, New York , United States
|| December 06, 1957
Aug 13, 2012 11:45pm
Italian - Moderate-to-Liberal - Anti Marijuana Legalization - Anti-Labor - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Divorced - Catholic - Straight -
|Info||Andrew M. Cuomo was born in Queens, New York on December 6th, 1957, the second child of Mario Cuomo & Matilda Raffa Cuomo. His paternal grandparents, Andrea and Immaculato Cuomo emigrated from Salerno, Italy in the 1920s to New York where Andrea ran a small grocery in South Jamaica, Queens. Andrew and his three sisters and one brother grew up in Hollis, Queens. Andrew received his Bachelors of Arts in 1979 at Fordham University in the Bronx and then went on to receive his law degree from Albany Law School in 1982. |
Hard work and family have defined Andrew’s life. Andrew worked during college and law school in an array of positions including security guard, landscaper, and an auto repair mechanic. At the age of 24, while still in law school, Andrew served as campaign manager for his father, Mario Cuomo, in his successful 1982 race for Governor of New York. Andrew then headed the Transition Committee for Governor-Elect Cuomo and worked as a key aide in Albany. Thereafter, Andrew joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and then went to a private law practice and subsequently founded HELP, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the homeless.
Andrew has always been passionate about fighting for the most vulnerable citizens, particularly when it comes to fundamental human rights and social justice: ensuring that each American has a safe, secure place to live. Andrew established Housing Enterprise for Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986, which became the nation’s largest private provider of transitional housing for the homeless. By providing more than just shelter, but also education, job training, treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, mental health services, and emergency and transitional housing, HELP challenged the traditional orthodoxy on the issue by advocating the true needs of the population as opposed to the current thinking that the “solution to homelessness was three-fold: housing, housing, housing.” HELP was recognized by Congress as a model of dealing with the many problems facing the homeless. Based on his pioneering work through HELP, Andrew was appointed by New York City Mayor David Dinkins in 1991 to lead the New York City Commission on the Homeless. That Commission issued a report titled “The Way Home” which was widely accepted as effective housing and social policy.
The Cuomo family has a great tradition of fighting for social justice. HELP USA has benefited from the leadership of many members of the family. Andrew’s mother, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, founded HELP’s Mentoring USA branch in 1987 when she served as New York State’s First Lady. The programs provide structured, one-on-one mentoring for “at risk” kids in New York City. Andrew’s sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, has served as Chairperson of HELP since Andrew went to Washington to serve with President Clinton in 1992. Under Maria’s leadership, the organization has grown as a national provider of homeless services and expanded its programs in job training, domestic violence and affordable housing. In it’s 20th year, the organization founded the HELP USA Justice Center, dedicated to fighting discrimination in New York State. The Justice Center is extending the organization’s mission to address the root causes of the myriad problems that confront underprivileged families across the country. HELP USA's Justice Center will work as a legal advocate to eliminate systemic inequalities and unfair racial and discriminatory practices.
Academics and Awards. Andrew has received numerous awards, among them, the National Association of Homebuilders Appreciation Award; the National Puerto Rican Coalition Appreciation Award; the NAACP Freedom and Justice Award; Alliance for Justice and the Coalition of Italo-American Assoc., Inc. Leadership in Public Service Award. Andrew edited Crossroads: The Future of American Politics, published by Random House in October 2003. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Andrew has practiced law in both the private and public sectors. His professional legal career after law school began in public service as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan under Robert Morganthau in 1984. He also worked in private law practice and presently works at the real estate investment firm Island Capital.