This year, I am running for re-election as Westchester County legislator for the 12th Legislative District. We have accomplished much during my tenure on the board of legislators. This past year, I also have taken on new responsibilities as majority leader of the largest Democratic caucus in county board history.

Shortly after I first assumed office, I took on two major issues: infrastructure repairs including, most notably, the Ashford Avenue Bridge, and stormwater management/flood prevention along the Saw Mill and Bronx Rivers.

Now, the bridge is fixed, the Latimer administration has brought new energy and innovation to reducing our capital projects backlog, and government and non-government agencies are working together to alleviate flooding and make our area more resilient to flood damage from climate change.

Our list of legislative accomplishments is long, and includes banning gun shows at the County Center; protecting immigrants and law enforcement alike from federal overreach; Tobacco 21; expanding paid sick leave; and ending mistreatment of exotic animals. We also have advocated successfully for needed state laws.

We still have much to do. Getting past the pandemic will take robust health and mental health infrastructures. Hunger and homelessness threaten too many families. Rebuilding our infrastructure will take more work, and intelligent planning. Our recreational offerings need updating. Fighting climate change requires energy conservation, alternative energy, and a new generation of vehicles, machinery and infrastructure. Reimagining law enforcement will require good ideas and the political will to follow through with them. And all of this must be done on a tight budget.

My major new initiative is advocating for our county's electricity and telecommunications customers. These utilities are more important than ever, yet between climate change and corporate corner-cutting, we are facing more and longer outages. This cannot continue.

Utility regulation is in state and federal hands, but the track record of United Westchester — a group of local officials on whose executive committee I have served since 2018 — has proven that local officials can drive the conversation in meaningful ways. I will strive to insure that these companies perform the services we pay them for, services that we and our economy badly need.

I look forward to continuing my service to the residents of Westchester County. I know that, working together, we can make life better for everyone.

MaryJane Shimsky

Westchester County Legislator

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