Endorsement

Up2Us Endorses Judge Gina Capone for NY Supreme Court Justice

The Up2Us Board of Directors is pleased to announce our endorsement of Judge Gina Capone for New York Supreme Court Justice in the 9th Judicial District in the 2019 election.

Gina, a long-time resident of Putnam County earned both her Bachelor’s Degree and her Juris Doctor Degree from Pace University. She has maintained a solo law practice for 22 years specializing in family law, matrimonial law and real estate law.  For the past 18 years Gina has also been a sitting Town Justice in Putnam Valley, NY. She prides herself in ensuring that every person coming before her is treated equally and fairly. She understands that her decisions have a profound impact and assures that she provides unbiased decisions. 

 Gina’s commitment to service and equality are in line with the values of Up2Us. It is with pleasure that we put our support behind Judge Gina Capone. We encourage everyone to visit https://www.judgecapone4justice.com

Up2Us Endorses Victoria Presser for White Plains Common Council

The Up2Us Board of Directors is pleased to announce our endorsement of Victoria Presser for White Plains Common Council in the 2019 election. 

 Victoria grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has been in non-profit and governmental public information for over 40 years serving a wide variety of organizations and constituencies. A near 40 year resident of the Battle Hill neighborhood of White Plains, Victoria has always found time to contribute to the life of the city that she loves, White Plains. She served as the president of her synagogue, Bet Am Shalom; is an active member of the Battle Hill Association; helped found the Friends of White Plains Youth Bureau and served on its board for four years; and advised the Friends of White Plains Public Schools on rebranding and outreach. 

 Victoria is committed to making sure that downtown development is responsible and benefits White Plains as a whole, including adequate city services and job opportunities for residents. She wants to ensure that White Plains is a community with housing options at every stage of life and income level and is committed to investing in the neighborhoods and in the youth of White Plains. 

 Victoria’s advocacy for racial justice and commitment to equality; protection of our rights and resources and her positions on the many important issues facing our leaders is in line with the values of Up2Us. It is with great pleasure that we put our support behind Victoria Presser. We encourage everyone to visit Victoria Presser Facebook

Up2Us Endorses Nadine Hunt Robinson for White Plains Common Council

The Up2Us Board of Directors, on behalf of its membership, endorses Nadine Hunt Robinson for White Plains New York  Common Council.

 In February 2014, Nadine was unanimously appointed councilwoman by the White Plains Common Council, bringing with her decades of legal, business and environmental experience and was subsequently elected as the first African-American woman to the Council. 

 In that role, she has acted to ensure that White Plains continues to be prosperous, while keeping the doors of access and opportunity open to all. To that end, Nadine has  passed budgets within the property tax cap, successfully lobbied to "Ban the Box" on City employment applications, spearheaded law changes to protect senior citizens and championed enhanced anti-bias and diversity training for the local police force.

Her vision for White Plains includes:

--Maintaining the right balance between strong economic growth and important quality of life issues. 

--Focusing on financial best practices for the City and fiscally sound City Budgets below the Property Tax Cap.

--Safeguarding the unique character of the City by supporting policies and programs that enhance inclusiveness in all sectors, preserving a broad, diversified base of talent and services. 

Her positions on immigration policy (being an immigrant herself), gun sense, racial and gender equality and women’s reproductive freedom align with Up2Us values. With respect to climate change, Nadine Hunt Robinson  has an established record on supporting local legislation on aggregated choice for green energy, more electrical cars for City of White Plains vehicles, more electric car charging stations throughout the City, partnering with bike share companies. and phasing out heavy fuel usage for building heating.

 Quoting Nadine- “I will continue to fight to ensure that as White Plains continues to prosper, the doors of access and opportunity remain open to ALL!”

 Up2Us supports all these efforts on a local level and is proud to endorse Nadine Hunt Robinson for re-election as White Plains Council Member.

For further information please go to http://wwww.vote4robinson.com and/or https://www.facebook.com/Vote4Nadine/

Up2Us Endorses Jenn Puja for White Plains Common Council

Up2Us is proud to endorse Jenn Puja for White Plains Common Council. 

Jennifer Lynn Puja is the Labor Council Director for the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO. She was born into a union family and values the importance of unionism and labor history. 

In 2007, she worked part time for the WPCLB and took an interest in the labor movement and the effects it has on the union families in Westchester and Putnam Counties. After being hired fulltime in 2008, she became an active participant in the many committees of the WPCLB. She is proud to be a part of the Social Justice and Labor/Religion Committees and began the first Unionists of Tomorrow and Picnic Committees. She facilitates all of the labor council initiatives and she keeps members and community partners up-to-date.

