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Claire Cousin

Claire is a third-generation Hudson mom and longtime youth advocate running to fight for working Columbia and Dutchess County families like hers in the State Assembly.

The daughter of a taxi driver and a speech pathologist, Claire grew up working-class in the Greenport suburbs. When Claire became a single mom at seventeen, she had to drop out of high school and move into Hudson public housing. To make her rent and put food on the table, she had to work odd jobs: Afterschool programs, domestic violence services, home healthcare, and more. Claire was able to earn her GED and an AmeriCorps fellowship, but struggled to attend community college while working and raising a family full-time.

A critical moment in Claire’s life was when she spoke at a 2013 Hudson Common Council meeting against reducing basketball court hours for teenagers. That night, she met members of the SBK Social Justice Center, a local organization dedicated to serving Hudson’s Black youth. They invited Claire to their next meeting, when she quickly became one of the Center’s most active leaders. 

During her time at the Center, Claire ran summer children’s workshops as part of the Kite’s Nest Social Justice Leadership Academy and started her own weekly youth program called Space 101. She also worked to keep children in our communities by winning local juvenile justice reforms and creating alternatives to incarceration for youth. And in 2020, Claire helped transition the Center into the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, serving as its executive director to advocate for affordable, stable housing for all.

Today, Claire is serving her second term in the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, as the first and youngest Black woman elected to the body. In that position, she’s secured more money for affordable housing and passed criminal justice legislation with bipartisan support. Most importantly, Claire is a painter, singer, actor, poet, and dance mom to her three kids.

Every day, Claire is working to help Hudson Valley families like her own—whether it’s in her day job, her community organizing, or her role as a local elected official. But she doesn’t see that representation in the Assembly. 

Incumbent Assemblywoman Didi Barrett is out-of-touch with what families in her district need.  Barrett has spent her decade in office voting with Republicans to make our streets less safe, evict families from their homes, and keep farmworkers in poverty. Now, Claire’s opponent is even working with the fossil fuel industry on legislation that would pump more pollution into the air! Every major climate group in the state fiercely opposes this plan—they’ve even protested outside Barrett’s office. But even after they convinced Governor Hochul to walk back her support for the change, Barrett is still pushing for hearings. 

The Hudson Valley deserves better. Claire is running to give Columbia and Dutchess Counties their first chance to decide what kind of Democrat they want representing them in Albany.



For too long, greedy corporations, billionaires, and political elites have used their wealth and power to rig our country against us. We’re fighting to put power back in our hands.