Statement from Manor Dem trustee candidate Ziegelman: ‘Saddened by the lack of meaningful discourse on important societal issues’

Andrea Ziegelman

Editor’s note: This statement was submitted by Andrea Ziegelman, who is running for election as a Pelham Manor trustee on the Democratic and Pelham Manor Forward party lines. Click for the Pelham Manor Forward Party’s Facebook page.

I am honored to be a candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Village of Pelham Manor with two wonderfully talented, hard-working, and compassionate running mates, Ramsey McGrory and Lance Koonce.

I moved to Pelham from New York City with my husband Dave and our three children, Aidan, Liam and Jessica, in 2003. I love our Village – the place that took in my family, educated our children, and gifted me my closest friends and dearest of neighbors.

I am running for office to give back to the community that gave me and my family such a strong sense of community for almost two decades. I will draw upon my thirty years of experience as a commercial and family attorney and managing partner of Moses Ziegelman Richards and Notaro LLP (, as well as my experience as a mediator, court-appointed guardian ad litem (responsible for managing the financial and personal affairs of individual wards), court-appointed attorney for children, and former legislative aide to a United States congressman. I also will draw upon my significant public service work, including my having started a not-for-profit organization, Accent Dance (, dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and providing access to the arts for underserved school-age children. Accent Dance has provided programming for over 2,000 children since its inception in 2018. In 2019, Accent Dance held its first gala fundraiser at the Picture House with over two hundred people in attendance. Given my passion for, and work in, arts education, I intend to energize our slate’s support of local arts organizations, community programming (especially for youth and seniors), and coordination of artistic projects.

In addition to my personal sense of gratitude for what my hometown gave me and my family, my decision to run for Trustee is driven by the realization that making our society better, more equitable, and more responsive to the needs of the community depends on the active participation of all of its citizens, starting with my own run for office, right here in our Village. I also am running because I believe that local government is a place where forward-looking ideas, principles, and policies actually do matter.

Being responsive to the needs of the local community necessarily involves, in the first instance, managing taxpayer money wisely. This is a non-partisan issue: every citizen of this Village, Republican, Democrat, and unaffiliated, is concerned about taxes. With my financial background as a business and family attorney, and managing partner of a law firm, I work regularly with budgets, financial statements, tax returns, and many other kinds of financial information, arriving at financially sound, reasonable results. Additionally, our entire slate is dedicated to minimizing taxes through robust analytic examination of existing expenses and evaluating the short and long-term economic impact of new initiative and projected obligations. I pledge to work closely and collaboratively with my fellow trustees, the Mayor, and the Village Manager to contribute constructively to the discussion and analysis of, among other things, the yearly budget and the creation of multi-year budgets, and to increase transparency surrounding the budget process. As a trained mediator, I also understand the importance of listening carefully, and responding promptly, respectfully, and thoughtfully to residents’ inquiries and concerns.

The turning point in my decision to run for local office occurred last summer when I, along with Lance Koonce and many other residents, drafted several letters to the Village Board concerning two issues: the flying of a Pride Flag during Pride month, and the implementation of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203 relating to police reform. With respect to both issues, here was an opportunity to express as a community the critical importance of inclusion, while at the same time denouncing systemic racism and discrimination in all forms. I was looking forward to participating in the process, in whatever form that might take, along with my neighbors and friends, especially those most directly impacted by the issues. Surely, Executive Order 203, which contemplates broad community engagement, would allow diverse voices to be heard. Unfortunately, I was saddened by the lack of meaningful discourse on important societal issues.

Notwithstanding the challenges, I know from the many years I have lived in our quaint village that it is comprised of kind, generous, and well-meaning people from many different backgrounds and points of view. We may not share all of the same beliefs, but we are committed to our life here. We are committed to our families. We are committed to the well-being of our neighbors. In turn, I am committed, along with my running mates, to making our local community better now and for the future. To accomplish our goal, we will engage all residents in regular, meaningful discourse. We will find new and technology-friendly ways to make our government more transparent. We will respect and reflect the range of voices in our community. We will be responsive to all residents. We will embrace more strategic short- and long-term planning, thereby enhancing our financial, environmental, and social standing in the community and beyond. We will support new environmental initiatives that are good for the community and good for the planet. We will deepen our commitment to making the Village the most welcoming, inclusive, and best place it can be for all residents. Let’s honor our past while working together for a vibrant, sustainable present and future.