On Wednesday, October 25th, Black Westchester broke the story of Namasha H. Schelling being targeted with hate rhetoric and signs that are popping up all across Pound Ridge in her attempt to make history as the first African-American to serve on the Pound Ridge Town Board. She may possibly be the first Black elected official in the town of Pound Ridge, period (Black Westchester is still confirming that part).
Despite the racial attacks, the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Advisory Committee of Pound Ridge vowed not to allow hate and the short-mindedness of a few to derail her campaign. On Tuesday, November 7th, not even the hateful rhetoric and ugly anonymous attacks could prevent the destiny of history from being made. Namasha won her historic victory with 24% of the vote—876 votes overall—to secure one of the two seats available, making history as the first Black Pound Ridge Town Board Member.
“I am honored to be the first Black Town Board Member in Pound Ridge. During this campaign, I learned so much about myself and my community. What became evident after weeks of door-knocking is that there are more good people in the world than bad people. Pound Ridge really came out to support me, and I am eternally grateful. I will do everything in my power to represent everyone who lives here. This is just the beginning. Now the hard work starts,” Town Board Member-Elect Namasha Schelling shared with Black Westchester.
Namasha’s endorsements included the Pound Ridge Democratic Committee, the Westchester County Democratic Committee, County Executive George Latimer, County Legislator Ericka Pierce, State Senators Shelley Mayer and Pete Harckham, and State Assembly Member Chris Burdick.
Namasha is co-chair of the Human Rights Advisory Committee of Pound Ridge, which was officially launched in 2022. She is a member of the Pound Ridge Housing Board and has participated in the process of updating the town’s Comprehensive Plan since 2021. She was a member of the Criminal Justice Reform Committee, which was mandated for each police department in the state in 2020.
She is also a proud member of the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus (WBWPC)—Greater Bedford Chapter.
“The entire membership of WBWPC congratulates Namasha Schelling for her determination and perseverance in a challenging election process that resulted in her victory as the first Black Pound Ridge Town Board Member,” President of Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Subomi Macaulay, shared with Black Westchester.
“I’m proud of the Pound Ridge community for electing this highly qualified Black woman, Namasha Schelling. She’s the first African American to be elected in Pound Ridge; however, putting all that aside, Namasha will bring a fresh new perspective to local government that only she can give due to her unique experiences and that the whole community will benefit from. I knew this local race would be extremely challenging for her and test her in ways not known to her, but I never once doubted that the community would see her as an asset to the Pound Ridge Town Board. Namasha has passion and great intellect and will be an excellent complement to Pound Ridge Supervisor Kevin Hanson and the other board members she will be serving alongside. Pound Ridge puts into action what love and inclusion truly look like. Love won! The Community won!” – MaryAnn Carr, Director of WBWPC Greater Bedford Chapter
Other local responses to Namasha’s historic victory
“Namasha brings a fresh and important perspective to the Pound Ridge board. Her extensive expertise on climate change will bring great value to Pound Ridge as it seeks to balance growth and sustainability. I am so pleased with her victory,” NY State Senator Shelley Mayer shared with Black Westchester.
“Namasha will bring a new perspective and energy to the Town Board. She has a love for the community, which will contribute to the decisions ahead in the next four years that will impact its future,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer shared with Black Westchester.
“Congratulations to Namasha Schelling on her history-making election to the Pound Ridge Town Board. Namasha has been involved in the Pound Ridge community, serving on the Housing Board and as Co-Chair of the Human Rights Advisory Committee. Namasha withstood ugly, anonymous attacks and showed the dignity, poise, and determination that will make her an outstanding member of the Town Board,” Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins shared.
Black Westchester congratulates Namasha Schelling on her historic victory and look forward to seeing the impact she has on the Pound Ridge community and surrounding areas!!!