WHITE PLAINS, NY – The majority caucus of the Westchester County Board of Legislators grew to sixteen members Friday, as County Legislator David Tubiolo announced he had officially joined the Democratic Party. The change echoed that of the same one made by former County Legislator Bernice Spreckman, a legendary figure whom today Tubiolo had served as a legislative aide for five years and was elected to succeed in an August 2016 special election.
“My reasons for serving have never changed,” Tubiolo said. “My mentor and predecessor, Bernice, began her career in one party before switching to another, because as she taught me, it is all about ‘people, not politics.’ She became one of the longest-serving elected officials in Westchester’s history not by following labels, but by working with courage, dedication, and pragmatism to put the best interests of the people of Westchester first. Her lessons remain foremost in my mind to this very day.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who represents Yonkers, said, “I heartily welcome David into the big tent of the Democratic Party. I know he will forcefully work for the issues that help his constituents and all the residents of Westchester County. I look forward to working with him in a county and state partnership.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “I welcome David to the Democratic Party. David and I worked together in bipartisanship prior to his switch, and I expect us to continue to listen to each other and respectfully debate important issues. Regardless of political affiliation, we as Americans must listen to each other and dialog for that is the road to unity and growth.”
Ben Boykin, chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators said, “It is a pleasure to welcome David to the Democratic Party and the Democratic majority on the Board of Legislators. I have worked with David since he was first elected to represent District 14 in 2016. He has always been a thoughtful, diligent colleague who has worked with us to get things done when he was across the aisle. Our party and our majority is a big tent, and I’m pleased that Legislator Tubiolo has seen fit to join us under it.”
Westchester Democratic County Committee and Mount Vernon Democratic Committee Chairman Reginald Lafayette said, “Legislator David Tubiolo’s voting record shows that he hasn’t been too far from supporting the Democratic philosophy during his legislative tenure. He’s championed and been an avid supporter of including, but not limited to the following legislation: Immigration Protection Act (IPA), Wage History Anti-Discrimination Law, Raising the Age to Purchase Tobacco Products, Source of Income, Cooperative Housing Disclosure Law, Home Improvement License Law, Cash-Bail Reform, among others. He also sponsored the Safe Staffing for Nurses and co-sponsored Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors.”
Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni said, “David has shown a true dedication to public service over partisan politics. I welcome him to the big tent known as the Democratic Party.”
Mary Jane Shimsky, majority leader of the Board of Legislators said, “I wholeheartedly welcome David Tubiolo to the Democratic Party. David shares many of the ideals most Democrats share — for example, in recent years he has called for taking action against climate change and has supported rights for working people. During my entire time on the Board of Legislators, David (both as a Legislative Aide to the late Bernice Spreckman and as a Legislator in his own right) has worked with me on flood mitigation along the Bronx River. I welcome the opportunity to continue working with him on these and other issues in the years ahead.”
“For close to three years now, the Republican Party nationally has not been heading in the moral direction where my political compass resides,” Tubiolo said. “I believe one must stand and fight for their ideals. I cannot make a difference by remaining in a party that does not want to hear my message about the importance of a government that is fiscally responsible, committed to equality, putting our environment first and protecting the livelihood of working-class families, union members, veterans, and seniors.”
Congressman Eliot Engel, who represents Mount Vernon and Yonkers, said, “David: welcome to the party! I’ve known the Tubiolo family for many years. Their commitment to the community and to helping those around them has always transcended party lines. As a County Legislator, David has already proven himself to be a thoughtful lawmaker who knows how to get things done. The Democratic Party is thrilled to have another young, exciting leader join its ranks and I look forward to continuing to work with David on behalf of our shared constituents in Yonkers and Mount Vernon.”
Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who represents Mount Vernon, said, “Over the past 18 months, I’ve met with and worked alongside David on various issues that are important to the constituents we serve in Mount Vernon. He has always been a reasonable, smart and thoughtful legislator, on the right side of the issues. Now, I am glad he is choosing to join the Democratic Party to continue his work on behalf of the people and I look forward to his advocacy as we all work together to win back the white house in 2020.”
Senator Shelley Mayer, who represents Yonkers, said, “I am pleased to have David join the Democratic Party. He has always been a dedicated legislator, committed to serving all his constituents. I look forward to working closely with him as we address pressing issues affecting Westchester residents.”
