The New York League of Conservation Voters Announces 2017 Endorsements for Westchester

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 3, 2017

CONTACT: Jordan Levine (NYLCV) – 917-392-8965 /

NEW YORK — Today NYLCV has announced its roster of endorsements in New York City for the 2017 election cycle. Each year, NYLCV develops candidate questionnaires that detail its policy priorities for fighting climate change, conserving land and water and protecting public health. This year, NYLCV received 86 questionnaires and made 36 endorsements in New York City. The screening process also included interviews of candidates by NYLCV’s New York City Chapter Board, which then made recommendations. These recommendations were given final approval by NYLCV’s State Board of Directors.

Questionnaires of endorsed candidates are available on NYLCV’s website, found within each candidate’s profile page.

NYLCV is the only non-partisan statewide environmental organization in New York State that uses the power of endorsements to hold elected officials accountable for progress on environmental priorities.

“Officials in Washington are responding to climate change by burying their heads in the sand so cities must fill the vacuum and lead. These candidates represent both our most dedicated allies and an exciting group of new environmental leaders who will be champions for New York City. We are confident that collectively, they can continue to implement the goals of OneNYC, conserve our clean water and open spaces and protect our public health, particularly in the most vulnerable communities,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Name Office Sought District Party
John Testa Board of Legislators 1 R
Francis Corcoran Board of Legislators 2 R
Margaret Cunzio Board of Legislators 3 R
Michael Kaplowitz Board of Legislators 4 D
Ben Boykin Board of Legislators 5 D
David Gelfarb Board of Legislators 6 R
Catherine Parker Board of Legislators 7 D
Catherine Borgia Board of Legislators 9 D
Sheila Marcotte Board of Legislators 10 R
MaryJane Shimsky Board of Legislators 12 D
Gordon Burrows Board of Legislators 15 R
Peter Parsons Supervisor Lewisboro D
Michael Schiliro Supervisor North Castle D
Warren Lucas Supervisor North Salem R
Dana Levenberg Supervisor Ossining D
Richard Lyman Supervisor Pound Ridge R
Tom Roach Mayor White Plains D
Liam McLaughlin Council President Yonkers R
Nancy Seligson Supervisor Mamaroneck D

John Testa – Westchester Board of Legislators District 1

Since taking office in 2010, Westchester District 1 Legislator John Testa has been a proponent of the environment. Testa has been a part of several key environmental efforts in Westchester, including phasing out #4 and #6 fuel oils and closing the Indian Point Energy Center. He also sponsored a resolution to oppose the oil barge anchorage sites along the Hudson in an effort to protect the county’s waterways. John has also been a strong advocate for renewable energy, working with Energize NY on solar installations at St. Christopher’s Church and the Drum Hill Senior Living Facility. If re-elected, John Testa will continue to build on his impressive environmental record by protecting Westchester’s air, water, and land.

“It is an honor to once again receive the endorsement by the NY League of Conservation Voters for my reelection. Environmental issues have been a key focus of my life in public office. I am proud of my record and, as County Legislator, have been a strong supporter and leader of actions to address key issues affecting our environment in Westchester. Thank you to the NYLCV for their continued confidence and support,” said Legislator John Testa.

Francis Corcoran – Westchester Board of Legislators District 2

Since taking office in 2016, Westchester District 2 Legislator Francis Corcoran has been a leader in the fight to protect the environment. As Chair of the Environment and Health Committee, Francis helped provide millions of dollars for sewers in Bedford and led the county’s ban on the use of #4 and #6 fuel oils. Corcoran was also instrumental in the creation of the Bedford 2020 plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. Francis also reviews PACE financing for county buildings on a regular basis. If re-elected, Francis Corcoran will maintain his commitment to the environment to ensure that Westchester is a clean and safe place to live.

“I am honored to have the support of the New York League of Conservation Voters.  The League of Conservation Voters plays an invaluable role in championing environmental issues that benefit us all.  Residents of the 2nd Legislative District understand better than most the need to ensure a clean environment and protect our open spaces, not just for today, but for generations to come.  My record on these matters speaks for itself and this endorsement validates the good work I have done since taking office,” said Legislator Francis Corcoran.

