1/15/2010 3:00:09 PM

Click here or image to watch the Press Conference

(White Plains, NY) --  Today, Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon), Legislators Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), Vito Pinto (D-Tuckahoe) and William Ryan (D-White Plains) were joined by Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino called upon all Westchester residents to do what they can to help in the international response effort to Tuesday’s deadly earthquake in Haiti.  “The thoughts and prayers of Westchester’s residents go out to the families directly affected by this tragedy,” said Chairman Jenkins. “As the immediate relief effort is underway in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas, the Westchester County government is working with local community-based organizations, clergy leaders and caring residents from all parts of our county to identify needed resources.  As a county, we are more than ready to extend our help to the people of Haiti to the extent that we possibly can.” Government leaders were joined by local community stakeholders, clergy, business leaders and colleagues to outline various local community efforts in response to the disaster in Haiti. Westchester County is home to approximately 5,000 people of Haitian ancestry.  "Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti and all of their loved ones everywhere, especially here in Westchester," said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. "As this tragedy has unfolded, people across Westchester have continued to ask, ’How can I help?’ Toward that end, we have posted information on the county’s website, Westchestergov.com, on how they can contribute to the relief effort. In the days ahead, we will monitor the situation closely to see what other ways we can help.” In terms of donation efforts, County leaders are urging residents that, for now, monetary donations are the best way to immediately get help to the region.  In the meantime, assessment teams are gathering information about what material goods are needed.  Although, not as greatly needed at this time, we urge the Westchester community to consolidate their efforts in gathering provisions like clothing and medical supplies. To coordinate donation efforts, please contact the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at 703-276-1914.

“As the representative to the largest population of Haitian immigrants in Westchester, I am truly saddened by the catastrophe that has hit Haiti, causing the tremendous destruction of one of the jewels of the Caribbean,” said Vice-Chairman Williams. “It truly is a heart-wrenching tragedy in a nation that, as we all know, has had more than its share of hardship.  However, as we learn more about the devastation, many of us will be looking for ways to help.  At this point, the best way to help is through a financial donation. Unfortunately during times such as these there are some who try to talk advantage of the situation.  After September 11th, hundreds of bogus support efforts sprang up and thousands of people donated money to organizations that just pocketed what they collected.  The County has compiled a list of local relief efforts for concerned residents who wish to donate their time, finances or necessities in response to the tragedy.”  You can access this list below.

“We should all say an additional prayer for the many selfless Westchester residents who were volunteering their time in Haiti when the earthquake occurred, and for some, whose safety is not yet known,” said Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh).  “The response from ordinary citizens in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy has been awe-inspiring, especially here in Westchester.  I encourage all residents to reach out to one of the many international aid agencies currently on the ground in Haiti to ask how they may be able to help the rescue and relief effort. Westchester residents will do everything we can -- as soon as we can -- to help the people of Haiti recover."



City Council Majority Leader Patricia McDow’s and Council Member Wilson Terrero’s office
Yonkers City Hall
40 South Broadway, Room 407
Contact: 914-377-6311

Assemblyman Mike Spano’s District Office
35 E. Grassy Sprain Road, #406B, Yonkers
Contact: 914-779-8805 

One Nation City of Praise Church
320 Walnut Street

Accepting: clothing and non perishable food items only

Lilly’s Beauty Salon
331 Walnut Street

Luis Auto Shop
150 School Street

Amigo Travel
314 New Main St

Life Cleaners
300 Nepperhan Ave

Clean City
244 Warburton Ave

Blue Hair Studio
140 Lake Ave


For inquiries about loved ones, there is the hotline number -- (888) 407-4747 -- which can be used to find out information about U.S. Citizens.  To find out information about Haitian nationals, please call the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC at 202-332-4090 or the New York Haitian Consulate at 212-697-9767.

Governor David Paterson has established an online registry of New York State citizens in Haiti at the time of Tuesday’s horrific earthquake. To access the online registry, go to the Governor’s website, www.ny.gov/governor/ and click on the New York State Registry of New York Citizens in Haiti. You will be asked to provide the name of the individuals you have not had contact with and provide some essential contact information. For those who do not have access to the web, the Governor has established a hotline – 1-888-769-7243 – staffed at the Department of Taxation and Finance. The information collected will not be used or shared for any purpose unrelated to locating and identifying family and friends in Haiti. 


