Majority Leader Ronald J. Canestrari

The Honorable Ronald J. CanestrariThe Honorable Ronald J. Canestrari is serving his 11th term in the New York State Assembly representing the 106th Assembly District, which consists of sections of the cities of Albany and Troy, and the communities of Cohoes, East Greenbush, Green Island, North Greenbush, Rensselaer, Waterford and Watervliet.

Appointed Majority Leader in 2007, Canestrari is responsible for the day-to-day management of the legislative session on the floor of the Assembly, including setting the daily agenda and overseeing the debate and voting procedures on all legislation.

Prior to becoming Majority Leader, Canestrari served as Chairman of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee.  As a leading advocate for students throughout New York State he worked to improve higher education and increase access, allowing more students to realize the dream of a college degree.  He was instrumental in minimizing the Governor’s proposals to reduce both the availability of financial aid and the state’s support of the public university system.  He was a driving force behind an unprecedented five-year capital plan for critical infrastructure maintenance and construction needs at SUNY and CUNY.

Canestrari has been an advocate for reform and an increase in public scrutiny and input on legislative proceedings.  He chairs the Assembly Working Group on Television Coverage where he led efforts to make television footage available throughout the state on cable television and internet. This historic undertaking has significantly increased the transparency of the legislature.

In addition, he serves as chair of the Assembly Intern Committee, which facilitates one of the most prestigious legislative internships in the country, providing students hands-on experience in the legislative process and fostering their interest in civics as potential future leaders of New York State.

During his thirteen-year tenure as Mayor of the City of Cohoes, Canestrari garnered first-hand knowledge of the struggles and challenges facing upstate cities.  He also served as president of the New York State Conference of Mayors.  Throughout his career in the State Legislature, Canestrari has been a champion of several critical economic development initiatives for the Capital Region, including the creation of the Albany International Airport Authority, the Watervliet Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership and the creation of the one-of-a-kind Tech Valley High School.

Assemblyman Canestrari attended the Cohoes public school system, and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany. He is a graduate of Fordham College, Fordham University School of Law and is a member of the NYS Bar Association.  Canestrari is a U.S. Army Vietnam-Era Veteran.