Longtime Assembly Member Sandy Galef retires
Wednesday marked the the start of new legislative session in Albany, and there are some new faces representing the Hudson Valley.
As they start their careers, News 12 is taking a look back on the career of a longtime Assembly member from the area who is now officially retired.
Sandy Galef represented parts of Westchester and Putnam counties in the 95th Assembly District for 30 years.
Among her accomplishments are two constitutional amendments - one that made the state's constitution gender-neutral.
"Frankly, it was hard to do it because a lot of people said what does it matter, but it does, but words do matter and we are learning more and more that symbols do matter," she says.
Galef spent her career reforming government and chaired the Assembly's Real Property Tax Committee.
In recent years, she spent a lot of her focus on the closure of Indian Point nuclear power plant, located in her district.
There is one fact about her career that many may be surprised about.
"I was in an attempted coup," she said. "I may not look like a person that basically tried to throw out the speaker of the Assembly, but I did."
Galef said the coup was unsuccessful but that it led to the next speaker who listened to Assembly members and their constituents' needs.
She said many of her bills took years and even decades to become law, but it was a fight she gladly met head on.
"You never give up in this realm because you never know when things are really going to happen," she said.
Galef said she has no plans to seek public office but does hope to participate in local boards focused on issues she cares about.
Before becoming an Assembly member, Galef also served as a Westchester County legislator for 13 years.