About the Democratic Party
Locally . . .
On the local level, the Democratic Party works to elect Democrats to all levels of government and to lobby for positions that we believe the Democratic party should espouse.
This fall. we supported the Re-election of Council Member Ben Boykin and Council Member Milagros Lecuona, as well as the retention of Council Member John Martin, who was appointed to fill a vacancy in April. We as well supported Dennis Krolian, who is a candidate for council and the re-election of our two county legislators, Bill Ryan in District 5 and Alfreda Williams, in District 8. All of our 2011 candidates WON!
In January 2012, Beth Smayda assumed the Common Council Presidency.
The local party is led by the City
Committee Chair. We have been lucky to have been served by a series of dynamic and creative chairs, some of whom remain active in the party. Past chairs including Bill Bradley, Jack Robbins, former Human Rights Commission Executive Director Alison Greene, former Council Member Mary Ann Keenan, and Council Member Bob Greer (now deceased). Our current Chair, Liz Shollenberger, heads a distinguished slate of officers:
Liz Shollenberger Chair
John Kirkpatrick 1st Vice Chair
Paul Schwarz 2nd Vice Chair
Charles Morgan 3rd Vice Chair
Tim James 4th Vice Chair
Lydia Barkley 5th Vice Chair
Tom Caruso Corresponding Secretary
JoAnn Prinzivalli Recording Secretary
Steve Walfish Treasurer
Bill Alexander State Committee Member
Irene Thompson Organizational Chair
Victoria Free Presser Webmaster
The party and its members have contributed greatly to the White Plains community. Each year, the local party has awarded White Plains residents with service awards, honoring the memory of great Democrats who preceded us.
The Ted Benjamin Award is presented to a resident who has made an outstanding civic contribution. The person for whom the award is named, Ted Benjamin, a publisher by profession, was an early White Plains Democratic activist. He championed the preservation of open space in our growing city and served as the Chair of the Open Space Committee for the original Comprehensive Plan Committee. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, who has continued his work in preservation. Recent recipients include Susan and John Kirkpatrick, Richard and Dolly Maass, Mary Ann Keenan, Sam Fredman, Pauline Oliva, Saul Yanofsky, Harry Bright, and, in 2005, former Council Member and developer of low-income housing, William Brown, and Marc Pollitzer. In 2008, we gave this award to Jack Harrington, who for many years led the White Plains Historical Society. In 2009, we presented this award to Common Council Member Rita Malmud, who retired from the Council at the end of 2009, after five terms of service during which she played a major role in bettering White Plains. In 2010 we presented this award to Common Council member Benjamin Boykin and in 2011, it was given to Joan McGovern of the Lord's Pantry. At our 2012 dinner (to be held May 6, 2012), immediate past Council Member Dennis Power will receive the Ted Benjamin Award.
The Marilyn Stagg Award is presented to a resident who has made an outstanding contribution to the party. The person for whom the award is named, Marilyn Stagg, a designer by profession, was an early White Plains Democratic activist. A woman with endless energy and amazing organizational skills, she was a major architect in building the local party structure that serves us well to this day. She is survived by her husband, district leader Micky Stagg, and their four sons. Recent recipients include Howard Glassman, Dennis Power, Bob Solomon, Diane Travers, Bill Alexander, Bill Bradley, Pauline Oliva, Nancy McCants, Nick Wolff, John Martin, Bob Greer, Rubelle Myers, and, in 2007, to Barbara and Paul Schwarz. In 2008, we gave this award to Alison Greene, former city party chair and active volunteer in Bill and Hillary Clinton's campaigns, and in 2009, we presented the award to Steve Walfish, our local party's current treasurer and forme secretary. In 2010, we gave this award to Irene Thompson, a longtime District Leader and "talent scout" for enthuisiastic and committed Democratic party leaders and volunteers. Our 2011 recipient was Marlene Perez, who served for many years as our organizing chair, responsible for putting together phone banks, recruiting and training district leaders, and making election day operations happen. In 2012, the recipient of the Marilyn Stagg award will be long-time District Leader, feminist and gay activist Zelle Andrews.