Senator Jamaal Bailey, who represents Mount Vernon, said, “County Legislator David Tubiolo has always been a hard worker for the people of his district. Whether it’s stopping by at a community board in the Bronx to see how the neighboring district is dealing with different issues or bringing his constituents to Albany to fight for things that are important to them, David has always put people first. He will continue to do that, but I’m excited that he will continue his work as a member of the Democratic Party. I was proud to have him as a colleague before and I’m even more proud to have him as a part of our Democratic Party as we continue to fight division and hate in our community and our country”
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, who represents Mount Vernon and Yonkers, said, “From Ronald Blackwood to Elizabeth Warren, some of the best Democrats started out as Republicans. It has been my pleasure working with David for the people of Mount Vernon and Yonkers regardless of party labels and I look forward to working even more closely with him as a member of the majority caucus in the future.”
Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, who represents Yonkers, said, “For nearly two centuries, the Democratic Party has prided itself on being a big tent party large enough to facilitate a broad spectrum of ideas competing for the betterment of our communities and our nation. David’s youth, passion, and pragmatism have proven themselves to be an asset to the Westchester County Board of Legislators and they are certainly a welcome addition to the Democratic Party. I look forward to continuing the important work that has yet to be done for the people we represent as we always have, without regard for their political affiliation”.
Since being elected in 2016, Tubiolo was often a contrarian voice in his conference. He was frequently the lone Republican voice of dissent against the Astorino administration. Throughout the years he regularly joined the then-Democratic caucus on several issues such as Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors, Budget, Cash Bail, Cooperative Housing Disclosure, Home Improvement License, Immigration Protection Act (IPA), Raise the Age to Purchase Tobacco Products, Source of Income, Wage History Anti-Discrimination and many more items.
David has also sponsored bills for working people such as Safe Staffing and Displaced Service Workers legislation for the betterment of our community.
Tubiolo subsequently became one of the most frequent and vocal supporters of the Latimer administration and its agenda in either party. “I believe in our government, of, by and for the people. As a member of the Democratic majority caucus I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that it will remain committed to helping Westchester residents succeed by pursuing a bold, progressive agenda,” he said.
County Legislator José Alvarado, who represents Yonkers, said, “It is with much pleasure that I received my colleague David Tubiolo to the Democratic Party, I’ve known him and his family for a few years now, and I am sure he will continue to serve Yonkers and the County well. We intend to continue our partnership of service to senior citizens through our County Committee on Services to Seniors. David is a friend and I look forward now to working with him within party lines.”
County Legislator Ruth Walter, who represents Yonkers, said, “David Tubiolo has a bright future ahead of him. He’s often in the district and truly cares about his constituents. I look forward to welcoming him into the Democratic Party and working together to better our neighboring districts.”
County Legislator Lyndon Williams, who represents Mount Vernon, said, “David Tubiolo is a dedicated County Legislator who represents his constituents well. We both represent Mount Vernon and he supports programs for our youth, senior citizens and initiatives that benefit for all residents. David’s belief in people coupled with his compassion and hard work will be a great addition to the Democratic Caucus. As a young man with great leadership qualities, there is indeed a bright future ahead for David Tubiolo”.
County Legislator Damon Maher, who represents Eastchester and New Rochelle, said, “I look forward to working even more closely with David. He has genuine empathy and concern for working families and has always been popular with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle and, more importantly, with his constituents.”
County Legislator Vedat Gashi, who represents New Castle, Somers, and Yorktown, said, “Legislator Tubiolo has a long record of supporting the Albanian-American community and has been personally supportive of me over the years. I am happy to join in welcoming David Tubiolo to the Democratic Party and look forward to continuing to work together on our shared goals.”
County Legislator Kitley Covill, who represents Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Salem, and Pound Ridge, said, “Most of David’s votes the last term reflect a value system that is different from the Republican Party of today. I think David is changing parties because the Democratic Party more accurately reflects his thinking.”
“I ran for county legislator to bring the middle-class priorities that had been ignored for too long by the past Republican administration and Board majority to the forefront of the agenda in White Plains,” Tubiolo said. “Under Democratic leadership, I have felt like my mission has succeeded, and from today on, I look forward to being able to contribute more fully toward its success.”
Mary Kate O’Sullivan, Steering Committee Member, NYCD-16 Indivisible & Shannon Powell, Co-Founder, Indivisible Westchester said the following:
“When elected officials change parties, there’s often a sense that it’s being done for political expediency and not out of conviction. But in talking with David Tubiolo, we were pleased to learn that his values are aligned with ours on key Democratic issues. We welcome David to join our big tent as we all work to make Westchester the best place possible for everyone.”
