Biography

Ellen Jaffee
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee represents the 97th Assembly District in Rockland County, which includes Orangetown and over half of the Town of Ramapo. With over 40 ethnic groups and dozens of languages spoken, Assemblywoman Jaffee proudly ranks the 95th district as one of the most culturally diverse areas in New York State.

A record of rapid response to constituent calls has earned Assemblywoman Jaffee a reputation as an ardent advocate for the 97th District. From the beginning of her first term in 2007, Assemblywoman Jaffee has collaborated with scores of state and local officials to solve constituent problems, from reducing train idling times in Spring Valley to changing Orange & Rockland’s vegetation management policy to save trees.

Assemblywoman Jaffee has hosts a series of “Neighborhood Assemblies” to give constituents an opportunity to voice their thoughts and concerns on matters that she brings back to Albany. She also holds meetings and information sessions in response to community concerns, such as an August 2007 meeting with state transportation officials to address the safety of the Tappan Zee Bridge in the wake of the Minnesota Bridge collapse

Ms. Jaffee regularly meets with Rockland constituency groups as well as local leaders, State Commissioners, and other state officials to address local needs such as school funding, acquisition of open space, public safety, transportation projects, needs of children with developmental disabilities, aid to villages and towns, flood remediation, and Rockland's singular challenges with water supply.

Added to her track record of addressing constituent needs at home, Assemblywoman Jaffee presses for Rockland’s needs in Albany. She has fought for Rockland’s children, seniors, and families and has secured increased state funding for schools, hospitals, and healthcare facilities while fighting cuts to AmeriCorps, BOCES, the Rockland County Youth Bureau, and other agencies in the 95th District.

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee has a strong legislative record that reflects her priorities including property tax relief, excellent school systems, quality childcare, affordable healthcare, well water safety, youth programs that provide alternatives to gangs, initiatives that enable seniors to remain in their homes, green technology that reduces greenhouse gases and cuts energy costs, public safety, support for victims of sexual assault, consumer protection, government reform, and social justice. Speaking out for Rockland's families has been a hallmark of Ellen Jaffee's career.

In June 2009, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee was appointed Chair of the Assembly’s Task Force on Women’s Issues. She serves on six Assembly Standing Committees: Environmental Conservation, Consumer Affairs, Higher Education, Local Governments, Children and Families, and the Steering Committee.

A Brooklyn native, Ellen and her husband Steve moved to Rockland County in 1978, settling in Suffern. There they raised two children, Marc and Allison, who are now married to Julia and Steven, respectively. Ellen is the proud grandmother of Daniel, Miles, and Jade. She earned her B.A. in Education from Brooklyn College and her M.S. in Special Education from Fordham University. She was formerly Educational Consultant and Resource Room teacher at Pomona Middle School.

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee has received numerous Awards and Citations:

  • 2009: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Honored for commitment to improving the lives of Rockland county children and youth.
  • 2009: Riverspace, Community Leader of the Year
  • 2009: Historical Society of Rockland County, Lifetime Service Award
  • 2008: UFCW Local 1262, Friends of Working Families Award
  • 2008: Nyack Center, Honoring Legacy for children and families of Nyack Center
  • 2008: Myrtle Wreath Honoree, The Lower NYS Region of Hadassah
  • 2008: Haitian American Cultural & Social Organization ( HACSO): Humanitarian Award and Keynote Speaker
  • 2008: University Recognition Award, Rockland Graduate Campus, Long Island University
  • 2008: "In Grateful Appreciation of your years of outstanding service and dedication to our organization and the lager community", Jamaican Civil and Cultural Association of Rockland ( JAMCCAR )
  • 2008: Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center : Honoree
  • 2007 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eta Chi Lambda Chapter, "Embraces Women's History Month and Shines the Light upon Ellen Jaffee, a Rockland County Woman of Distinction, embodying the courage, determination, and steadfastness needed to move history forward."
  • 2006: Rockland NOW Caroline Lexow Babcock Award
  • 2005: Women of Leadership & Vision Award, Nyack Center
  • 2004: Public Service Award, Village of Suffern Community Foundation
  • 2003: Award for Outstanding Community Work, H.A.M.S.A.R.
  • 2002: Community Action Partnership of Rockland County Award, thanking Ellen Jaffee for courage, commitment, dedication and support to the economically disadvantaged population of Rockland.
  • 2001: Dedication of Legislator Ellen C. Jaffee Theater, LHV Challenger Center
  • 2000: Humanitarian of the Year, YAI/ACLD
  • 2000: Gene Levy Memorial Independent Living Award
  • 1999: Woman of the Year, Rockland Business Women's Network
  • 1999: Public Service Award, Bikur Cholim of Rockland County