A Westchester Activist spent 6 months interning for the Clinton Foundation

IMG_2278I am finding that every activist has interesting stories about their life experiences, which led them to become actively involved.

Lisa is a local girl who enjoys living in the moment, free spirited and isn’t afraid of experiencing life and all that it offers.  Moving to Washington after college she quickly became interested in Washington politics, this eventually led her to obtaining a graduate degree from John Hopkins University in Public Policy.

Whilst in the degree program, Lisa spent six months interning at the Clinton Foundation in Harlem, an experience she shared with me in depth. Not only did the interns work closely with Bill Clinton as a mentor, the twenty interns from all over the world formed a close bond.  In the book I will write more in depth about her experience working in the foundation.

Lisa’s understanding of the legislative process is invaluable for Indivisible Westchester, she works with the IW Immigration Committee, who are closely following all the players trying to put together the County Immigration Legislation, which we are all hoping will be voted on, and get enough votes to avoid a veto, on Monday.  This crucial legislative document will protect innocent, undocumented immigrants in our community from Trump’s new agenda of wanting local police to cooperate with ICE.  Once this hopefully gets approved, the IW team will be working on DACA issues.

As White Plains (where she lives and is co-chair of the local group) is in good, political shape at a local level, Lisa feels better served working in committees on specific County agendas, and building relationships with other Indivisibles across the county.

There will be more about Lisa’s time at the Clinton Foundation, and why she returned to Westchester instead of pursuing a career in Washington, in our book about Westchester Women Resistors due out late September.  Lisa’s another example of a fabulous woman I am so pleased to have met, who works hard at making a difference in our community.


Environmental Activism in Westchester County

IMG_2277I sound like a broken record, once again my meeting with Nancy was a learning experience about women who are passionate about issues affecting our county, and the time and effort they spend protecting this fragile environment for later generations.

Since joining Indivisible Westchester, and learning about the many issues our county is facing I had searched for someone to explain the pipeline and Indian Point to me. Nancy’s personal involvement fighting the pipeline, and her informational website written simply for the lay person to understand, meant after spending an hour and a half with her I now understand the enormous destructiveness and lack of concern for local residents’ safety this expanded pipeline poses.  Sad to say this federal battle began during the Obama administration and his determination not to get oil from Russia anymore.

As Indian Point is a hot topic currently being discussed, Nancy explains that the electricity produced by the plant isn’t needed by the State, and when the plant stops production, if done responsibly, this process will take twelve years, guaranteeing employees job retention until their retirement.

For more information about these environmental issues visit Nancy’s website: http://www.senrg.org  and let’s all support her run for the Westchester County Board of Legislators in District 1.  Our book will have plenty more information about Nancy’s interesting life and experiences.  I guarantee you too will be impressed by her story.



Making Changes at the Village Level

FullSizeRenderMolly was raised in West Harrison and now lives in Croton,  so she as always been a Westchester resident.  Her father ran for Mayor and Supervisor for the town of Harrison in the 80’s, so she has always been aware of politics operating on a local level.

This powerful image of Molly was taken by a Getty images photographer at a December protest in New York City, on the eve of the electoral college vote. The next day it went viral, both nationally and internationally, appearing in The Guardian, Time, NPR and NBC, to name but a few places.  Protesting is new to Mollie, but she thoroughly enjoys the thrill, giving her a sense of usefulness, and she loves meeting fellow demonstrators.

As a resident of the village of Croton on Hudson, Mollie understands the complex issues surrounding the Town of Cortland. The biggest issues at large being the imminent closure of Indian Point, and the pressing urgency, under this current administration, to form sanctuary cities, both on a village or town level, and also the current urgency to obtain immigrant legislation on a county level.

Molly became a democratic leader in March and also is on the Croton Indivisible’s Immigration task force.  As a working, single mom, I admire Mollie’s enthusiasm and energy to stand up for those who don’t have a voice.  More of my interview with Mollie will be discussed in our book.


We stand on the shoulders of Giants

IMG_2185Meeting Jon was truly an honor.  This process of meeting women passionate about making a difference, by using their strong voices and working with others inspires me to be a better person.  As soon as Jon sat down her presence and energy feels similar to being wrapped in a warm blanket on an extremely cold day.

Jon works at a grassroots level, supporting and bringing her energy to the causes that most interest her: reproductive rights, economic equality and racial justice.

