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Lakisha Collins-Bellamy Make History As 1st African-American and Woman of Color Yonkers City Council Pres.

FROM COTTAGE PLACE TO CITY HALL!!!

While many of the Westchester races are still too close to call, like County Clerk and Mount Vernon City Council, the race for Yonkers City Council wasn’t that close. In an unexpected upset, Incumbent Mike Khader was decisively defeated by Lakisha Collins-Bellamy who ran on both the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. Collins-Bellamy – who won 57% of the vote according to Westchester County Board Of Election unofficial tally – declared victory just before midnight Tuesday. Lakisha Collins-Bellamy who was congratulated by Mayor Mike Spano, makes history as the first African-American and Woman of Color to be elected President of the Yonkers City Council.

One of the reasons might have something to do with the negative news that surfaced just before the election. Subpoenas were issued just weeks before the election, in an inquiry of Yonkers City Council President Michael Khader by the city’s inspector general. The inquiry was focused on allegations that Khader had a quid pro quo deal with a lawyer. The attorney, with Khader’s help, was appointed to a job as legal consultant for the City Council and allegations Khader fostered a toxic workplace in his office. 

On Thursday, June 17th, the Yonkers Democratic Committee pulled its endorsement of current City Council President Mike Khader citing recent questions raised by one of his staff members about the fair and equal treatment of women employees.

In an unprecedented move the Yonkers Democratic Party withdrew its endorsement for incumbent City Council President Mike Khader, citing its concerns over allegations by a staff member concerning fair and equal treatment of women employees over male employees. In a special meeting of the Executive Committee (the Ward Leaders and Elected Officers of the Party) last night, the discussion focused around national, state, and local democratic positions that promote fair and equal treatment for all Americans and all workers, and the committee expressed serious concern that these allegations were a contradiction to its core values as a party.

The committee voted unanimously to call for an investigation and by super majority to withdraw its
endorsement of Khader.

“These actions are not taken lightly, the committee discussed them for two hours before voting to pull its
endorsement”, said Chairman Thomas Meier. “The Yonkers Democratic Committee is concerned enough
about both allegations to withdraw its endorsement and call for investigations into the reported text
messages to Executive Officers of the Party, members of the current administration, City employees and
possibly others”.

In another part of the discussion, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to call for an investigation by
the District Attorney into allegations of voter intimidation by the Khader Campaign and to call on the Khader
Campaign to publicly condemn the actions of voter intimidation that his campaign staff has allegedly been
engaging in, the statement read.

Khader denied wrongdoing Tuesday, June 8th, blaming Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano for the allegations that have led to an investigation. Khader called the inquiry against him “calculated and orchestrated.” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano followed the Yonkers Democratic Committee and endorsed Lakisha Collins-Bellamy. We may never know if this was a deciding factor for Yonkers voters but news of this matter is never a good look just before in election.

Mayor Spano and Lakisha Collins-Bellamy, June 2020 [Black Westchester]

Mayor Mike Spano swore in Lakisha Collins-Bellamy on June 30, 2020 – as his newest appointment to the Yonkers Board of Education. As trustee of the Yonkers Board of Education, Collins-Bellamy join eight other members of the Board, which is the official policy making body of the School District. The trustee appointment came as Dr. Edward Fergus’ term expired

FROM COTTAGE PLACE TO CITY HALL!!!

Lakisha Collins Bellamy remembers the day she moved into Cottage Place Gardens in the summer of 1985, but even more memorable was the day in November of 2007 when she returned for her first real job with the Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority.

“It was fate that I came to work for the Housing Authority,’’ said Lakisha., who currently serves as MHACY’s in-house counsel. “And it has been rewarding ever since.’’

Lakisha is a homegrown success by any account. An attorney who was admitted to the New York State Bar in June of 2015, she was appointed to serve on the Yonkers School Board this past summer. She holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science. Her road to her success started at MHACY in 1997 when Lakisha was a college freshman and took a summer job with the housing authority. Now she is the African-American Yonkers City Council President

Collins-Bellamy was victorious in unseating Khader and will be the next Yonkers City Council President. The move will be a definite shift in Yonkers politics. Black Westchester congratulates Lakisha Collins-Bellamy in her history making victory!

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About AJ Woodson (2267 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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