Women making a difference in Westchester

monkimage.phpOnce in a while I meet one of God’s messengers, and I leave their presence knowing there is hope for a brighter future. For me, meeting Deirdra on Tuesday night was one of those special, rare moments in my life.

Similar to all the other women I have interviewed for the book, when Trump won the election she understood the need to become politically active again. For Deirdra, supporting local politicians’ run for elective office isn’t a new endeavor. After working for Nita Lowey on the hill, then obtaining a Public Policy Masters degree from Columbia University, she spent five years working in Andy Spano’s office while he was the County Executive.

I asked Deirdra to tell me her strongest argument for why Astorino needed to be voted out in November. Her primary complaint was his handling of affordable housing, in that he demonizes those who need it. “He has made affordable housing a dirty word.” Her powerful rhetoric in regard to homelessness resonates so strongly with my own sensibilities that I felt an urge to cry:

“Homelessness is an unnecessary crisis, when you’re homeless you have a lot of issues coming at you, one big issue is housing. If you’re homeless it is hard to get a job if you don’t have an address. When you get sick it is hard to get better because you’re living with a bunch of people. If you have children you have to go to a family shelter – housing is critical to uplifting all of us: as a county, as a country and as a society.”

I left Deirdra’s home feeling a better person for spending 45 minutes in her presence. There will be so much more of this interesting interview in the book coming out in September.



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