Legislation Needed For Unincorporated Greenburgh To Have A Vote In Edgemont Referendum


Letter to the Editor of Black Westchester:

The upcoming Democratic Primary election on June 25 is of vital importance to all who live within the Town of Greenburgh. Not only are we voting on our choice for U.S. Congress and Westchester County District Atorney, we are also voting on who will represent us in the New York State Assembly as the Assemblyman for the 92nd district: Tom Abinanti vs. Mary Jane Shimsky. This district encompasses most of Greenburgh and the Town of Mt. Pleasant.

For the past 8 years, some of the residents of the portion of the Town referred to as Edgemont have been attemptung to have a referendum on incorporating as the seventh village in the Town.

Two previous attempts have been unsuccessful due to defects in the petition filed by the incorporation committee.

This same group of individuals is now attempting to file a third petition to have a referendum. During this time, our elected representative, Tom Abinanti, attempted to update the antiquated state law on Village Incorporation but was thwarted in his efforts by the leader of the State Senate.

Over a year ago, a group of local residents, the Saving Greenburgh Coalition, began
lobbying our elected representatives, Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Mary Jane Shimsky, to update the law so that all residents of Greenburgh would be able to vote in the event that a
referendum were held.

Instead of providing legislation that affected only voting in Greenburgh,
Stewart-Cousins rewrote the incorporation process for the entire state, but exempted the
Edgemont effort from the updated process. Shimsky then cosponsored the bill in the Assembly, thus turning her back on the pleas of her constituents to enact legislation that would allow all of Greenburgh to vote on the matter. Sadly, she is now saying that she voted against the bill that exempts Edgemont for the next 16 years, a half-truth. Shimsky sponsored the original bill that exempted them, then voted against a chapter amendment to her original bill.

Former Assemblyman Abinanti has stepped into the arena to fight for the Town. He has a stellar record of representing us on the Greenburgh Town Council, the Westchester County Board of Legislators and in the State Assembly. He believes that incorporation of Edgemont would be disastrous for Greenburgh and the surrounding communities with whom we have a symbiotic relationship. Greenburgh is the largest Town in Westchester, thus what is bad for Greenburgh is
similarly bad for the County. Abinanti has pledged to fight to enact state legislation so that all of Greenburgh is treated the same as all other jurisdictions in the state. He has pledged to introduce legislation so that all residents of Unincorporated Greenburgh would be able to vote should a referendum be held.

We need equal voting rights for all. We need to vote for Tom Abinanti in the Democratic primary, so we will have a representative who is working for our community.

Carol B. Allen, M.D.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and 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, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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