Queens Assemblywoman Barbara Clark dies

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Barbara Clark, a longtime lawmaker from Queens, has died at the age of 76.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says Clark died Monday after an illness.

Heastie called Clark a "beloved member" of the Assembly who was dedicated to improving the lives of New Yorkers, particularly when it came to public education and health care. She served on several committees during her legislative career, including ones focused on education, labor and children. She was a former chairwoman of the Legislative Women's Caucus.

Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a former member of the Assembly, was sworn in alongside Clark nearly 30 years ago. He called her a "passionate advocate" for her district.

Clark was born in West Virginia. She and her husband, Thomas Clark, have four children and two grandchildren.

STATEMENTS FROM OFFICIALS

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO: "Today, New York has lost a great public servant. Over the course of her nearly 30 year career in the Assembly, Barbara Clark was a true legend of Queens – a proud leader who worked tirelessly to support her community and better the lives of those around her. She was an outspoken advocate on issues affecting schools and working families in her district and across New York, and she will be greatly missed. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my deepest condolences to her family, her friends and to the people she has served."

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO: "Today we mourn the loss of Assembly Member Barbara Clark, who served as Deputy Majority Whip and Chair for the Education Committee of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. As an Assembly Member, she put students and education first by fighting to properly fund New York State's public schools and ensuring that all students had access to quality education – values that we uphold in our city and that are vital for our youth and communities as a whole. We have lost a great lawmaker in New York State, and I offer condolences to Assembly Member Clark's family on behalf of my administration, her fellow Queens residents and all New Yorkers."

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER JOHN J. FLANAGAN: "I am saddened today to learn of the passing of Barbara Clark, a member of the State Assembly for nearly 30 years. I had the distinct honor and privilege of being sworn in as a member of the Assembly the same year Barbara joined the chamber. I always found her to be a passionate advocate for her constituents and for her district, and know she will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

COMPTROLLER THOMAS DiNAPOLI: "New York has lost one of its greatest legislators. Assemblywoman Clark and I were 'classmates,' who were elected to the Assembly together in 1986. She stood out from the start, for her devotion to her constituents in Queens County and for her tireless efforts to improve the lives and education for all of New York's children. Barbara's family has lost a beloved wife and mother. The people of Queens and New York state have lost a dedicated public servant."

ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER BRIAN KOLB: "Assemblywoman Barbara Clark of Queens was a thoughtful and spirited legislator who fought hard for New York State and those she represented. For nearly 30 years, she was a dedicated public servant and a respected member of the New York State Assembly. Barbara never hesitated to speak her mind and vote her conscience. I am saddened by her passing and my thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family. She will be missed by all New Yorkers."

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