Margaret Cunzio – Westchester Board of Legislators District 3

Since taking office in 2016, Westchester District 3 Legislator Margaret Cunzio has worked to protect the environment. As a member of the Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee, Margaret has voted on improvements to Lasdon Park, Kensico Dam Park, Cranberry Lake Preserve, and Kingsland Point Park. She has also shown a commitment to renewable energy, voting for energy conservation bonds, the use of solar panels, and LED lighting. Her passion for healthy food has led her to vote for additions to the agricultural district and introduce legislation that enabled Westchester Community College to increase its budget line in order to purchase fresh and local food for its culinary program. If re-elected, Margaret Cunzio will continue to be an environmental leader in Westchester County.

Michael Kaplowitz – Westchester Board of Legislators District 4

Since assuming office in 1998, Westchester District 4 Legislator Michael Kaplowitz has been an advocate for the environment. As former Chair of the Environment and Energy Committee, Kaplowitz helped preserve over 11,000 acres of open space in Westchester and co-authored the Smoke-Free Workplace Act. He also founded several environmental initiatives in Westchester including the Agricultural Board and the county’s first agricultural district, and a county Office of Energy and Sustainability. Michael has been a leader for the fight against dangerous fuels, voting to ban #4 and #6 heating oils and purchasing hybrid vehicles and ultra low sulfur fuel oil for county buses. If re-elected, Michael Kaplowitz will continue to uphold his strong environmental record by preserving Westchester County.

Ben Boykin – Westchester Board of Legislators District 5

Since taking office in 2014, Westchester District 5 Legislator Ben Boykin has been a champion for the environment. Boykin co-sponsored the ban on the use of #4 and #6 fuel oils and approved legislation to add electric vehicle charging stations to parking facilities. He also voted to approve the first Energy Director of Westchester County and supports the ongoing work to put in place facilities to provide ultraviolet treatment for water. Ben supports the use of green technology and LEED certification in all development projects, including the $1.2 billion BioScience and Technology Center. If re-elected, Ben Boykin will continue to advocate for the environment to protect the wellbeing of all Westchester residents.

David Gelfarb – Westchester Board of Legislators District 6

Since taking office in 2012, Westchester District 6 Legislator David Gelfarb has been a strong advocate for the environment. David opposes all proposed changes to the Terminal Use Agreement of the Westchester County Airport due to the environmental impact that these changes would result in. In 2013, Gelfarb voted to authorize the County Attorney to sue HUD in order to maintain funding for a variety of projects, including $150,000 for the elimination of sewer pollution. He also secured $3000 from the County Legislature Appropriations Committee to fund an after-school garden greenhouse program at the John F. Kennedy School in Port Chester. If re-elected, David Gelfarb will continue to do his part in the effort to protect Westchester’s environment.

“I am honored and humbled to be endorsed by the New York League of Conservation Voters, one of the preeminent organizations in New York working to protect our environment. I will continue to fight on behalf of my constituents and all Westchester County residents to protect clean water, clean air, renewable energy and open space,” said Legislator David Gelfarb.

Catherine Parker – Westchester Board of Legislators District 7

Since assuming office in 2014, Westchester District 7 Legislator Catherine Parker has taken a lead role in preserving the environment. As Chair of the Committee on the Environment and Energy, Catherine was the main sponsor of legislation to make Westchester County a climate-smart community. She also sponsored legislation to prohibit the sale of children’s products containing dangerous chemicals and legislation to create a County Energy Director position. Parker also helped negotiate an agreement with Standard Amusements to invest at least $25 million in Playland, which includes improving the North Boardwalk, park colonnades, lights on Playland Parkway, and fire suppression systems. If re-elected, Catherine Parker will continue to spearhead environmental efforts and protect Westchester County for all residents.

Catherine Borgia – Westchester Board of Legislators District 9

Since taking office in 2012, Westchester District 9 Legislator Catherine Borgia has been an active proponent for the environment. As Majority Leader, Catherine has sponsored numerous environmental bills including protecting the watershed by banning hydrofracking products, Toxic Toys legislation, and expanding the Clean Indoor Air Law to include e-cigarettes. She has also co-sponsored the plastic bag ban as well as electric vehicle charging station legislation. Borgia is also passionate about public transportation, sponsoring the county’s Safe Street legislation and working with a stakeholder committee to develop a Westchester Visioning Plan for increased public transportation. If re-elected, Catherine Borgia will uphold her strong environmental record and continue to fight for Westchester’s residents.

Sheila Marcotte – Westchester Board of Legislators District 10

Since taking office in 2010, Westchester District 10 Legislator Sheila Marcotte has been a proponent of the environment. Sheila has worked on several environmental initiatives including sewer district upgrades, water treatment facility upgrades, stormwater management upgrades, and expanding the agricultural district. She has also developed and enacted policies in regard to hydrofracking fluids, hybrid vehicles, streamlining the county certification process for solar panel installers, and numerous improvements to county parks. If re-elected, Sheila Marcotte will continue to be an environmental leader in Westchester county.

