WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – Democrat MaryJane Shimsky, the current Majority Leader of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, launched her campaign for State Assembly in Westchester’s 92nd District, Tuesday, December 21st. She is challenging incumbent Tom Abinanti. The five-term Westchester County Legislator currently serves the 12th District which includes the Villages of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Irvington, as well as parts of unincorporated Greenburgh, including Edgemont and most of Hartsdale.
Now in her fifth full term on the Board of Legislators, MaryJane is the elected Majority Leader of the 16-member Democratic caucus. In this role, she shares responsibility for advancing the caucus’ legislative agenda and negotiating with the executive branch of County government, as well as mentoring junior legislators. She is Co-Chair of the Rules Committee, and currently serves on the committees for Appointments; Environment & Health; Law & Major Contracts; Legislation; Parks & Recreation; Public Safety; Public Works & Transportation; and Social Services.
MaryJane has distinguished herself through her work on infrastructure, the environment, and public health. For many years the committee chair for infrastructure, she was responsible for advancing hundreds of construction projects that include road and bridge repair, upgrading sewer and wastewater facilities, restoration of County parks and historic sites, solar and energy-saving installations, and other construction projects. A staunch advocate for transportation improvements throughout the County, MaryJane served on the State task force to study mass transit options for the Mario Cuomo Bridge, and she has worked with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti to improve traffic safety in her district, especially along the Saw Mill River Road, Lawrence Street, and Jackson Avenue corridors.
Since its inception in 2018, MaryJane has served on the Executive Committee of United Westchester, a working group of elected officials convened to assess storm preparedness and response by Con Edison, NYSEG, Altice (Optimum), and Verizon. She was instrumental in the preparation of United Westchester’s two comprehensive Storm Response Reports to the N.Y. State Public Service Commission, which called on the utilities to invest in proactive measures that include fixing their crumbling distribution system and restoring the ranks of their line crews. In turn, she has led the Board of Legislators in advocating for corresponding legislative reforms sponsored by the County’s delegation to the State Legislature.
MaryJane is perhaps best known for her persistence in advocating for the reconstruction of the Ashford Avenue Bridge, which links the Villages of Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry, and crosses over both the New York State Thruway and Saw Mill River Parkway. When she took office, it was designated by the N.Y. State Department of Transportation as the most deteriorated County-owned bridge. She advocated measures to keep debris from falling onto the highways and paths below, and then doggedly fought to ensure completion at each stage of what became the second-largest bridge construction project in County history.
A lifelong environmentalist, MaryJane has chaired the Saw Mill Watershed Advisory Board (SWAB), co-chaired the Bronx River Advisory Board (BRAB), and served as an ex-officio member of the Westchester County Stormwater Advisory Board, all with the long-term goal of controlling flooding and its worsening effects on our highways and neighborhoods. She has also fought for a legislative agenda designed to simultaneously reduce pollution and the cost of government. Most recently, she joined her colleagues in advancing measures to increase the energy efficiency of County facilities and fleets.
A leader in Westchester’s fight against opioid addiction, MaryJane sponsored the 2017 law authorizing Westchester County’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers. She further advocated to require chain pharmacies to provide pharmaceutical takeback programs, and to post warning signs about the potential dangers of opioid medication. She pressed for anti-smoking measures adopted by Westchester County in 2018, including raising the tobacco and vaping age to 21, and regulating e-cigarettes the same as tobacco products.
MaryJane is a former Vice Chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee, served as Chair of the Hastings-on-Hudson Democratic Committee for six years, and is a former member of the Greenburgh Democratic Party’s Executive Committee. She dedicated thousands of hours volunteering on Town committees set up in response to the announcement of the Ridge Hill development in 2004, and was instrumental in securing a $5 million settlement to be used for traffic improvements in the area. As Community Relations Director for Assemblyman Richard Brodsky from 2007-10, MaryJane represented the Assemblyman at events, assisted constituents, and acted as liaison to local governments.
A 1982 graduate of Yale University, MaryJane earned a law degree from New York University School of Law in 1985. She worked for four years as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. MaryJane also taught history and geography at Marymount College in Tarrytown, before earning a Ph.D. in History from the City University of New York in 2007.
MaryJane grew up in Scranton, PA. She and her husband, David Agosto, have two grown children who attended the Hastings-on-Hudson public schools. They now reside in Dobbs Ferry.