“As the first African-American and the first woman elected chair of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, she was a pioneer, trailblazer and role model for people throughout the county,” Stewart-Cousins said. “I am honored to have had the privilege to know and work with a woman of such outstanding character. I send my condolences and best wishes to her friends and family.”
Bronz was a tireless volunteer philanthropist and activist. She championed many important causes and served her community well. In 1994, she became the first black woman to be elected to the County Board of Legislators, and became the first African-American to lead the county board in 2002.
Current Board Chair Ben Boykin shares with BW, “We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of former Chairwoman of the Board Lois Bronz. Lois was a dear friend and colleague who was a trailblazer at the Board of Legislators, serving as the first woman and first African-American to be elected Chair by her colleagues.”
BW is told Bronz died of nature causes and funeral plans have not been made yet.
County Executive George Latimer said, Westchester lost a true friend in Lois Bronz.
“Today, Westchester lost a true friend in Lois Bronz. Having served with her during my time at the Board of Legislators, I saw first-hand just what kind of impact Lois had on Westchester, County Executive George Latimer shares with Black Westchester. “Our time serving together resulted in meaningful legislation that changed the course of the County for the better, most notably the creation of the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. Lois was the definition of a trailblazer in Westchester County, having been elected as the first and only woman, and the first African-American, Chair of the County Board of Legislators. She fought for civil rights, women’s rights and human rights. Lois leaves behind a legacy of commitment to the people of Westchester. I extend my deepest condolences to the Bronz family during this difficult time.”
Bronz worked in education for 32 years and was elected to the Greenburgh Town Council in 1976. She was appointed Deputy Town Supervisor and served the town for 16 years.
Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner shared with Black Westchester, “Greenburgh and Westchester County lost a giant today with the passing of Lois Bronz. Lois was trailblazer who made our community a much better place. An educator for 32 years, Lois was elected In 1976 to the Greenburgh Town Board—and was appointed Deputy Town Supervisor of Greenburgh. She served the town for 16 years. In 1994, Lois become the first African-American woman elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators and in 2002, she was unanimously elected to lead the Board—the first African American chair of the Legislature. In addition to serving on the board of the Lois Bronz Children’s Center, she has also served as Director on the boards of Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester Coalition, Westchester Community Opportunity Program, United Way of Westchester, Westchester Arts Council, and the Hudson Valley Council for Senior Citizens. Lois was honored by numerous organizations –many appreciated her hard work and dedication.”
Black Westchester Publisher Damon K. Jones echoes Fiener’s sentiment, “We just lost a Giant among us, my High School Guidance Counselor, my County Legislator the Honorable Lois Bronz.”
In addition to serving on the board of the Lois Bronz Children’s Center, she has also served as Director on the boards of Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester Coalition, Westchester Community Opportunity Program, United Way of Westchester, Westchester Arts Council, and the Hudson Valley Council for Senior Citizens. She was honored by numerous organizations –many appreciated her hard work and dedication, according to Feiner.
Board of Legislator Vice-Chair Alfreda Williams added, “Lois was known all throughout Westchester for the important work she did and the issues she stood for. Always a fierce advocate for children and families, Lois’ work continued, in name, deeds, and in spirit. In 2006 the Union Child Day Care Center, in operation since 1968, was renamed The Lois Bronz Children’s Center, in recognition of Lois’ many years on the Board of Directors and her successful fundraising efforts on their behalf. The Center will always serve as a reminder of the person she was and the significant impact she had on the people of Westchester, and most especially the Town of Greenburgh.”
“I would always get a call from Lois asking if I could spend some time making phone calls for the day care center,” Feiner said. “When Lois was first elected to the Greenburgh Town Board and to the Legislature it was much harder for African Americans to win election to positions of leadership than it is today. It took leaders like Lois to pave the way – making it easier for today’s generation of leaders to seek and win prominent positions in local, county, state and national offices,” Feiner said. “She will be missed. But, thousands of people will continue to benefit from her initiatives and dedicated service.”
The Greenburgh Town Board will begin its next meeting on Feb. 28 with a moment of silence in honor and in memory of Lois Bronz.
Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, who also represents part of Greenburgh stated, “Lois’ graciousness and her desire to include everyone at the great table of government made a big impression on me personally, and made Westchester County a better place. She was a great spiritual force for good in our community and in our world. She will be sorely missed.”
“Our sincerest sympathy and condolences are extended to the family and friends”, said Chairman Boykin.
Black Westchester was in the process of doing a spotlight on Lois Bronz for our March 2018 Women’s Month Edition when we heard the news of her passing, we will now add her to the cover of the paper as well. Lois Bronz was a Black Westchester legend and her loss will be felt