Terry Gipson was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2012 and served a two-year term through December 2014. He proudly represented the 41st District, which includes Dutchess and Putnam Counties, and he holds the honor of being the first Democratic State Senator elected to this seat since Franklin D. Roosevelt held it in 1913.
Terry and his wife Michelle are residents of Rhinebeck, where he formerly owned Gipson Design Group Inc. He served on the Planning Board and was a Village Trustee before being elected to the State Senate. Community has always been important to Terry and Michelle, and they continue to be involved in local organizations, the farmer’s market, and community events throughout the Hudson Valley.
Prior to moving to Rhinebeck, they lived in White Plains. There, Terry served as a volunteer firefighter and worked in the entertainment design industry, which included serving as Design Director for MTV Networks. For more than 20 years, Terry has made his living developing creative solutions for complex problems — and this has proven to be a valuable asset during his service in local and state government.
Born and raised in Tyler, Texas, Terry comes from a long line of farmers and laborers that encouraged him to be a self-starter, and taught him to appreciate hard work and determination. Terry is an Eagle Scout and worked his way through college as a landscaper, dishwasher, cook, carpenter, painter, cafeteria manager, and scenic and lighting designer. And he still knows how to use power tools. Terry graduated from Texas Tech with a BFA in 1987, and Penn State with an MFA in 1991.
Frustrated by the high cost of living in New York and the inaction in Albany to address this issue, Terry decided to run for the State Senate. As your Senator, his top priorities included creating jobs and reducing the cost of living and doing business in the Hudson Valley. As a homeowner and former small business owner, he knows that property taxes are the largest financial burden facing our hardworking families. That’s why he introduced new legislation to provide comprehensive mandate relief to our local governments, and, more critically, to find alternatives to the way in which we fund our public education system. By doing so, Terry believes we can provide greater equity for taxpayers as well as students, without punishing property and business owners.
As someone who started his own business in the Hudson Valley, Terry knows first-hand just how difficult it can be to do business in New York State. He believes we can do more to encourage more entrepreneurs to start up or expand their businesses here, rather than leaving for opportunities elsewhere. That’s why he introduced a creative initiative called Hire NY, which would provide zero interest loans to businesses with less than five employees to invest directly in job creation by hiring New York residents in their local communities. To further this effort, he successfully advocated for the inclusion of Dutchess and Putnam counties in the 0% manufacturing tax plan passed in the 2014-15 state budget, and his office helped secure millions of dollars in grants for new job-creating enterprises throughout the Hudson Valley. And, he continues to advocate for more manufacturing jobs and lower utility costs by embracing alternative energy.
During Terry’s term, he received a 100% positive rating from Environmental Advocates of New York for his commitment to environmental conservation. Terry understands that protecting our environment maintains both our quality of life and our robust tourism industry. Terry supported a $9 million increase to the Environmental Protection Fund and a $90 million investment in NYS Parks funding in the 2014-15 state budget. Additionally, Terry sponsored important legislation that became law designating Wappinger Creek as an inland waterway, providing the opportunity for the 13 surrounding municipalities to apply for state and federal funding for waterfront revitalization, storm water treatment and wastewater management, among other projects.
Terry Gipson is Pro-Choice, an advocate for equal rights and raising the minimum wage, and believes our economy will be stronger when everyone has access to a high quality education. He is a staunch supporter of public schools and is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence. Through Terry’s advocacy, the State Senate approved a new Family Court Judge position for Dutchess County to help reduce the wait time for those families that are in urgent need of court services.
Terry’s office also provided extensive support to Veterans and their families, and they hosted two very successful Veterans fairs that connected them to a variety of support organizations. Terry continues to be an advocate for our senior citizens and he has worked with local organizations to support the prevention of elder abuse and drug addition, and to help those families and individuals that have been victimized by the increase in heroin and opiate addiction.
And, it was Senator Gipson’s office that organized a strategic campaign to make the State Senate understand the urgency of helping victims with Lyme disease. Because of their diligence and perseverance, the state has begun the long overdue process of provide funding for research and passing laws to help the victims of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Terry is currently working as a consultant in the public relations and entertainment design fields. He continues to be active in local and statewide issues, and he remains committed to helping to build a stronger and more sustainable Hudson Valley.