Do You Feel the Ground Moving?
That’s the safety net being ripped out from under your feet
right here in Westchester County.
The Bad News
County Government at its Worst
Westchester’s present County Executive, Rob Astorino, and his gang of nine are playing fast and loose with the county budget, borrowing money to pay for tax certiorari – a practice that led in part to Nassau County’s huge financial difficulties – while simultaneously launching a full fledged attack on our county’s intricate support system that took decades to build. The results of Astorino’s callous actions are unimaginable, and they are happening right here to Westchester’s women and our families.
Astorino is a Tea Party extremist who is advancing an anti-woman, anti-family agenda similar to that voiced by GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and former Senator Rick Santorum. His focus is on gutting programs that serve working families, and borrowing money when he needs to, so that he can claim he isn’t raising taxes. Astorino has little regard for the working families of Westchester and the services we rely on. Further, as County Executive, he has a great deal of power to adversely impact women’s health care – and he’s determined to do just that. He has already vetoed a bill that would have allowed women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health centers – while cutting funding for childcare, food pantries, afterschool programs, health centers, and much more. Please keep in mind that Astorino is making these cuts that have a horrific impact on living, breathing children while, at the same time, is adamant in his opposition to safe access to reproductive health centers and to abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.
To compound things, if that’s possible, at a time when we know that the mentally ill need treatment and care, not guns, Astorino and his seven minions closed all of Westchester’s mental health centers, without even implementing a transition plan for the clients.
The Good News
2013 is Election Year for all elected offices in Westchester County Government.
Three candidates for County Executive and one for the Board of Legislators have already stepped up to the plate to take on Astorino and his anti-choice right-wing legislators who are out of step with Westchester’s women and families.
The three candidates – Noam Bramson, Ken Jenkins, and Bill Ryan – are vying for the opportunity to defeat Rob Astorino and, once again, make Westchester a county were women are treated as equals and all people – regardless of economic circumstance – have the opportunity to succeed. (See below for information on Bramson, Jenkins, and Ryan.)
The candidate for the Board of Legislators, and truly a friend to Choice Matters, is Rachelle “Rocky” Richard, a real fighter that everyone would want in their corner.
Rocky is telling traitor Bernice Spreckman it’s time to pack her bags and go home. Spreckman used Choice to get elected, seeking and getting our endorsement for more than a dozen years; but then, the first time we needed her support, Spreckman voted against women of all ages – she voted against safe access to reproductive health centers for the women of Westchester simply because Astorino told her to. For political expediency, she turned her back on all of us who voted for her, slamming the clinic door in our faces.
In sharp contrast to Spreckman, Rocky is an accomplished professional in government, community and public affairs with more than 25 years of experience. Rocky has successfully organized and managed community engagement as well as grassroots advocacy throughout Westchester. For the past seven years Rocky has served as the Chief of Staff to the Yonkers City Council President.
For those of us who truly care about Choice, Rocky is what we want every candidate to be – proud to stand up for comprehensive reproductive rights.
Meet the Good Guys
Noam Bramson, Ken Jenkins, and Bill Ryan
Three candidates with distinctly different backgrounds
Noam Bramson has served as the Mayor of New Rochelle since January 2006 and was reelected most recently in 2011 with a record-breaking 79% of the vote. Prior to becoming Mayor, Noam served for ten years on the New Rochelle City Council. Since 1992, Noam has worked as an aid to Congresswoman Nita Lowey on both government and political challenges. Noam describes the election as a contest of fundamental values, and on his literature he prominently displays, he stand[s] confidently for a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality, inclusion, and Westchester’s mainstream values.
Ken Jenkins is Chairman of the County Board of Legislators. He won his 16th District legislative seat for a second full term on November 4, 2009. Vowing to restore funding to county programs he called vital and to find creative solutions to the problems the county must face, Ken has pointed out that property taxes and fees for county services have gone up, while our quality of life has gone down, making the point that, Our county government is not doing more with less; it is doing less with less and shifting the burden to you in other ways.
Bill Ryan has served as the County Board Legislator from the 5th District for 15 years, including six as Chairman of the Board. Prior to he County Board, Bill served in the New York State Assembly (91st A.D.). In July, Bill was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties, and continues to serve on NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus where he is one of 35 officials representing over 140 million people in America’s 100 largest counties, on matters before the federal government. Bill is running for County Executive because Westchester has always been a great place to live, [and] for the past three years, the flawed plans, policies and decisions of the county executive have put that greatness in jeopardy. Bill has always been a vocal supporter of comprehensive reproductive rights, declaring he believes a woman’s right to choose is absolute and should not be subject to legislation.