L-R Bottom Row: Leg. Colin Smith, Leg. Benjamin Boykin, Leg. Erika Pierce, Leg. Nancy Barr, Leg. Catherine Parker; Middle Row: Leg. Shanae Williams, Leg. Emiljana Ulaj, Leg. Judah Holstein, Leg. Jewel Williams Johnson, Leg. David Imamura; Top Row: Min. Leader Margaret Cunzio, Maj. Whip Terry Clements, Vice Chair Jose Alvarado, Chair Vedat Gashi, Maj. Leader Tyrae Woodson-Samuels, Min. Whip James Nolan (Not Pictured Leg. David Tubiolo)

White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators began the 2024-2025 term on Monday night, unanimously re-electing Legislator Vedat Gashi (D- Ossining, New Castle, Somers, Yorktown) as Chair, and electing Legislator Jose I. Alvarado (D - Yonkers) as Vice Chair.

In a ceremony at the Board's Chamber, all 17 legislators were sworn in by Westchester County Clerk, the Honorable Timothy C. Idoni, including three new legislators beginning their first terms -- Legislator Emiljana Ulaj (D - Cortlandt, Ossining, Croton, Briarcliff, Buchanan), Legislator Judah Holstein (D - Eastchester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe), and Legislator Shanae Williams (D – Yonkers).

The Democratic Majority selected Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (D – Mount Vernon) as Majority Leader and Legislator Terry Clements (D – New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) as Majority Whip.

Chair Vedat Gashi said, “Thank you to my colleagues on the Board of Legislators for your trust and support to lead this body into the next term. I know the past year, we overcame many challenges, but as we look toward the future, we must also take note of all that we, as an institution, have been able to achieve. We have made real progress and Westchester County is better today than it has ever been because of what we have accomplished here at the Board of Legislators. As we go forward into this next term, we will remain focused on continuing the progress we have made over the years, and I am confident in our ability to deliver substantive change for the people of Westchester. I am grateful for my colleagues' trust in me, and I look forward to getting to work on behalf of the people of Westchester County.”

Vice Chair Jose Alvarado said, “This is the first time in history that two immigrants/Naturalized Citizens take the leadership of the Board. As rewarding as having served as Majority Leader was, it is very meaningful to climb to the position of Vice Chair and to be of direct support and assistance to Chairman Gashi and his leadership agenda. I look forward to working closely with our new leadership, and all of our dedicated Legislators to provide our communities with the resources they need to access affordable housing and quality childcare, combat food insecurity, and feel safe on their streets and in their homes.”

Majority Leader Tyrae Woodson-Samuels said, “I am honored that in spite of being the youngest member of the Board of Legislators, I have been entrusted to serve as Majority Leader. I take my new leadership position very seriously and plan to be a proactive and involved Majority Leader, to the benefit of my colleagues, our staff, and our constituents.”

Majority Whip Terry Clements said, “I am excited to bring my talents and experience in leadership, developed as a business owner and Chair of the Black Democrats of Westchester, to my new position as Majority Whip. Moving legislation forward and helping build consensus is essential to our process here, which means it’s essential to achieving the best quality of life for Westchester residents.”

Legislator Margaret A. Cunzio (C- Mt. Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville, Valhalla, Sleepy Hollow, Briarcliff Manor) will continue in her role as Minority Leader, and Legislator James Nolan (R- Bronxville, Yonkers) will continue to serve as Minority Whip.

The Board of Legislators also unanimously elected Sunday Vanderberg to continue in her role as Clerk of the Board.

Watch the ceremony here: Board of Legislators on 2024-01-08 7:00 PM - Special Meeting (granicus.com)