Didi Barrett was elected to the New York State Assembly in a special election in the spring of 2012 and was re-elected in November of 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. A resident of the Hudson Valley for 30 years, she came to elected office after a career as a community activist, writer and longtime leader of not-for-profit organizations.
As a member of the Assembly she chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee, and sits on the committees for Agriculture, Mental Health, Environmental Conservation, and Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development. She is also the chairperson of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.
Didi is passionate about the agricultural, natural, historical and cultural resources of the Hudson Valley and their critical importance as economic engines and job generators. Her legislation has ranged from protecting the Hudson River from additional anchorage sites to fighting Lyme and tick-borne diseases to promoting climate smart carbon farming in the Hudson Valley. She writes a blog, Diner Dialogues: Talk of the Hudson Valley, that explores many of these themes.
A longtime advocate for women and girls, she spearheaded the creation of the Dutchess Girls Collaborative to support local girls and young women and is formerly a trustee of the Anderson Foundation for Autism and the Millbrook Education Foundation. A former board member of Sprout Creek Farm, an educational farm in Poughkeepsie, Didi also helped launch the North East Dutchess Fund (NED) of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, which focuses on improving life in the six towns of northeastern Dutchess County and she served on its affiliated Latino Roundtable.
Didi’s family has deep roots in the Hudson Valley and a long involvement with Dutchess and Columbia counties. In 1938, her grandfather and great-uncle bought a farm in Ancramdale which still remains in the family. She has two adult children, Alec and Annabel.
Didi’s other affiliations have included Girls Incorporated of NYC (founding chair); New York Women’s Foundation, Planned Parenthood of NYC, the Women’s Campaign Forum and NARAL Pro-Choice New York (former board member) and the American Folk Art Museum (trustee emeritus).