Jenn is proud to stand with her union brothers and sisters to support them with their local labor issues on picket lines, at rallies and behind the scenes. As an organizer, Jenn has affiliated dozens of new locals as she cultivates coalition partners through Westchester and Putnam Counties. She takes great pride in the work of the labor movement.

She is a lifelong learner with a background in humanistic communications and education. Jenn holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Iona College (summa cum laude) in Humanistic Speech Communications. She has a Master’s Degree from Long Island University (summa cum laude) in Childhood Education and Literacy. Jenn enjoys furthering her education through labor related coursework and workshops.

Among Jenn’s many accomplishments, in 2015 she was honored as one of the Workforce Development Institute Women of the Year in their annual workforce calendar.  In 2017, she was recognized by the Westchester Young Democrats as an honoree for their Spring Gala. Also in 2017, she received the Labor Service Award from the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body for her unwavering dedication to working men and women in Westchester and Putnam Counties. She resides in White Plains with her husband and their two children.

Jenn says “We may live in uncertain times. What is certain however is the strength in our unity. Together, we will continue to fight for justice, equality, and human rights. We will work together to advocate and give a voice to many, not just some. Stronger together makes us stronger than ever - it is truly Up2Us!”

 We couldn’t agree more. Up2Us enthusiastically endorses Jenn Puja for White Plains Common Council.

Up2Us Endorses Maritza Fugaro-Norton for Town Justice, Cortlandt

Up2Us endorses Maritza Fugaro-Norton for Town Justice, Town of Cortlandt NY.

Upon graduation from Pace University School of Law, Maritza began her legal career as bi-lingual staff attorney at the Pace Women’s Justice Center where she represented victims of domestic violence and litigated all family law matters on their behalf. Thereafter Fugaro-Norton worked for a private

law firm in Yonkers, New York handling a wide variety of cases including Matrimonial and Family Law, Criminal Law, Bankruptcy Law and others.  She is currently an Associate Court Attorney for a Westchester County Family Court Judge in White Plains and is admitted to practice before the Courts in the State of New York, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Raised in Westchester County, Maritza resides in Cortlandt where her children attend public schools. She has been a district leader for the Cortlandt Democratic Committee for the last 7 years and is  also involved with her children’s school including going into her 4th year as secretary of the VanCortlandtville Elementary School PTA. The daughter of an immigrant, she strongly believes a Judge must apply the law equally and fairly to all, regardless of a persons' identity, race, gender, economic class or any other irrelevant factor.

“Having experience with the NY State problem solving courts I would want to know the issues affecting our community and try to find ways to connect with local agencies and organizations in an effort to address the problems and find solutions. The right temperament is an essential quality of a Judge. I am calm, open-minded and decisive. I hold myself to a high standard of ethical conduct and will continue to do if elected.”-Maritza Fugaro-Norton.

Based on her experience, community service and dedication to racial justice and equality before the law, the Board of Directors of Up2Us strongly endorses Maritza Fugaro-Norton, Democrat  for Town Justice, Town of Cortlandt NY.

Up2Us Endorses Vedat Gashi for Westchester County Legislator

Up2Us is proud to endorse Vedat Gashi’s candidacy for Westchester County Legislator District 4.

Vedat’s commitment to public service comes from his family’s experience as political activists and refugees, opportunities he had working with inspiring leaders, and his experience helping to create a country out of the ashes of war.

Vedat was born in Kosovo (formerly Yugoslavia), and at four years old he and his family fled the oppressive, socialist regime to the United States. Vedat first moved to the Bronx and later put down permanent roots in Yorktown.

After graduating from Lakeland High School, Vedat went on to pursue a B.A. from Connecticut College, where he was invited to serve on the Board of Trustees as a Young Alumni Trustee. He then earned his J.D. from Seton Hall University. During his studies, Vedat interned with two of his heroes, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, then at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and Congressman Lee Hamilton on the House International Relations Committee.

Upon passing the New York Bar, Vedat was called to service in Kosovo to join the US/EU effort to help establish the newly formed state of Kosovo. While in Kosovo, Vedat’s hard work lead to remarkable accomplishments, including drafting some of Kosovo’s foundational legal documents and establishing Kosovo’s Ministry of Local Government Administration. Vedat was later nominated by the United Nations to serve as the Chief Legal Advisor to Kosovo’s Prime Minister. Shortly after Kosovo declared independence, Vedat returned to his home in Yorktown, and followed in the footsteps of his family’s small business success in real estate by opening up a real estate legal practice, in Yorktown Heights and in the Bronx.

