Earlene Hooper was elected March 15, 1988 in a special election. Her re-election in November 1988 made Ms. Hooper the only minority serving in the legislature from Long Island as well as the only minority serving the legislature from a suburban area of the state. In addition, as the first woman Deputy Speaker, Hooper is the highest ranking female in the New York State legislature. She is a social worker by profession and has worked as an administrator in the New York State Department of Social Services, Division of Children and Family Services. An active unionist, Ms. Hooper was a member of the Executive Board of the Public Employees Federation (PEF). From 1979 to 1988, she served as shop steward for PEF in her Department of Social Services office. A long-time member of the Hempstead Heights Civic Association, she has provided innovative and effective leadership in an effort to improve the community. As Legislative Chairwoman of the Nassau County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, she established the DEALS project (Developing and Expanding Adult Life Skills) to help young people make the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood. Ms. Hooper is an active member of the NAACP, the Central Nassau Chapter of the Negro Business and Professional Women's Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Links, Inc., Nassau Chapter. Her legislative priorities include securing increased state funding for local school districts, fighting for drug rehabilitation programs, ensuring safe affordable housing for all New Yorkers, protecting our environment and strengthening economic development. Her role as Deputy Speaker gives her the passion she possesses to assure equitable representation and participation of minorities share in state business opportunities. She is a member of the Assembly Task Force on Women's Issues and the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus. Additionally, Ms. Hooper was appointed by former Speaker Miller to the Permanent Commission on Justice for Children where she served 1988-1993. She was graduated from Norfolk State College, Norfolk, Virginia, with a B.A. in English and received her Master's Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Five Towns College, Huntington, N.Y. She is a professor (adjunct) at Adelphi University's Graduate School of Social Work, Garden City. N.Y. Standing Committee Assignments 2009: Education, Rules, Ways & Means.