During its organizational meeting on January 4, 2024, the Rockland County Legislature seated seven newly elected members, including the first African American woman elected to the board. Here is what five of these new legislators had to say regarding their plans for their new positions in office:
Beth Davidson (D-Nyack)
It feels extremely humbling to assume the seat held by Harriet Cornell for so many years. That said, it was also thrilling to look out into the standing-room-only crowd gathered for last week’s swearing-in and see such strong grassroots support for the values I and others ran on: justice, opportunity, affordability, sustainability.
As the new chair of the Environmental Committee, I’m really excited to get our county’s Climate Action Plan in motion. As we gear up for another nor’ easter, I’m reminded of the urgency of this issue, as flooding impacts my district in areas like West Nyack and downtown Nyack. I plan to pursue state and federal funding to lessen the impact on taxpayers of pursuing climate priorities ranging from flood mitigation to EV infrastructure, education and more. I’m also excited to tackle the housing crisis, support our partners in law enforcement, protect access to women’s health care, and strengthen our nonprofits. I will work with anyone who has a good idea to move these issues—and our county—forward!
Raymond W. Sheridan III (R-Pearl River)
The feelings I have being a new Legislator are a blend of excitement and a sense of duty. The election marked the culmination of a campaign where promises were made to the community, and now there’s a tangible opportunity to make a positive impact. The responsibility of serving the public and making decisions that affect the lives of constituents is both an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously. Supporting local businesses, improving overall economic well-being, protecting our community from irresponsible development and supporting our police departments and first responders will always be at the forefront of what is most important to me and I truly believe will improve overall connectivity and make the county a more attractive place for residents and businesses.
Being a third generation small business owner with a large extended family in this community and deep family history in the county will always be a point of pride for me. I will consistently work to put my constituents first with the mindset of making my family proud.
Dana Stilley (D-Piermont)
This is a very exciting time to be a new Rockland County Legislator. I am eager to learn, work with my new colleagues, share my ideas, and represent the residents of District 17. Rockland is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and I look forward to doing all that I can to ensure our sustainability, from a human perspective, as well as socially, economically, and environmentally.
I am most excited about focusing on the issues and passing legislation relative to the topics introduced during my vigorous campaign. I believe that our county will benefit from gun safety legislation that would require gun stores to post warnings citing access to firearms heightens the risk of suicide, homicide and accidental death.
Additionally, I plan to work to ensure that the county has a climate action plan, and methods to address the more frequent flooding and hazard weather conditions. A third major area of focus will be the lack of diverse, affordable housing across the county.
Paul Cleary (D-Garnerville)
I am very excited to have the honor to serve the people of the second legislative district of Rockland County. I am a newbie to the political election process and am so lucky to have the world class support of the Haverstraw Democratic Party. I look forward to solving the county’s problems with the other 16 members of the Legislature. I am hoping the skills I have honed over 40 years as an Engineer, Program Manager and Sales Executive in the Defense, Telecom and Semiconductor world will serve me well. Building consensus and driving solutions is my
specialty. As chairman of the Public Safety Committee, I plan to work with Sheriff Falco and District Attorney Walsh to ensure we have the resources necessary to keep Rockland safe and secure.
Jesse Malowitz (D-Suffern)
I’m deeply honored to have been elected County Legislator for District 12, which includes all of the Village of Suffern and parts of Airmont and Montebello. Public Service runs in my family. My Great-Grandfather Frederick Moskowitz was a NYC Subway Conductor, my Grandfather Sy Zucker was a NYC Public School Teacher and my Grandmother Marlie Zucker worked for the NYS Department of Labor and Rockland Psychiatric Hospital. In my career before I was elected, I had the benefit of working for and learning from NYS Senator David Carlucci, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Congressman Mondiare Jones, and NYS Senator Shelley Mayer, all dedicated public servants.
As Legislator, I would like to work with my colleagues to address housing, transportation, and constituent service. I would like to see more transit oriented development. There needs to be a significant increase in housing that is affordable for people just entering the workforce and seniors who are looking to downsize so they can stay in Rockland and retire with dignity.
Improving public transportation will reduce our reliance on cars, reduce traffic, and reduce emissions. I also want to make sure my constituents know their Legislator will be present in the district and will listen to their concerns.