In 1918, only months after women were given the vote by an amendment to the United States Constitution, Ida Sammis and Mary Lilly were the first women elected to the New York State Legislature. Both served in the Assembly.
In 1955, Bessie Buchanan became the first African-American Assemblywoman.
Established in 1981, the New York State Assembly Task Force on Women's Issues reviews legislation that may be in any of the 38 Assembly committees. The Task Force identifies issues that affect women, initiates new legislation, and promotes pending legislation concerned with the specific problems of New York State's women. In addition, the Task Force encourages administrative policies that will further women's rights. The Task Force works closely with women's groups, service organizations and concerned individuals across the state, as well as with state agencies, the Governor's office and other legislators.