The Rotary Club of the Pelhams heard New Rochelle Councilwoman Martha Lopez-Hanratty, a county advisor and highly active member in Westchester’s immigrant community, speak at their Wednesday meeting.
Lopez worked for the Washingtonville Housing Alliance based in Mamaroneck for 18 years as assistant director and was a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award for her efforts in helping immigrants. She is currently a resident of New Rochelle and has assumed an active role in the Minority Women Business Enterprise Program. Last year, she ran for city council in District 1 and defeated a long-term incumbent.
She now works for County Executive George Latimer as assistant advisor for immigrants and community affairs. She told the Rotary Club about her work in the community to resolve issues that have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. Lopez also spoke about her effort on a program to help local restaurants that were impacted by the pandemic.
She has spent a great deal of time working with immigrant communities. “It has been my mission to work with the community to make sure the needs of the many vulnerable communities are attended to,” said Lopez. “As the council person in New Rochelle, it is important that people know the government works for them.” An immigrant herself, Lopez understood the needs of those who come to the U.S. from other countries because of her own life experiences. She said she is able to make this connection with others.
“I want to make sure people know that they can reach out to me and come with any problem they might have,” Lopez said. “I want them to know they have someone who is representing them.”
Lopez reminded the Rotary members about the importance of the 2020 Census, explaining the importance of a complete count for the government to receive the funds that are needed for many of the different programs in the community.
The Rotary Club of the Pelhams’ next meeting will be on Aug. 26.