Currently, Vedat livesVedat has joined the Rotary Club of Yorktown, has been active in his kids’ school, sports, and scouting. Vedat is an active member of the Yorktown Democratic Party where he serves as a Democratic District Leader.

Vedat’s experiences abroad made him appreciate the value of the strong democratic foundation in the United States. After Donald Trump was elected in 2016, partially by discriminating against immigrants and muslims, Vedat found that as both an immigrant and a Muslim himself he was compelled to take action and get involved. 

Vedat Gashi  cares about our community and wants to ensure that we will stand up against hateful policies that damage our core values. Up2US enthusiastically endorses Vedat Gashi for Westchester County Legislator, District 4.

To learn more about Vedat Gashi, go to https://www.facebook.com/Gashi4NewYork/

Up2Us Endorses Robert Prisco for Westchester County Court Judge

The Up2Us Board of Directors is pleased to announce our endorsement of Robert Prisco for Westchester County Court Judge in the 2019 election. 

Robert grew up in the Town of Eastchester and graduated from Eastchester High School. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Villanova University and a Juris Doctor Degree from Albany Law School. He is happily married and the father of four children. Despite his busy work schedule through the years, he prides himself on coaching numerous teams for his daughters and sons and never missing a theater production in which his daughter acted. He is also recognized by the New York Blood Center with over 50 blood donations!

Robert has devoted his entire thirty-two year career to public service and to the practice of Criminal Law as an Assistant District Attorney with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.  In his time there he actively participated in the long overdue reform of the Criminal Justice System by serving as the Mental Health Coordinator and sitting on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Chief Judge DiFiore’s Excellence Initiative, the Bail Reform Initiative, the Raise the Age Committee and the Marijuana Policy Review Committee. Robert understands that criminal convictions have life-long consequences and that in most cases, treatment and supervision are far more effective tools against recidivism and criminal behaviors than incarceration. He is committed to ensuring that every individual who appears before him is afforded due process and equal justice. 

 Robert is in line with Up2Us values of service, equality and justice and we are proud to put our support behind Robert Prisco for Westchester County Court Judge. We encourage everyone to visit www.prisco4county.com

Up2Us Endorses Jason Lichtenthal for New Castle Town Board

The Up2Us Board of Directors is very proud to announce our endorsement of Founding Board Member of Up2Us, Jason Lichtenthal for New Castle Town Board in the 2019 election.

Jason attended MIT and holds a Master’s in Computer Science from Binghamton University. He is a Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at PURE insurance and has expertise in contract negotiation, project management and financial management.  Jason has lived in Millwood since 2004 with his wife and two children who attend Chappaqua Schools. Since 2016, Jason has served as Commissioner of the Millwood Fire District where he is known for leadership and dedication to protecting the safety of the community.

Jason strongly believes that local elections matter and that we need strong leaders who will support and promote Democratic values.

Jason epitomizes the mission of Up2Us of ensuring equality for everyone and protecting our rights and resources. He has spent countless hours before his own campaign knocking on doors, making phone calls, staffing democratic candidates’ offices and doing whatever he could to get out the vote.

It is with great enthusiasm that we put our support behind Jason Lichtenthal for New Castle Town Board. For more information we encourage everyone to visit http://www.newcastledemocrats2019.com



Up2Us Endorses Jeremy Saland for New Castle Town Board

The Up2Us Board of Directors is pleased to announce our endorsement of Jeremy Saland for New Castle Town Board in the 2019 election.

Jeremy was elected to the New Castle Town Board in 2015 having previously served as New Castle Town Prosecutor from 2010-2015. He started his legal career as a Manhattan prosecutor under District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Jeremy and his wife moved to New Castle in 2006 and have three children in the Chappaqua Schools. He manages his own law practice specializing in criminal defense, Title IX proceedings, Family Court matters and victim advocacy. He is known for his honesty, integrity and public service.

Jeremy is seeking re-election because he is interested in making the community a better place for everyone and understands that we need strong local leaders who will support and promote Democratic values.

Jeremy upholds the Up2Us mission of ensuring equality for everyone and protecting our rights and resources. This is reflected in his position on many important issues including the environment, gun laws, immigration, racial justice and protecting women’s reproductive rights.

It is with great pleasure that we put our support behind Jeremy Saland for another term on the New Castle Town Board. We encourage all to visit www.newcastledemocrats2019 for more information.

Up2Us Endorses Ivy Pool for New Castle Town Supervisor

The Up2Us Board of Directors is extremely proud to announce our endorsement of Ivy Pool for New Castle Town Supervisor in the 2019 election.

