Women of Color Rally For Majority Female Leadership of Yonkers Council

A coalition of Black and Brown female leaders sent out a joint statement to rally support of a Woman Of Color Majority Leader of the Yonkers City Council in January 2022. The statement has garnered the support by several female leaders including Former State Senator Marisol Alcantara, former Yonkers City Councilmember and Former Yonkers Democratic Party Chair Symra Brandon, Westchester Latinos Unidos, President and Founder Elvira Castillo,  Former Village of Tuckahoe Trustee, Rev. Margaret Fountain-Coleman of Mesiah Baptist Church, Community Advocate Maria Garcia, Kingdom Christian Cultural Center Pastor Alonda Hassell, Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus President Subomi Macaulay, Community Advocate & Founder of Orgullo Borinqueño Inc. Luz (Lucy) Moreno-Casonova, NAACP, Yonkers Chapter, 1st Vice President Kisha Skipper, Yonkers Democratic Committee, 1st Vice Chair Beryl Weaver, Yonkers Democratic Committee, Yonkers Chapter member-3rd Ward Leader Roberta Robinson-Fraizer, and Boettcher, Black Women’s Political Caucus, member; NAACP Yonkers Chapter member Joanne Robinson.

Yonkers was established as a city in 1872, and the City Council was established in 1877. In the last 144 years we have only seen a majority of women serving on the City Council twice. On January 1st, when Lakisha Collins-Bellamy is sworn in it will mark the third time the aforementioned will be true. In addition, it will mark the first time in Yonkers history that a majority of the City Council is Black people or People of Color (the current Majority Leader Corazon Pineda-Isaac is a Latina and recognizes herself as a member of the African Diaspora), and therefore a majority Black women! These four women should be proud of themselves and should be celebrated; Shanae Williams, following a rich tradition of Black Councilmembers in District 1; Corazon Pineda-Isaac, the first Latina to hold the position of Majority Leader- District 2; Tasha Freeman-Diaz, the first Black person, man or woman to represent District 3; and Lakisha Collins-Bellamy, the first Black person, man or woman, to be elected City Council President. Every resident in the City of Yonkers should be excited to witness this day in this City’s history. 

But the work cannot stop there. They will be joined by Councilmember John Rubbo to form a Super Majority. This should mean that historic pieces of legislation and budgets that work for the children and families of Yonkers, especially those that have often struggled to be heard, should be passed. The first signal of that should be on Day 1, when the Yonkers City Council should choose one of those women to be its Majority Leader. No disrespect to John Rubbo, a recent convert to the Democratic Party, now Yonkers has the opportunity to show the County, the State, and the Nation what can be done when women lead.

WOMEN CAN LEAD! WOMEN SHOULD LEAD! Yonkers voters said by choosing these four women that we want to see women in the forefront – and that’s what we should get. Each of the four women have proven in their own right that they have the skill set needed to lead and they should band together and make sure that one of them gets to help lead the Council forward. Let’s be honest, they are the actual Majority. 

Black Westchester reached out to Councilman John Rubbo who shared with Black Westchester he was aware of the letter, and if he was chosen to be the next Majority Leader, he would support whoever it is. He shared what’s more important to him than who is the next Majority Leader is, is that the Council works together to get the work of the people done and that the tackle issues like the need for more affordable housing in the City of Yonkers.