Congratulations to Yadira Ramos-Herbert, who last night won the support of the New Rochelle Democratic Party to be our next mayor.  I was honored to place Yadira’s name in nomination and am thrilled to support her candidacy.

Currently a member of the New Rochelle City Council, attorney, and Associate Dean at Columbia Law School (not to mention a former Library Trustee, former neighborhood association president, avid runner, and mom), Yadira has the experience, ability, and temperament to be an outstanding leader for our entire community.  She has already made exceptional contributions to some of our most complex challenges, including public safety reform, redistricting, COVID response, and the LINC project.  At every turn, I have been impressed by Yadira’s intelligence, integrity, focus, strength of character, and capacity to engender trust and good will among partners — all essential to a successful mayor.

Just as importantly, Yadira has, to my mind at least, exactly the right perspective for this moment in New Rochelle’s history, a thoughtful balance of continuity and change.  She understands, values, and will build on the significant accomplishments of the past three decades, which have helped New Rochelle emerge from multiple crises to become the fastest growing city in New York State.  And/but Yadira brings fresh eyes to our various needs and opportunities, ready to establish new goals and speak in relatable terms to the aspirations of an emerging generation of residents: transparency and community engagement, equity and affordability, climate action, data and technology, and more.

Yadira would be the first woman and the first person of color to serve as New Rochelle’s mayor.  This is not the primary motivation for my support, but it is a reason to be even more enthusiastic about her candidacy.  In a city that strives to break barriers, role models matter, and Yadira is uniquely able not only to lead with skill and determination, but also to inspire residents, including some who may still feel marginalized, to become fully connected to the community we share.

Many months of campaigning are ahead, including a potential primary election in June and general election in November, so you will hear much more as the year unfolds, but I did not want this significant political milestone to pass without comment.

Having served in City government for nearly twenty-eight years, you can imagine that I feel a special responsibility to pass the baton to a capable successor.  I have been so proud to work with and learn from Yadira, and I will be even more proud to call her my mayor.  I hope and believe you will feel the same.