A career public servant, Ivy held senior policy roles in Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s administration and in the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo. She earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU. She has been on the New Castle Town Board since 2017 and has earned a reputation of responsiveness, hard work and creativity. Ivy understands that in today’s political environment local elections matter. We need strong leaders who support Democratic values. She is interested in creating safe and vibrant downtown hamlets; investing in modern and sustainable infrastructure; enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities and supporting climate smart policies. Ivy and her husband have lived in New Castle since 2010 and have two children attending elementary and middle school.

Ivy wholeheartedly upholds the Up2Us mission of ensuring equality for everyone and protecting our rights and resources.  This is reflected in her positions on many important issues including the environment, gun laws, immigration, racial justice, and protecting women’s reproductive rights.

An important part of Up2Us is our strong commitment to volunteer on campaigns. Ivy works hard for other Democrats running at the local, county, state and federal levels by canvassing and making phone calls.

We enthusiastically put our full support behind Ivy Pool for New Castle Town Supervisor. We encourage all to visit www.newcastledemocrats2019 for more information.

Up2Us Endorses Elizabeth Smith for Town Justice, Mt. Pleasant

On behalf of our membership, the Up2Us Board of Directors is proud to announce our endorsement of Elizabeth Smith for Mount Pleasant Town Justice in the 2019 election. 

Smith has been practicing law for 15 years, 12 in Yonkers City Court which is the highest volume court in the Ninth Judicial District (Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess. She has written well over 2,000 decisions in various areas of law in Yonkers City Court; assists judges with research, trials and fact findings; and has successfully conferenced and settled hundreds of cases.

Smith lives in Hawthorne with her husband and four sons, and is deeply rooted in the community. She teaches religious education and serves on her Parish Council. She is the former Secretary and current First Vice President and Trustee of her union and the Librarian of her chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a District Leader and former Secretary to the Mount Pleasant Democratic Committee and a member of Indivisible Pleasantville. 

Smith’s work in the court and the community is completely in line with our values of service, civil rights, equality, and protecting our rights and resources. 

We are thrilled to put our full support behind Elizabeth Smith for Mount Pleasant Town Justice. We encourage our members to visit http://www.electelizabethsmith.com

Up2Us Endorses Judge Nancy Koba for Supreme Court Justice

On behalf of our membership, the Up2Us Board of Directors is proud to announce our endorsement of Judge Nancy Koba for Supreme Court Justice, in New York’s 9th Judicial District, in the 2019 election.

Judge Koba has been an Ossining Town Justice for approximately ten years and was instrumental in consolidating the Village and Town Courts. She has been practicing in the Supreme Court for the past 33 years and has engaged in appellate practice before the four Appellate Divisions in New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She is currently employed as a partner with Wood Smith Henning & Berman, LLP. She is the leader of the professional liability practice team and the excess trial team. As such, she has extensive experience in civil litigation in the Supreme Court, including pleadings, discovery and trials.

Judge Koba has always striven to treat all persons appearing before her equally, fairly and with dignity. She, along with her co-judges, implemented a program to ensure all defendants appearing before them had counsel at arraignment before the Court of Appeals issued a decision mandating the same. They also implemented a program where an attorney from Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is present in court on Thursday evenings when they heard landlord/tenant matters so that they could assist tenants who qualify for their services. A significant number of unrepresented parties appear in the Ossining Town Court, and she has worked diligently to make the court user-friendly and available to the people she serves. She would continue to similarly adjudicate cases assigned to her as a Supreme Court Justice.

Judge Koba’s work on the court is completely in line with our values of service, civil rights, equality, and protecting our rights and resources.

We are proud to put our full support behind Judge Nancy Koba for Supreme Court Justice, New York’s 9th Judicial District. We encourage our members to visit www.judgenancykoba.com for more information.

Up2Us Endorses Angela Riley for City Council in Binghamton

Angela Riley -  Friends of Angela Riley

Up2Us is proud to endorse Angela Riley’s candidacy for Binghamton City Council District 3. 

Angela told up2us,  “I want to be that voice that represents the unseen and the unheard. I want to unite the community to make decisions for the community. I want to unite Binghamton as a city, moving forward, united as one!” and we believe she will do just that!

An engaged community member and educator, Angela Riley brings a deep and diverse set of experiences to her Binghamton City Council candidacy—and the values to unite Binghamton as one.

