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2022 Rhymes with Blue

Welcome to our February Newsletter!

A 2021 recap and look at the year ahead.

Nationally, we (Democrats) passed the largest infrastructure bill in a generation and control two branches of the federal government. At the State level, we passed a slew of progressive legislation, control both houses of the legislature and have our first female governor. That's the good news. And most of you reading this newsletter voted in the 2021 general election. Thank you!

But… on average, Putnam County Democratic turnout was a dismal 34%, ranging from 25% in Carmel to 58% in Philipstown. Go Philipstown! By way of comparison, Republican turnout countywide averaged 39%, with a low of 35% in Carmel and Southeast to a high of 51% in Philipstown.

Bottom line, if we turned out at higher levels, we would have won. Sure, many of us worked hard. But a last-minute phone call to a friend or neighbor can get them to the polls. From offering a ride to offering to babysit, personal outreach can make a difference. Please, commit to getting one Dem to the polls in 2022. Turnout is key..

We also urge readers to consider running for local office. County Executive, County Clerk, Leg 5,6 & 9 and Coroners (2) are on the ballot in 2022. If this is something you just cannot do, perhaps you know of a friend or neighbor who would make an excellent candidate. If you do, get in touch with your town Democratic committee.


As we dive into the election year in 2022, I cannot thank you all enough for your ongoing support.

Thanks to voters like you, Democrats in Congress and President Biden have made remarkable progress. While there remains a lot of work ahead, I am very proud of what we've gotten done for the Hudson Valley this year - from delivering a landmark infrastructure bill that I helped write, which will repair our roads and bridges, to passing the American Rescue Plan, which provided critical resources for our schools, first responders, and small businesses.

For New York, the historic infrastructure investment means $13.5 billion to fix our highways and bridges, nearly $11 billion in transit funds for MTA – including for repairs and funding of Metro-North, and more than $400 million to ensure New Yorkers have clean drinking water.

But we need your help to hold our majorities this year so we can keep fighting for our communities. Without your support, legislation like this and further progress won’t be possible.


2021 – what a challenging year. Our legislative focus was on the change of governors and the never-ending Covid challenge. We took action to help with healthcare, unemployment, keeping businesses afloat, landlord and tenants crises, homeowner’s assistance, and ensuring students can learn in our schools.

I know we were all hoping 2022 would be different, but Covid still occupies much of what we are doing in Albany. The governor recently signed legislation to allow our municipalities to continue meeting on Zoom. Although we are now in Albany each week, we Zoom into committee meetings and Assembly sessions from our offices to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Planning for redistricting is in full discussion, and new district lines will be drawn soon for this next election. Other priority issues are climate change, improving infrastructure, developing more affordable housing, and adopting proposals to help our businesses and employees.

As always, please email your thoughts to or give a call: 914-450-4086.

First, I want to express a sincere “thank you” to all frontline and essential workers in the 40th Senate District and around New York. While the Omicron variant was surging in NY, my staff and I distributed 1,000 KN95 masks and 1,000 Covid at-home tests to local food pantries and community organizations. Please know I support the priorities in Governor Hochul’s State Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Proposal: moving up the start of the middle-class tax cut from 2025 to 2023, a small business tax cut and increased spending for education, healthcare workforce, infrastructure and environmental protections like safeguarding our clean drinking water supply.

I continue to work on important initiatives meant to combat the overdose crisis as chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. In addition, I am introducing legislation to increase access to CHAMP funding for disabled residents and veterans. And I’m working on initiatives regarding tax equity, government ethics, solar energy for municipalities, and public safety. I will be hosting a food drive on Saturday, Feb. 26 in nearby Somers—and as always, feel free to contact me at my district office (914) 241-4600 if you need my help.


It's important to reflect on my past three years as legislator while I look to shape the future of my role in county government.

Locally, even though the composition of our Legislature remains the same, voters in District 1 made it clear that they want to see more common sense in Carmel. I will continue to demand that Putnam County operate in an open, honest, and transparent way, and I will not be bullied into silence when our concerns are ignored and our questions aren't answered.

I am particularly committed to ensuring the new sheriff implements the policy recommendations presented by the Police Review Panel last year and that the Community Engagement & Police Advisory Board remains an empowered and valued partner to promote equity across Putnam County. I want to lay bare the fact that vital county resources continue to get dumped into the golf course, Tilly Foster Farm, and in excessive annual raises for overpaid/under-qualified upper management.

I will continue to advocate for investing in essential services and in the underpaid staff who provide services like public safety, mental health, and basic department of health resources.

These goals are not easy, but I am committed and grateful for this opportunity to work for you. One step at a time.