Sunday, January 17 at 4:30pm
Sacred Heart Roman,
Catholic Church
115 Sharpe Blvd
Mt. Vernon, NY

For more information:

Sunday, January 17 at 5:00pm
St. Gabriel’s Roman
Catholic Church
120 Division Street
New Rochelle, NY

For more information:

Sunday, January 17 at 6:30pm
St. John the Evangelist Parish
148 Hamilton Avenue
White Plains, NY

For more information:

Sunday, Jan. 17 at 4:00 pm
Hope for Haiti benefit concert
Mariandale Retreat and
Conference Center
299 North Highland Ave
Ossining, NY


Grammy Award-winning artist and producer and native-born Haitian activist Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti, has been accepting donations.  Text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill.

At this point in time, the American Red Cross is accepting monetary donations. You can text “HAITI” to “90999″ to make a $10 donation to be charged to your phone bill.


Visit www.CHARITYNAVIGATOR.ORG or the www.guidestar.org for a database of non-profits and ratings of the best charities online. Here is a short list of reputable non-profit organizations that are accepting financial donations:

Haiti Earthquake Fund
(800) 4-UNICEF

Board & Committee Meeting Preview: Items for Discussion

1/15/2010 5:41:05 PM


Please note: Latest Board and committee meeting agendas (including “TBA” agendas) posted at www.westchesterlegislators.com/calendar




Monday, January 18, 2010


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Office Closed




Tuesday, January 19, 2010


10:00 AM


Legislation—Hon. John Nonna, Chair; Committee Counsel: Betsy DeSoye (995-3277); Committee Coordinator: Melanie Montalto (995-8620)


  • Review of commissioner appointments



11:00 AM


Housing & Planning—Hon. William Burton, Chair; Committee Coordinator: Barbara Dodds (995-4429)


  • Organizational Meeting –Discussion of quorum requirements, meeting times, advisory members and committee issues, including:
    • ADC Settlement Plan
    • Section 8
    • Homelessness & foreclosures
    • CDBG & other Planning grants
    • Housing Opportunity Commission
    • Westchester Collaborative Assessment Commission
    • Source of Income Discrimination
    • Parcel Q and other county surplus land
    • Universal Design requirements in affordable housing
    • Westchester Housing Land Trust



12:00 PM


Rules—Hon. Tom Abinanti, Chair; Contact: Alyssa Jacobs (995-2806) or Joanne Sold (995-2803)


  • Agenda TBA



3:00 PM


Public Works, Labor, Transportation & Parks—Hon. Bill Ryan, Chair; Contact: Susan Kirkpatrick (995-2818)


  • Organizational Meeting



4:00 PM


Environment—Hon. Peter Harckham, Chair; Contact: Christopher Crane (995-2104)


Joint with


Energy—Hon. Martin Rogowsky, Chair; Contact: Christopher Crane (995-2104)


  • Organizational Meeting



7:00 PM


Regular Meeting of the County BOARD OF LEGISLATORS – Streamed Live from www.westchesterlegislators.com starting at 7:00 PM






























1/18/2010 8:17:04 PM



On Wednesday January 13th over 120 people gathered at the Piazza Roma Restaurant in the Cortlandt Town Center for a Victory Celebration for newly elected Westchester County Legislator for District 1 John G. Testa.  The enthusiastic crowd was filled with friends, family, elected officials and supporters from all over Westchester and beyond.  Making a point to be on hand to congratulate Testa and wish him well was new County Executive Rob Astorino.


Master of Ceremonies Vincent Vesce, himself a former Peekskill Mayor,  pointed out that Testa “was an outstanding Mayor who always put the people first and accomplished tremendous things for his community and now will do the same as County Legislator for District 1.” Also on hand was NY State Senator Vincent Leibell who lauded Testa’s “commitment, integrity and accomplishment for the people he represents.”