Raised in Chicago, Angela faced tragedy at a young age when her father was murdered, but her mother’s resilience, determination, and commitment to her daughter would set Angela on her path in life. Now a single parent herself, Angela teaches pharmacy students working on the frontlines of public health. She remains committed to education through her work with the Binghamton City School District Strategic Planning Working Group and previously with her own daughter’s elementary Booster Club and middle school Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA). In both settings, she was impactful, as she increased membership by 85 percent while building community support for programs that encourage physical activity, heightened school spirit, and family engagement.

Since joining the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as the Executive Director of Experiential Education and Assistant Dean, Angela has embedded herself throughout the Binghamton community, including through the Broome County Office for Aging Advisory Board, Region II Health Equity Council, Family Engagement Task Force, Women’s Fund Leadership Committee, Poverty and Inequality Working Group, and more. She has also served in leadership roles with organizations such as the Apalachin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the National Pharmaceutical Association.

Learn more about Angela and her campaign on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofAngelaRiley

Up2Us Endorses Francesca Hagadus-McHale

As a Founding Board Member of Up2Us, Francesca Hagadus-McHale has worked diligently to uphold our mission to ensure equality for everyone and protect our rights and resources.

Elected to the Mt. Pleasant New York Town Council in 2018 as the first Democrat in 30 years, Francesca is seeking re-election to a full term. She has fulfilled her campaign pledges to bring greater transparency and inclusion to the Town Board, has resolutely worked to unify the diverse hamlets and villages of Mt. Pleasant and has introduced many initiatives to improve the effectiveness of town government.

Her recent organization of the Lights for Liberty Rally in Pleasantville demonstrates her commitment to securing comprehensive immigration rights. A public school teacher (and NYSUT member) for over 25 years, community activist, Democratic District Leader, tireless volunteer for Democratic candidates on the local level, through County, State, and Federal level, Francesca has demonstrated her strong commitment to the Democratic Party and Up2Us values. 

Hagadus-McHale states:  “I will work every day to fulfill the trust the voters of Mt. Pleasant have placed in me.”

We are sure you will.

The Up2Us Board of Directors is proud of all its members who have stepped up to run, and we wholeheartedly endorse Francesca Hagadus-McHale for Councilwoman, Mt. Pleasant Town Board. For more information visit Francesca Hagadus Democrat for Mount Pleasant Town Board

Up2Us Endorses Ruth Walter for County Legislature

On behalf of our membership, the Up2Us Board of Directors is proud to announce our endorsement of Ruth Walter for the County Legislature representing District 15 in Westchester County, New York in the 2019 election. 

Ruth grew up in Dobbs Ferry and attended public schools before graduating from Princeton University.  She has worked in the retail and legal sectors as a network administrator. For the past 14 years she has lived in Bronxville raising her children and operating a small business.  She is the former court clerk and current President of the library.

Ruth decided to run because several years ago she began to look at this office and found that her representative did not reflect her values. As she spoke to neighbors, it became clear that they felt similarly. However, as it seemed as though the district was drawn to favor Republicans, Democrats gave up trying for this seat. She ran in 2017 and earned 47% of the vote. She is confident that this year she can make it to 51%. 

Ruth’s work in the community and her position on the issues is completely in line with our values of service, civil rights, equality, protecting our rights and resources and common sense gun laws. 

We are thrilled to put our full support behind Ruth Walter for the Westchester County Legislature, District 15. We encourage our members to visit https://www.electruthwalter.com

Up2Us Endorses Bobbi Bittker for Town Council

On behalf of our membership, the Up2Us Board of Directors is proud to announce our endorsement of Bobbi Bittker for Town Council in Bedford, New York in the 2019 election.

 Bobbi has been a proud member of Up2Us since our founding in 2015. Her work in her community and in active support of Democratic candidates is completely in line with our values of  civic service and activism. She has held multiple leadership positions in her synagogue, is a Girl Scout Silver Award Mentor and former troop leader, past Fox Lane Middle School PTA Vice President and is currently running for election for a Fox Lane High School Executive Board position, She holds an ABA Vice Chair position in the Civil Rights and Social Justice Committee, is a past EMT with the Katonah Bedford VAC, and a Board Member for the past four years with the Bedford Community Theatre.

“I am running for Town Council in Bedford because local politics matter. You matter. Your health and welfare matter. This all starts at home. Your town officials have more impact on your daily life than national politicians. National issues develop on the local level, and so we must focus on the quality and values of our local officials as much as those of our state and national representatives.” –Bobbi Bittker

 We couldn’t agree with you more. 

We are honored to call Bobbi one of our own and proudly endorse her candidacy for Bedford NY Town Council. We encourage all members to visit www.facebook.com/VoteBobbiBittker and to share with your friends.