MaryJane Shimsky – Westchester Board of Legislators District 12

Since assuming office in 2012, Westchester District 12 Legislator MaryJane Shimsky has been a staunch advocate for the environment. MaryJane has sponsored legislation endorsing the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan and co-sponsored a ban on using or transferring hydrofracking waste in Westchester County. As Chair of the Committee on Infrastructure, Shimsky obtained county funding for the Greenburgh Nature Center and advocated for LEED Silver Certification for the biotech facilities at North 60. She also advocated for LED street light replacement and placed requests for tree replacement bonds to be in capital budgets. If re-elected, MaryJane Shimsky will maintain her commitment to the environment and work towards a safer, greener Westchester.

“I am honored again to receive the New York League of Conservation Voters’ endorsement,” said Legislator MaryJane Shimsky. “With rising ocean levels endangering our coastal cities and towns, and with a federal administration that is actively trying its best to make matters worse, we need the strongest possible local voices speaking for our environment, our children, and our planet. I look forward to continue working with the LCV in the coming years, in our multi-year effort to bring electric vehicle charging stations to Westchester County parking facilities and in all other issues of mutual concern.”

Gordon Burrows – Westchester Board of Legislators District 15

Since taking office in 2006, Westchester District 15 Legislator Gordon Burrows has been a champion for the environment. As Minority Whip, Gordon has been influential on several environmental projects, including successfully re-opening the bike path along the Saw Mill River Parkway in his district. He also voted to pass legislation to ban the use of #4 and #6 fuel oils, voted to prohibit barges on the Hudson River, and limited the size of buildings on Palisades Vistas. Burrows aided in approving the North 60 development project, which is currently being built. If re-elected, Gordon Burrows will continue to fight for legislation that preserves the environment and protects Westchester residents.

“I am truly honored to receive the endorsement from the New York League of Conservation Voters. Protecting the environment is key to a sustainable future. We have made a lot of progress over the years but I look forward to the opportunity to work with the NYLCV to make greater strides in a greener tomorrow.”

Liam McLaughlin – Yonkers Council President

Since taking office in 2014, Yonkers Council President Liam McLaughlin has been a proponent for the environment. As Chair of the Environmental Policy & Protection Committee, Liam created a Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program alongside EnergizeNY, created a director of sustainability, and passed legislation enacting tough new penalties for littering and dumping. In June 2016, McLaughlin became one of the first municipal officials to publicly oppose the Coast Guard’s proposed rule which would allow for ten new commercial vessel anchorages along the Hudson River. He also has led the planning and construction of the Daylighting of the Saw Mill River. If re-elected, Liam McLaughlin will continue to be leader for Westchester’s environment.

Tom Roach – White Plains Mayor 

Since taking office in 2014, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach has taken a lead role in protecting the environment. Tom has been successful in several key environmental initiatives, including capping the landfill, phasing out #4 and #6 fuel oils, and adding fabric recycling to the recycling center. He also spearheaded transportation efforts, including creating the first dedicated bike lanes in the county and establishing a network of electric vehicle charging stations in municipally owned parking structures. Roach opened Bryant-Mamaroneck Park and will soon be done converting all streetlights to LED. If re-elected, Tom Roach will continue to make environmental protection a priority for the City of White Plains.

“I’m honored that the League of Conservation Voters has endorsed me for re-election. As Mayor, I’ve made protecting our environment a top priority – and I’ve redoubled our efforts this year. It’s important for local leaders to step up at a time when the federal government is abandoning its responsibilities.  We’re going to keep our commitment to the environment, no matter what, and keep leading the way for Westchester” said Mayor Roach.

Peter Parsons – Lewisboro Supervisor

Since taking office in 2012, Lewisboro Supervisor Peter Parsons has been a proponent of the environment. Peter has worked to increase accessibility to Lewisboro’s preserves by creating trails and installing parking. He has also launched initiatives to showcase native species and reduce the presence of invasive species in Town parks and preserves. Parsons is also working to make solar power available at an affordable price through the Solarize campaign and adopted the Community Choice Aggregation Program. If re-elected, Peter Parsons will continue to be an environmental voice for the Town of Lewisboro.