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, said, “I welcome David Tubiolo to the Democratic Party – being elected to office at such a young age, David has grown immensely and I have long sensed his views support our party. I am confident Legislator Tubiolo will continue to put Yonkers families first, regardless of party affiliation.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said, “I’ve worked with County Legislator David Tubiolo for years and support his decision to become a Democrat. Our party is a big tent and we welcome those who are focused on real issues facing our communities. David Tubiolo has been that person and I stand with him as a Democrat. 2020 will be a big year and we know that together we can accomplish great things for the City of Mount Vernon.”
Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader said, “I welcome Legislator David Tubiolo to the Democratic Party. I’ve known David for years and history proves he is willing to reach across the aisle to support or pass meaningful legislation. I admire his thorough deliberation prior to switching parties which further demonstrates that his party switch is genuine, and not motivated by political convenience. I look forward to working with him on McLean Avenue!”
County Legislator Colin Smith, who represents Cortlandt, Peekskill and Yorktown Heights said, “Legislator David Tubiolo is a bright, energetic and thoughtful advocate. He was helpful to me at the very start of my candidacy and has remained so ever since. I gladly support David in his transition from Republican to Democrat and I look forward to continuing to work with him on behalf of Westchester residents”.
Mount Vernon City Council President Lisa Copeland said, “Welcome to the Big Tent of the Democratic Party, you will fit wonderfully.”
Senator Peter Harckham said, “David Tubiolo is a thoughtful and determined legislator. Further, his heart and values have always been in the right place. I am proud he is now a member of the Democratic Party and I wish him much success”.
Yonkers City Council member Shanae Williams said, “I’d like to welcome Legislator Tubiolo to the Democratic Party. He is a person of good character and good morals. It showed time again that he understood the values of the party when he stood with his colleagues on the Board of Legislators and support good Democratic legislation. I look forward to working with him in the future.”
Yonkers City Council member John Rubbo said, “I welcome County Legislator David Tubiolo to the Democratic Party. David has been an effective Legislator and I look forward to supporting his transition and working with David to help the people of our community. From seniors to schools, we believe in equality for each and every one of our constituents. I am confident that he will fight more than ever to serve those who need our help the most.”
Thomas Carey, president of the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO, said “David Tubiolo has been an advocate to the working-class people here in Westchester. He is a tireless fighter for the Union members in both the public and private sector, David has stood with many Labor Unions on picket lines and has been at multiple rallies in the interest of better wages and conditions for our skilled labor force and continues to keep Good paying skilled jobs right here in Westchester. Thank You Legislator Tubiolo.”
David A. Alpert, former Chair of the Westchester County Democratic Party said, “Welcome to the Democratic Party, as a constituent of David’s, I’m happy he represents me on a county level and now on a Democratic Party level”.
Chuck Lesnick, former Chair of Yonkers Party and former Yonkers City Council President, said, “David was an honorable member of the ‘loyal opposition’ to the Democratic Party and I expect him to be a hardworking and visible new member of my party going forward. It is a shame that the party of Lincoln, Rockefeller, and Javits has turned over its soul to Trump and McConnell’s scorched earth extremists. After the actions by the dishonorable Senate this week I expect other principled Republicans like David Tubiolo will be joining our party or at least voting for our candidates.”
Yonkers Democratic Committee Chairman Thomas Meier Sr. said, “David has represented his constituents well and has kept the residence of all of Yonkers in mind as he executes his responsibilities, I look forward to working with him and Legislators Johnson, Alvarado and Walters addressing those issues that affect Yonkers.”
County Legislator Catherine Borgia, who represents Briarcliff Manor, Croton, and Ossining, said “Legislator Tubiolo has been a good partner for us since he has been in elected office. The Democratic Party is more reflective of the values with which David has governed and I’m pleased to welcome him to our side of the aisle. I’m looking forward to continuing our good work together”.
“I cannot blame Donald Trump alone for all of the problems this country faces, but his actions have created unprecedented divisiveness and an atmosphere of intolerance that must change,” Tubiolo said. “I will not sit by idly and watch everything I stand for erode away while immoral policies like child separation are handed down from Washington. Our children and families should be protected above all else.”
“That means addressing crushing student loan debt, making corporations pay their fair share, stronger gun laws, and comprehensive policies to protect workers from automation,” he continued. “That means paid parental leave, for all employees. That means an absolute right to participate in organized labor. That means health care that is accessible to everyone, without interference with private medical decisions. That means protecting respecting and protecting every immutable trait, from religion to gender identity. That means that everyone has the opportunity to pursue the American dream, regardless of where they were born.”
Tubiolo represents portions of Mount Vernon and Yonkers. He will continue to serve as chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee on the Board of Legislators.