New York Leaders: Carl E. Heastie

Portrait of Carl E. Heastie

Carl E. Heastie

Carl E. Heastie is the 100th Speaker of the New York State Assembly. He has the historic distinction of being the first African-American to serve as leader of the Chamber’s 150 members representing communities across the state of New York. 

Since February 3, 2015, he has led the Assembly Majority in efforts to uplift communities and promote a Families First agenda that prioritizes strategic investments in the health, safety, economic and social well-being of New York’s families. Under his leadership, the Assembly has won a number of landmark victories that deliver on the Assembly Majority’s promise to expand opportunities for achievement in communities around the state. 

Prior to becoming Speaker, Heastie – a lifelong advocate for workers’ rights – served as chair of the Assembly Labor Committee. He was the principal negotiator in securing an increase in the minimum wage and in 2015, with the support of his Majority colleagues began the fight for $15 in the New York State Legislature. These efforts culminated in 2016 with the successful enactment of a graduated plan to raise the minimum wage across the state to provide workers at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder a fair chance to achieve financial independence and success. 

Speaker Heastie is a proud product of New York City’s public schools and throughout his legislative career he has been a passionate advocate for the transformative power of education. He has joined his Majority colleagues in fighting for spending plans to provide funding for statewide universal pre-kindergarten programs and additional support for the state’s neediest schools. 

Prior to joining the Assembly, Speaker Heastie served as a budget analyst in the New York City Comptroller’s office. He earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Baruch College of CUNY and a bachelor’s