Our new newsletter continues to evolve and fulfill three long-held goals of mine, shared by Vice Chair Melinda Montanaro and members of the Putnam County Democratic Committee's Executive Team:

  • to efficiently provide critical information on policy and events at the county level
  • to bring together our strong town committees and improve inter-town communication
  • to strengthen the infrastructure of our county Democratic Party to better serve constituents and elect Democrats

We will keep you up-to-date, bi-monthly, and encourage you to volunteer and run for office.

Your Towns


The Carmel Dems are ready for an exciting and challenging year! Our focus will be on recruiting Committee members and working to elect state and county candidates, including two county legislators who represent parts of Carmel and Mahopac. We are also planning three major events: a community meeting in February, an outdoor family event this summer and our annual fundraiser in September. To learn more about the February community meeting, to join us, and for all updates and details, visit our website at or write to us at

The Kent Town Board has filled a vacancy with Noelle Botte, as Councilwoman McGlasson is now Town Supervisor. Please join concerned town residents in signing a petition to appoint Simon Carey who was third out of the five candidates running. Kent should honor the wishes of the voters rather than appointing another candidate who received fewer votes than Simon in this past election. Sign the petition here.

The Village of Brewster is in the process of a year's long transit-oriented revitalization plan. The plan, “Brewster Crossing,” will consist of 408 rental units, a 500-space parking garage, a brewery, with additional dining spots and retail shops along Main Street. Old Town Hall may be renovated to showcase cultural events. Brewster’s population hovers between 2300 and 2500, with 25% living below the poverty line. By comparison, the New York State poverty rate is 14.1%. The plan does not state what percentage of rentals will be affordable, which seems a significant omission. A portion is proposed to be market rate.

A well-attended public hearing was held on November 16, 2021. Most favored the plan. Those opposed spoke about losing the village's historical feel and decried that specific historic buildings are not presently protected.

Read reporting about the developer and the project here.

The Patterson Committee worked hard in 2021 to re-energize those Democrats who have built our foundation over the last several decades, and we look enthusiastically ahead to create community this year through social gatherings and civic engagement. Visit our website or find us on Facebook for details of our February committee meeting. We are excited for you to become part of the Patterson Dem family!

Philipstown Democrats turned out in large numbers in 2021 and we re-elected Nancy Montgomery to the legislature, John Van Tassel as our new Town Supervisor, Megan Cotter and Jason Angell as new members of our Town Council. And while we don’t have local candidates in 2022, our focus will be on voter engagement, including outreach to the 18-25 year olds, and building our committee and volunteers. With Sandy Galef retiring from the NYS Assembly and as-yet unannounced candidates for the vacancy and for the NYS Senate and County Exec, we are gearing up for candidates who support democratic ideals. We will secure signatures on petitions, write letters, campaign, hold forums, fundraise and protest to promote fair elections and environmental action.


Feb 16,17 - New York State Democratic Committee Meeting in NYC.

Feb 20 - The new Paint Congress Blue group will hold its first organizational meeting Sunday Feb 20th via Zoom at 5pm to support swing districts via letter & postcard writing and GOTV. Contact Shelley Gilbert ( or Linda Tafapolsky ( if you'd like to join.

Carmel Democrats Community Meeting. Date in March to be announced. For updates, details, and to volunteer, please visit our website at or email us at

May 12 - The Putnam County Democratic Committee's Annual Fundraiser will be held at the Sedgewood Club Boathouse, 1025 Barrett Circle West, Kent. Stay tuned and hope to see you there. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Melinda Montanaro at or call (917) 776-6432.


Read - Ezra Klein wrote insightfully about problems with local races in a fantastic New York Times OpEd on January 9th entitled 'Steve Bannon Is On to SomethingComments are also valuable.

Outside the Box - the counter-argument this issue is from the Left via Rumble (not all right wing content) via Russell Brand (you may know his movies) - How January 6th is Being Weaponized Against You. You may laugh too.

Read or Watch - As we process frustrations over Build Back Better, filibuster and voting rights legislation, and celebrate Black History Month, let’s look back at a pivotal moment in MLK’s life - the Montgomery Bus Boycott - and absorb the personal sacrifices necessary to effect change.

On HBO Max, catch Jeffrey Wright as MLK in Boycott - a moving, detailed look at the boycott. You may know about the bombings and politics, but it was the grinding, laborious logistics - thousands of car pools each day - that drove home (excuse the pun) what it takes to succeed in a social movement.

Or read the Stanford Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute’s Montgomery Bus Boycott - here. Do we need new strategies and tactics?

"If a bigot says to me, 'The sun is shining,' if the sun is shining, I say, 'Yes the sun is shining,' because I want to tell the truth." Bayard Rustin

See you in April!


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