, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Springfield Gardens, Rochdale, Briarwood, Laurelton, and St. Albans.

Born in Hammel Houses, a public housing development in the Rockaways, Senator Sanders is a product of Southeast Queens. After graduating from Far Rockaway High School, Senator Sanders went on to earn his Bachelor's degree in history with a specialization in African-American studies from Brooklyn College in 1984. His love of community-based initiatives and politics blossomed during his time working for former United States Congressman Floyd H. Flake, an experience which ultimately led to his involvement in Southeast Queens communities.

Prior to his time as an elected official, Senator Sanders served Queens School Board District 27 for 10 years, 7 of which he spent as the President of the board. He was the first African-American to hold this position. His leadership in the school board inspired his next endeavor as he was elected in 2001 by the people of the 31st district to be their New York City Council Member. During his time in City Council, Sanders became the first African-American to be voted Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, a vote that was unanimous. Earning this title allowed Senator Sanders the ability to commission studies that allowed for policies of affirmative action, and enhanced opportunities for women and minority owned businesses throughout the city, which were huge wins for the then city council member's district, and the state of New York as a whole.

Sanders served 12 years on the City Council - the term limit. During his time as a councilmember Sanders had no problem defying the status quo and advocating on behalf of the people in need of representation throughout the city. Therefore, he led the fight against sexual assault and violence against women while also authoring the toughest anti-predatory lending bill in the country. Beyond these actions, he made sure to oversee the wellbeing of his constituents by rebuilding parks and libraries within district 31.

On September 13, 2012 Senator Sanders was chosen once again by the people as he was elected to represent the 10th district as a New York State Senator. Since being elected to the New York State Senate, Senator Sanders has risen to become the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks and heads the Senate Task Force on Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE).

In addition to being the Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Banks, Senator Sanders is a member of the Committees for Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business; Insurance, Labor, Procurement and Contracts; Racing, Gaming and Wagering; and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.

Sponsoring monumental legislation and protecting New Yorkers has been at the forefront of Sanders' endeavors towards a more equitable and just world. An example of this is displayed through the 2022 NY Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) which works to safeguard homeowners from abusive or unlawful litigation tactics concerning foreclosures. The act holds banks accountable and ensures that homeowners are guaranteed a level playing field that protects them from abuse and manipulation at the hands of lenders. Another such example is highlighted through Carlos' Law (2022) which increases the penalties for criminal corporate liability for the death or injury of an employee up to $500,000. This ensures that corporations adhere to proper safety protocols, and has the power to save lives across the state that otherwise would have been lost due to corporations neglecting their responsibility to protect their employees from harm.

Additionally, Senator Sanders has prioritized an array of topics hindering Southeast Queens and much of the state including climate change, inadequate wages, lack of access to housing and education, workers protections, the legal cannabis industry, predatory banking practices and several others.

Furthermore, Senator Sanders has fought hard for transit equity, as emphasized by his recent victory after a 16-year battle to bring City-Ticket to the Rockaways, a program that excluded Rockaway residents from accessing discounted Long Island Railroad (LIRR) tickets during off-peak hours. This victory cut the cost of a LIRR ticket from the Rockaways to Manhattan by almost 50%, placing well earned money back into the pockets of constituents in the Senator's district. Despite this heavily anticipated achievement, Senator Sanders continues to push for transit equity across Southeast Queens, which has been widely regarded as a transportation desert.

Above all else, Senator Sanders places his constituents at #1 on his list of priorities. Through each community-based event, constituent services offered at each office, Listening Tours, Mobile Office opportunities, and social media engagement, Sanders is devoted to fulfilling the needs of District 10. Southeast Queens is truly defined by the unique lived experiences of each individual resident and Senator Sanders is profoundly committed to this fact.

Senator James Sanders Jr. acknowledges that the journey forward is never easy, but he is willing to take the difficult path if it means that his constituents in Southeast Queens will be afforded the protections and access to resources that they deserve.