Mount Vernon, NY — Over 200 people turned out in the City Council Chambers, Monday night to see newly elected Councilpersons Lisa A. Copeland and André Wallace get officially sworn in at the Annual Statutory Meeting. Councilman Marcus A. Griffith was also sworn-in to serve as Council President for the second year in a row.Surrounded by family, Councilwoman Lisa A. Copeland was sworn in by the Honorable Colleen D. Duffy (Associate Justice, Appellate Division). Copeland was considered one of the more important political figures in the region at the age of 30, and often referred to by City Hall staffers as a “behind-the-scenes political veteran.” according to a 1999 New York Times article, 16-years later, the former Mount Vernon City Clerk threw her hat in the City Council race. Now a little older and wiser, she was selected to be on the Democratic ticket with Mayor Davis, the incumbent and was the greatest voter-getter overall in the 2015 Mount Vernon Democratic Primary.
She did not aspire to a political career, she found herself drawn back into politics, working on the 1991 re-election campaign of Mayor Ronald A. Blackwood of Mount Vernon. That led to a job as a secretary in then, City Clerk Reginald A. Lafayette’s office and became Deputy City Clerk shortly after in 1995.
“I started in politics at 14,” she said, making phone calls to registered voters for a telemarketing company, Johnson & Singer Research Associates, based in Mount Vernon. “We worked on campaigns for David Dinkins, Floyd Flake and Nita Lowey,” she said in the 1999 NY Times article.
Newly elected Councilman André Wallace, was sworn in by Mount Vernon City Court Judge Adrian Armstrong. Wallace a contractor and developer, and new jack to the political arena, announced his candidacy on The People Before Politics Radio Show, Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015. As a resident of Mount Vernon for over 27 years, armed with that knowledge and understanding, Wallace offers a fresh path, and a new direction, that will certainly give us a result different from what we’ve experienced. As a businessman as suppose to a career politician, Wallace brings real change!
As the President of Creative Direction Construction & Design and The National Builders Association, Wallace negotiated the contracts with the developers that a large portion of the workforce for the projects be Mount Vernon residents. Wallace is also responsible for training and preparing Mount Vernon residents in the construction skills ie: plumbing, electrical, masonry, OSHA certification, etc. Empowering local residents and assisting those formerly incarcerated with skills to obtain work in the construction industry.
After Councilman Wallace kicked things off by leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Mount Vernon native Jeff Redd sang the National Anthem. Bishop C. Nathan Edwers of Friendship Freewill Baptist Church gave the invocation and a few remarks followed by Mayor Richard Thomas and a representative for Comptroller Maureen Walker, Mt. Vernon Democratic Chairman Reginald A. Lafayette and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James who spoke about her good friend Councilwoman Copeland. The Mount Vernon Interfaith Choir offered two selections like they did at last years Statutory Meeting and Rev. Jeffrey R. Wheeler, Pastor of Mt. Calvary CME Church gave the remarks & Benediction. Afterwards everyone enjoyed food catered by The Pit Brothers BBQ.
Newly elected Mayor Richard William Thomas was previously sworn-in, New Year’s Day at Mount Vernon High School.