Nancy Seligson – Mamaroneck Supervisor

Since taking office in 2012, Mamaroneck Supervisor Nancy Seligson has been an advocate for the environment. Nancy played a key role in amending the town’s zoning code in 2013 to allow for mixed land use in the business district. Her transportation efforts include offering discounts to town employees who purchase electric vehicles and adopting a Complete Streets initiative to increase bike use and calm traffic. On an alternative energy front, Seligson adopted the Universal Solar Energy Code, participated in the Solarize campaign which resulted in 72 homes installing solar, and renovated the ice rink, fire station, town center, and streetlights to more efficient equipment to reduce energy use. If re-elected, Nancy Seligson will continue to pursue environmental initiatives that will help sustain Mamaroneck.

Michael Schiliro – North Castle Supervisor

Since assuming office in 2014, North Castle Supervisor Michael Schiliro has been a champion for the environment. Michael utilized $500,000 of Open Space Bond to invest in a conservation easement on 73 acres of land, which will be preserved. He also passed legislation to change leaf collection from vacuuming to picking up bagged leaves which has resulted in reusing leaves as fertilizer and a reduction in truck emissions. Michael also facilitated Swiss Re’s 9-acre solar farm, which powers over 60% of their facility. If re-elected, Michael Schiliro will maintain his strong environmental record and continue to make North Castle a safe and healthy place to live.

“I am proud to once again be endorsed by the New York League of Conservation Voters.  In our Town of North Castle, we continue to implement initiatives consistent with NYLCV’s Blueprint for a Greener Westchester, such as securing and/or preserving more open space, advancing modernized zoning and encourage clustered housing developments, and creating more downtown walkability,” said Michael J. Schiliro, Supervisor – Town of North Castle.

Warren Lucas – North Salem Supervisor

Since taking office in 2010, North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas has worked to protect the environment. Warren signed North Salem to single-stream refuse pickup in 2014, which resulted in the town holding the highest percentage of recycled materials in Westchester. He also recently passed unified solar permit legislation allowing for solar energy with just a building permit, and passed legislation allowing for PACE financing in North Salem. Lucas also has shown a strong commitment to water quality, forming the East of Hudson Watershed Corporation for dealing with high levels of phosphorus, building a $31 million sewer plant to be able to remove 484 septic tanks which resulted in Peach Lake being in the best shape in 50 years, and receiving a $800,000 grant to install a filter in the Peach Lake Stormwater Basin to remove phosphorus. If re-elected, Warren Lucas will continue to show the same commitment to environmental issues that have a particularly large effect on North Salem.

Dana Levenberg – Ossining Supervisor

Since taking office in 2016, Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg has shown a fierce commitment to the environment. As a member on the board of EnergizeNY, Dana helped a local business utilize PACE financing to add solar to their property, and continues to work to make PACE financing available for building improvements. She also received a grant to add 3 EV charging stations in the town, and is in the process of passing a requirement for more biomass replacement when trees are removed. Dana established a plan for an east-west connector that would make it easy to bike from downtown Ossining to the North County Trailway, and established Mind Body Spirit Ossining, which are wellness programs featured in community parks. If re-elected, Dana Levenberg will continue to work towards a more sustainable Ossining.

Richard Lyman – Pound Ridge Supervisor

Since taking office in 2014, Pound Ridge Supervisor Richard Lyman has been a proponent of the environment. Lyman led the construction of the town recycling facility and oversees all facility  operations, including negotiating a contract which led to Pound Ridge being the first in the county to recycle plastics 1 through 7. He also led the construction of Sach’s Park, a gravel pit reclamation project incorporating the use of Vortechnics Treatment units and wetlands restoration for storm water management, including the removal of invasive plant species from the project area. Richard also worked with the conservation board on revisions of the town’s Tree Protection Ordinance and voted on improvements to several parks, including Lasdon Park, Kensico Dam Park, Cranberry Lake Preserve, and Kingsland Point Park. If re-elected, Richard Lyman will continue to fight for the environment and create initiatives that improve life for Pound Ridge residents.

“I proudly accept, for the second time, the endorsement of the NYLCV, and am both humbled and gratified by the faith the Organization has placed in me to continue leading this great  team of resident volunteers who work so hard in keeping Pound Ridge on the cutting edge of environmental stewardship. It is through their dedication that Pound Ridge has garnered its reputation as a leader in the conservation and preservation of our natural resources, and it is my pledge to continue working with them and supporting their efforts in keeping the environs of Pound Ridge healthy, beautiful and desirable,” said Pound Ridge Supervisor Richard Lyman.

# # #