Her gentle demeanor and steadfast assuredness helped me understand that we are still facing the battles that ignited her activism flame 40 years ago, however Jon believes that “there is power in groups to make change, by having each others backs and with good leadership, and by hacking away at the patriarchy, every little bit counts.”

Her lesson to us – things will happen if we have patience and persistence.  By raising your personal awareness of the issues surrounding us and listening to the problems our friends and neighbors face, we are able to approach our work from a place of true compassion and empathy.  More nuggets of wisdom from this amazingly, humble lady will be in our book.



A Westchester Woman’s Cause to Protect Playland

FullSizeRenderGrowing up in Larchmont Deirdre has many, happy, childhood memories of going to Playland, including stories about her mother’s equally happy memories in the park as a child.  This emotional, historical, connection has meant her single-handedly protesting Astorino’s every move because of his desire to destroy this county landmark as a happy place for all residents to enjoy.

Thank goodness Deirdre keeps both eyes and ears on Astorino’s back room deals, firstly his attempt to create a Chelsea Piers environment at Playland, which meant building a giant, private sports club for the wealthy county residents. By Deirdre raising local awareness to his horrendous project prior to the 2013 re election, it killed his aspirations. But his ongoing attempt to to rape county taxpayers in order to subsidize a corporate hedge fund’s ownership of Playland has Deirdre seething, and she is looking forward to mobilizing Indivisible members to push back with her on this ongoing crisis.  She is grateful the troops have finally arrived!!

Deirdre is a new friend, whom I instantly liked for her warmth, wit, intelligence, and mostly her love for dogs.  Without us all being active in the county I would have missed the chance of getting to know this amazing lady.

Stay tuned for more details in the book about the Playland saga, and what she is hoping will be a sensible solution to this complex problem.  With Astorino running the show it will always be a disaster, both for Playland and the County taxpayers.


Westchester Women Working for Change

FullSizeRenderKristen, a successful TV news anchor with a law degree from Fordham University, moved from New York City to Chappaqua in 2004.  Because of her TV career she was well known in the town, but the bar raised even higher on April 9, 2015 when she came out as transgender.

Kristen had no political affiliation with any party when she was approached at the initial Indivisible Westchester meeting. So she was surprised when three prominent New Castle democrats urged her to run for town Supervisor.

At the public announcement that she was running as Town Supervisor in the hometown of the Clintons, and that she is the first transgender running for public office in New York State, attracted worldwide publicity, including Teen Vogue and Italian Vanity Fair.  All this publicity generating around Kristen will hopefully help to oust the current Republican Supervisor, who is a pal of Astorino. Times are changing Westchester!!

Meeting Kristen today reminds me how powerful the march in Washington resonated with everyone who went there that day, it has changed so many people’s lives.  How motivated we all are to make a difference, the magnitude of people in Washington, and throughout the world, who stood up to power that day will live in our souls forever.  Both Kristen and myself shed a tear remembering that magnificent, January day.

I am humbled Kristen agreed to speak to me today, and the book will cover more about her ability, as a public figure, to raise awareness that transgender people are the same as everyone else, and that her progressive values will make a difference in New Castle. She epitomizes the ideal to create change first in the town, that leads to the county level, then followed by the State.  This philosophy for change is how we will alter the current, political, American climate, by electing progressive democrats willing to start at the town level.







Westchester Student’s Grassroots Healthcare Awareness Group

FullSizeRenderAs a fourth year PhD student at NYU, you would think Hannah wouldn’t have time to focus on researching and forming a resistance group under the Indivisible umbrella. But with her personal health issue experiences, she knew to make this a priority in her life.

Having always struggled with chronic illnesses which are deemed pre-existing under the Trump administration, and fully understanding the healthcare conversation being conducted under the Trump regime, Hannah’s urgency to form a grassroots group meant her forming Caring For Us Indivisible.

Unlike other people I have spoken to, who found Indivisible by bumping into members who were at events making a difference, Hannah discovered Indivisible listening to Rachel Maddow podcasts. By downloading the guide and doing some searching around, she knew there was an urgent need for a group to focus exclusively on healthcare.

Hannah understands the power of using social media both to build her platform and to raise public awareness about what is happening in Washington.  She describes her healthcare articles as “edutainment”, they are easy to digest by her members so they can share her posts with their family and friends in states where urgent actions need to be taken.

There will be plenty more about Hannah and her movement that is gaining traction  in the book.  I am sure we will be hearing and learning from Hannah for many years in Westchester.