It can be done. Working outside political party machinery and appealing directly to the voter is hard work but we did it. On June 28th Democratic Voters in the Village of Mamaroneck chose Leilani Yizar-Reid, Emmanuel Rawlings and me as the three Democratic Party nominees for the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees. The vote was an overwhelming 2-to-1 margin and included every neighborhood from upscale Orienta, and Shore Acres to Washingtonville. Rye Neck, Heathcote Hill, and Harbor Heights. It all went our way. Village Democrats have decided Leilani, Manny and I will face a slate of three Republicans in November.
As much as I want to believe this was an outpouring of support for us as individuals, I have to admit that it was more of a visceral rejection of the insular and dismissive way village politics have been conducted in recent years. The turning point came in April, when the “official” ticket attempted to knock us off the ballot by challenging our nominating petition signatures at the Board of Elections. Our successful court fight to overturn that effort and get back on the ballot came with a bonus: A sudden outpouring of support here in the village; From that moment on we knew we had the wind at our back.
The Village Democratic Committee did not want a primary election, but they also did not want to choose candidates that reflect the village. In the weeks before the election we knocked on more than 700 doors multiple times. The resulting conversations were instructive; Dozens of important connections were made and multiple grievances against the “old guard” were aired.
Our next task is to reform the process that has so turned off voting village Democrats. One voter told me she tried to connect with the Democratic Committee in the wake of the 2016 national election. “What can I do?” She remembers asking and was told committee membership was closed and the District Leaders, or “D-Ls” had things in hand. She felt like she was trying to get into a private club which, of course, is what the Village Democratic Committee it had been turned into. Our campaign now is gearing up for November. We need our former opponents to get behind the wishes of the voters so we can all move forward.
The Village of Mamaroneck has serious issues to confront, including flood mitigation, climate resilience, and growth planning. This is no time to re-litigate the personal conflicts that have paralyzed village government for more than a decade.
Democratic Candidate for Village Trustee
Editor: Lou Young has worked as a Reporter and Contributor on theLoop