Andre K. Rainey affectionately known to many as “Noodle Noo” was sworn-in as the youngest Mayor in Peekskill history at a ceremony at Peekskill’s City Hall, Jan. 1, 2018, making history again. The inauguration and first public meeting at City Hall was followed by a Post-Swearing-In Reception at Division Street Grill located at 26 N Division Street.
There has been a generational shift nationwide where the younger generation is stepping up to be the new leaders. We saw that locally in the city of Mount Vernon the summer of 2015 and two years later with Andre Rainey and Vanessa Agudelo in Peekskill.
Andre Rainey elected the youngest City Councilman in the City of Peekskill in 2015 is now be the youngest Mayor of the city at the age of 33. Vanessa Agudelo at the age of 25 has now broke Rainey record as the youngest City Council in the city of Peekskill.
“We made history today in such a positive way,” Mayor Rainey shared. “When Tuesday McDonald and Mike Simpkons began to sing, the crowd jumped in and created such a beautiful harmony. The City Singers did such a wonderful job as always and it reminded me of the Peekskill I grew up in. I’m proud to be from one of the greatest city’s on earth, Peekskill, NY! Thank you to all who came out. God bless you all, I love you. We have so much to look forward to.”
After a powerful Invocation by Rev. Dr. Robert E. Young of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, and a soul-stirring rendition of the Black national Anthem, Lift Every Voice by Mike Simpkons, Councilwoman Vanessa B. Agudelo, Councilman Ramon A. Fernandez, Councilman Colin D. Smith and Mayor Andre K. Rainey each took the Oath of Office, one at a time.
Rainey, a Democrat, defeated two-term Republican incumbent Frank Catalina, and Vanessa Agudelo, Colin Smith, and Ramon Fenandez were elected to the Common Council with 2,715 votes, 2,655 votes and 1,987 votes, respectively. It’a a New Day and History has been made in Peekskill in what was a very heated race.
“Peekskill decided on Election Day, that they liked the success that the Democratic majority has been able to achieve, but wanted a more positive and unifying mayor,” Rainey told BW shortly after his victory. “To those who voted for me and those who voted for the incumbent mayor, I will do everything I can every day to make you proud.”
As Mayor-elect, Andre Rainey selected and announced the appointment of a volunteer transition team to work with the city manager and department heads to ensure the new administration can hit the ground running on January 1, 2018. The transition team’s primary purpose will be to meet with department heads and city staff to assess operations, identify existing challenges that departments are facing, and learn from professional staff where they see their department priorities in the coming years. The transition team consists of 13 initial members chaired by current Council members Kathie Talbot and Vivian McKenzie.
“My number one goal over the next six weeks is to have as much information as possible from the professional staff and a clear assessment from experts on the state of the city so that we can hit the ground running on January 1,” said Mayor-elect Rainey. “I am grateful for the assistance Mayor Catalina has given me over the last two weeks as we begin this transition. The team I have selected has a wide range of experience in business, finance, development, public safety, management, community relations, recreation, and youth services. They also represent the true diversity of Peekskill, which is critical if we want a city that reflects everyone. I look forward to working with this team over these next six weeks to get ready for day one.”
One of Mayor Rainey’s first orders of business was the recognition of former Deputy Mayor Drew Claxton.
BW congratulates and salutes Mayor Andre Rainey and Councilwoman Vanessa Agudelo for your historical win along with Smith and Fernandez on your victory. Winning the election was the easy part. Being the change the people of Peekskill voted for is the hard part. All eyes are on you especially because of your age! Make your city proud!