+ − Contact Information
Phone: (518) 455-4711
Albany, NY 12248
+ − Biography
A self-described public servant, Barbara Clark has represented the communities of the 33rd Assembly District in the New York State Legislature for over twenty-five years, using her office to champion equity in funding and access to quality educational programs for all students in New York State.
As a forerunner of the small school initiative in NYC, she was instrumental in converting Andrew Jackson High School, which originally housed approximately 3500 students, into four small magnet high schools. She also served as a primary sponsor of the 1996 New York City Governance Law which mandated parental involvement in school policy decision-making. Mrs. Clarks goal to adequately finance New York Citys under-funded school system made her an early proponent of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) v. State of New York lawsuit. She was an ardent supporter of the plaintiffs fourteen year court battle, which resulted in a $5.5 billion increase in funding for New York City public schools. She also authored legislation to finally establish the age of six as the statutory age for full time attendance in school.
Mrs. Clark is committed to partnering with her constituents to create programs and institutions which foster stable community development, both within her district and throughout New York State. This commitment encompasses a host of initiatives and has included legislation to combat predatory lending, to prohibit animal slaughterhouses within fifteen-hundred feet of residential dwellings, and to promote pedestrian safety. She was also instrumental in funding the first Cancer Center in Queens County at Queens General Hospital.
In the Assembly, Mrs. Clark serves as the Deputy Majority Whip, Chair for the Education Committee of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, member of the Majority Steering Committee, member of the Assembly Rules Committee, and member of Assembly Standing Committees on Education, Libraries and Education Technology, Children and Families, and Labor. She is the former Chair of the New York State Legislative Womens Caucus, as well as the former Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Aging.
Outside of her work as an Assembly Member, Mrs. Clark has also served as a nationally recognized leader. In 2007, she received the Pacesetter Award from The Women Legislators Lobby/Womens Action for New Directions (WILL/WAND) for her noteworthy legislative service and progressive policy leadership.
Assemblywoman Clark has also served as a leader within national legislative and policy organizations. In the past, she was Vice-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Education, Labor and Job Training Committee, and a member of NCSLs Education Partners public policy group. Currently, she serves as the state coordinator for the NCSL Americas Legislators Back to School Program. In 2008, Assemblywoman Clark was elected the 2008-2010 Vice Chair of the Education Commission of the States (ECS), the highest position a legislator can serve within the organization. Prior to her election as Vice Chair, she had served two terms on the ECS Steering Committee and ten years as New York States Commissioner to the organization. Presently, she continues to serve as a state Commissioner and is a member of ECSs Executive Committee, the Vice Chair of the organizations Nominating Committee and a member of the ECS National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC).
In addition to her role as a leader and public servant, Mrs. Clark has also served as a mentor to many aspiring public servants and has hosted countless high school and college interns in both her legislative and district offices. She has also sponsored more than twenty Fellows through the University at Albany Center for Women in Government and Civil Societys Women in Public Policy Program.
Assemblywoman Clark, a coal miners daughter, was born and raised in Beckley, West Virginia. She and her husband, Thomas, have four adult children who were all educated in the New York City Public School System, and two granddaughters.