County Executive Astorino remarked on Testa’s “outstanding record as Mayor” and how he is “relying on John’s experience, integrity and ability to get things done” to help him tackle the challenges that face Westchester County. Astorino noted that the County will run out of funds by the end of March and that the reserve funds were completely depleted by the former administration. “We face a difficult road ahead with many tough decisions to be made along the way,” Astorino remarked. “I know John is the right person for the job and he will be an important partner in helping get the County back on the right path to fiscal health.”


Testa spoke of the tremendous outpouring of support he received throughout the district during his campaign. “I cannot thank the people of Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown enough for the overwhelming support I received. It was the first time the people of Cortlandt, Montrose, Buchanan, Verplanck and Yorktown had the opportunity to vote for me and they elected me by a substantial margin. I am truly grateful to all who have put their trust in me. I will not let you down.”


Testa also spoke of the battle ahead to put the County back on track. “We must put everything on the table and be prepared to make the tough decisions we have been elected to do. We must change the attitude at the County level to one that realizes every dollar that is spent comes from the hard working families of Westchester. It is their money, not ours. We must cut spending and put a plan in place of consolidation and streamlining of county government, to lower taxes, and make government more efficient and accountable.”













1/19/2010 11:47:12 AM



(White Plains, NY) – Former Board Majority Leader and six-term Westchester County Legislator Marty Rogowsky (D-Harrison) was sworn in during a community ceremony on Friday, January 15th.  Rogowsky first served as the Sixth District’s County Legislator from 1990-1993, returning in March 2002 after winning a special election.  Rogowsky, who was joined by family, friends and community residents at the Harrison Senior Center, was officially sworn in by The Honorable Judge Marc Lust, Town Justice for Harrison. “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to serve the people of the 6th District, again, in the County Legislature,” said Rogowsky, whose legislative record spans over several decades.  “In this new term, pledge to work with our new County Executive and my colleagues on the Board to help move Westchester forward on a road to economic recovery and smarter government.”   


Rogowsky, the immediate past Majority Leader of the Board and newly-appointed Chair of the Board’s Committee on Energy, started his career in public service in the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. Later in his career, Rogowsky headed to Washington, DC to serve in the US Department of Energy where he held several jobs including Deputy Assistant General Counsel for the Environment and Acting Director of the Environment, Health and Safety in the Office of Fossil Energy. Rogowsky also spent three months on temporary assignment to the White House Domestic Policy Staff.  In 1998, former County Executive Andy Spano appointed Legislator Rogowsky chairman of the Westchester County Public Utility Service Agency where he served until his election to the County Legislature.



Legislator Martin Rogowsky speaking after being
sworn-in as the County Legislator for the 6th District
Legislator Martin Rogowsky with his wife, Tobi, being sworn in by Harrison Town Justice Marc Lust


 Photo Credit: Christina Giliberti







1/19/2010 1:18:37 PM



(White Plains, NY) – Newly-elected Westchester County Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) hosted a community swearing-in ceremony at the Theodore Young Community Center in Greenburgh on January 9th.  Williams, the former Greenburgh Town Clerk, has succeeded former County Board Chair Lois Bronz to become the newest representative from Greenburgh. 


Williams, who was joined by family, Board colleagues, friends and community, was officially sworn in by The Honorable Judge James Hubert, presiding judge of the integrated domestic violence court. “I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to continue in the footsteps of Lois Bronz in serving the people of the 8th District in the County Legislature,” said Wiliams.  “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle our communities most-demanding issues and I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Board towards addressing the needs for smarter county government.”   


Williams was the first African-American to be elected Greenburgh Town Clerk and she held that post until 2007.  She has an extensive background in the health care stemming with major health care institutions, including Mount Sinai Medical Center and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center where she specialized in human resource administration, management training and development and risk management.

Legislator Alfreda Williams joined by her daughter, Jewel, being sworn in by Judge James Hubert



Legislator Alfreda Williams joined by her predecessor, Lois Bronz, Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams, Chairman Ken Jenkins and Board Majority Leader Tom Abinanti




 Photo Credit: Teresa Toscano