All information on this page was written and submitted by Colin Smith. All local campaigns were invited to submit statements on “What to expect if we’re elected.” River Journal North, as a matter of policy, does not endorse candidates.
I’m excited to run for re-election because I’m proud of my record delivering bipartisan results for Northern Westchester. My mission in office has been to focus on policy and getting things done for the people that elected me – not picking partisan fights or grandstanding. On issue after issue, I think I’ve achieved that goal, and if you agree I hope I’ve earned your vote for re-election. I am proud to be a Democrat, but I have never let that stop me from working with people from any other political party – or no party at all – to try and find common ground.
When I came into office two years ago I had no idea what those two years would actually be like. But the values and approach I brought to the job have not changed at all. In two areas in particular I think that approach paid great dividends: our response to civil rights protests and our response to COVID.
We faced historic challenges about how we police our communities and how we ensure that all Americans feel they have an equal share of the American Dream. Too often, from one corner of our country to the other, we saw that debate descend into anger and vitriol. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Legislators, and as a member of the Police Reform Task Force, I tried to make sure that did not happen here. I think we succeeded. I led a collaborative process that involved everyone – from civil rights groups, to the County Police, to residents and local elected officials – that left all of us better informed and helped create real reforms that will have a positive impact. We didn’t create controversy: we built consensus and we got the job done.
We also worked hard to protect vulnerable families and struggling businesses throughout the last 18 months of this pandemic. I was proud to vote for historic property tax relief that delivered an enormous boost to homeowners countywide. We also created significant programs to aid our small businesses, and helped connect them with resources at other levels of government. We fought homelessness and hunger that were exacerbated by the pandemic. And we worked hard to get support to seniors, who were particularly vulnerable to COVID, and to our arts and cultural institutions that have lost a year.
We have more work to do, though. In particular, some of the work we started on infrastructure is not yet complete. Luckily, President Biden is prioritizing passing a major investment in our nation’s physical infrastructure. I’ve been working with my partners at the state and local level, as well as other County level officials, to coordinate our response so that we are fully ready to take advantage of that new infrastructure bill when it is finally passed into law.
The prompt for this question is what the voters should expect if I am re-elected, but if I’ve learned anything over the past two years it’s that we cannot predict what challenges we will actually face. What I can promise all of you is that I will never forget who I work for: you, the voters. I can promise that I will never stop trying to build bridges and build consensus no matter how nasty the vitriol gets in Albany or Washington. We’re friends, we’re neighbors, and my door will always be open to you. We may disagree at times, but I will always listen and be honest with you no matter what comes.