New Rochelle Mayor Pledges a Campaign of “Substance and Ideas”

Mayor Noam Bramson

Mayor Noam Bramson

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson announced today he will seek the Democratic nomination for Westchester County Executive in 2013. Bramson, who won re-election last year with a record-setting 79% of the vote, gives Democrats a top-tier contender to take on Republican incumbent Rob Astorino.

“We need a County Executive with a coherent vision for growing our economy and attracting new jobs, for cutting government waste and inefficiency, and for making good on our commitment to seniors, children, and working parents,” said Bramson. “As the Mayor of a diverse and complex community, I have brought people together to achieve positive change. As County Executive, I will act with innovation and energy to shape a stronger, healthier, and more inclusive Westchester.”

Continued Bramson, “It is time for a serious debate about our future, and I intend to offer a campaign of substance and ideas.”

In a letter mailed this week to Democratic leaders throughout the County, Bramson cited several of his objectives for Westchester:

  • growing the economy, attracting new jobs, and delivering greater value for every tax dollar by adopting forward-looking development, land use, transit, and environmental plans;
  • confronting duplicative government bureaucracy in order to reduce waste, decrease our regional tax burden, and make room for essential investments in the future; and
  • upholding our commitment to seniors, children, working parents, and the vulnerable, on the principle that we move forward when all people in our community have a chance to succeed.

“During the past three years, these priorities have been neglected,” said Bramson. “For Westchester to remain a vibrant place to raise a family, find a job, and enjoy a rewarding life, the County Executive must be willing to lead.”

During his seven years at the helm of Westchester’s second largest city, Bramson has compiled a record of achievement on issues directly relevant to County leadership. Bramson spearheaded successful economic development, creating new jobs and spurring hundreds of millions in investment; adopted responsible budgets that have given New Rochelle the lowest city tax rate among Westchester’s urban centers, while meeting essential service priorities; and produced an award-winning sustainability plan that serves as a detailed twenty-year blueprint for environmental conservation, smart growth, and social progress.

Bramson Wins Early Support from County Leaders

Bramson has already earned the support of prominent County leaders, including Congresswoman Nita Lowey. “Noam is one of the most effective, smart, and principled public servants I have known, “ said Lowey. “He has the talent and determination to make a significant, positive difference for Westchester. I am very proud to endorse him.”

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, a former Executive Director of My Sisters’ Place, said “Noam is the right person to take on the tough challenge of county leadership. He has proven his competence, intelligence, and ability in New Rochelle, and all of Westchester will benefit from his service.”

New Rochelle City Council Member Jared Rice, who has teamed with Bramson to promote job training and affordable housing initiatives, lauded the Mayor’s leadership. “Noam is respected throughout the community for his hard work, clear vision, and personal commitment to fairness and inclusion,” said Rice. “He is a terrific colleague, who reaches across lines and shares credit to get things done.”

Bramson has been active in regional planning, development, and environmental efforts, and is highly-regarded beyond New Rochelle.

Mamaroneck Supervisor Nancy Seligson, a past President of Save the Sound, has worked with Bramson on a regional trail and park network and has supported his efforts to improve the Long Island Sound waterfront. Seligson said, “Noam is creative and collaborative, and he understands firsthand the impact of County government on every community. By pursuing regional solutions to regional problems, he will be a great chief executive for Westchester.”

And Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, the current President of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association, said: “Noam is an extremely competent and very bright guy who always puts doing what’s right ahead of being political. His strong organizational and leadership skills are just what Westchester needs.”

Voters Will Have A Clear Choice On Social Issues

The matchup between Bramson and Astorino presents Westchester voters with a clear choice between a social progressive and a social conservative. Bramson supports a woman’s right to choose and favors marriage equality. By contrast, Astorino stands against reproductive rights and opposed New York’s marriage equality law, positions that place him far to the right of most County residents.

Francine “Frankie” Stein, past President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Hudson-Peconic, said, “Choice will be on the ballot in 2013, and the women of Westchester deserve a County Executive who trusts us to make our own healthcare decisions. Noam supports family planning and access to reproductive health care, and he understands that strong, happy families are the backbone of successful communities.”

Noam Bramson, 43, is a lifelong Westchester resident and a product of the New Rochelle public schools. Bramson is married to Catherine (“Catie”) Stern, Ph.D., a clinical pediatric neuropsychologist, affiliated with Family Health Associates of White Plains and Manhattan. Their young sons, Jeremy and Owen, are both students in the New Rochelle public schools.

Bramson has served on the boards of numerous civic organizations, including the New Rochelle Campership Fund, the Castle Gallery, the Fund for Educational Excellence, the New Rochelle Council of Community Services, the Westchester Jewish Council, and the United Way of New Rochelle. He attended Harvard University, where he completed his undergraduate degree in three years, and then received a Masters degree in Public Policy.

First elected to New Rochelle City Council in 1995, Bramson has served as Mayor since 2006.