Eldahry’s candidate statement for Pelham trustee: Proud village responding to demands for racial justice

Editor’s note: This statement was provided by Hanan Kamal Eldahry, Democratic candidate up for reelection to the Village of Pelham Board of Trustees.

Hanan Kamal Eldahry (Deborah Lowery)

My first term as a Village Trustee is coming to a close. It has been extremely gratifying to serve our community, and I hope to win your support as I campaign for reelection.

During my time on the Board I’ve been lucky to have served with two excellent Mayors, Chance Mullen and Michael Volpe. We worked hard and I’m proud of what we accomplished together, including:

  • Spearheading the initiative that led to passing a state law providing not only our police department, but all New York police departments, with potentially life-saving gun ownership information that was previously unavailable;
  • Charting a fiscally responsible path that keeps the Village under the budget cap;
  • Encouraging downtown development while always soliciting resident input and prioritizing our small-town feel;
  • Maintaining/replacing our aging infrastructure;
  • Creating a ballot referendum that allowed voters to move local elections to Nov. increasing voter participation and decreasing confusion over election schedules;
  • Collaborating with our Police Chief to provide training to our force regarding mental health crisis response;
  • Applying for a grant to fund electric vehicle charging stations in the Village (wish us luck ☺);
  • Advancing the effort to bring food waste composting to residents.

I am also proud of the improved communication with residents in recent years. We regularly updated residents regarding coronavirus measures, and initiated the 7:00pm salute to first responders in partnership with community organizations. In coordination with local businesses we expedited measures to allow them to reopen while respecting social distancing requirements. The myVOP mobile app provides information about waste collection, village news, and the ability to pay parking violations. I believe it’s our role as Trustees to listen, as much or more than to speak, and I intend to continue listening to and learning from my neighbors.

On a personal note, many people may not know that I was born in Cairo, Egypt, in North Africa.  It’s been a long path from there to Pelham’s Board of Trustees, and it’s a testament to our diverse community that I, a Muslim of Egyptian/Sudanese/Turkish descent, am welcome here. At the same time, I stand with those who believe Pelham is a wonderful place while still acknowledging our imperfections. I’m proud that our Village has responded and continues to respond to recent demands for racial justice with civic actions that go far beyond minimum requirements.  I am proud of how many things we’re doing well at the same time I’m determined that we must do better.

I love this Village. Whatever tomorrow holds, I will continue to work hard to maintain the many qualities that make Pelham a great place to live, and strive to serve the needs of families, singles, retirees, and young adults of all races, religions, abilities and backgrounds. I ask for your vote for myself and my Democratic running mates Russell Solomon and Kim McGreal on  Election Day and welcome your thoughts at [email protected].