Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IP Update

Hi All,
We’ve made it through three months of self-isolation and now things are beginning to heat up, both weather-wise and politically.
So just a few reminders:
1.       David sent out a reminder to send in your school board ballots. You still have a few days, so Pleasantville, Mt. Pleasant, Briarcliff, please fill them out and put them in the mail if you haven’t already.
2.       For Presidential and local primaries you should have received an application for an Absentee Ballot. If you haven’t already requested one and wish to, you can send in your application until June 16.
3.       Please consider using Absentee Ballots – for your safety and for the safety of the nice people who work the elections.
Now for the primary for Nita Lowey’s seat. We have a plethora of candidates and, unfortunately, no public debates. But there are virtual forums (listed below) including one scheduled for June 4. The candidates are: David Buchwald, David Carlucci, Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, Evelyn Farkas, Allison Fine, Mondaire Jones, Catherine Parker, Adam Schleifer.
On May 21, 2020 LWV held a virtual forum for the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for Congressional District 17. You can view it here:
On June 4 at 2 pm the Journal News (lohud) will stream a forum for the Democratic candidates for Congressional District 17. You can view it here:
For County District Attorney the candidates are Anthony Scarpino (incumbent) and Mimi Rocah.
On May 28, 2020 LWVW held a virtual forum for the candidates running in the June 23rd Democratic primary for Westchester County District Attorney. You can view it here:
And for NYS Assembly District 92 
On June 7 at 1 pm, the League of Women Voters of the Rivertowns will moderate a New York State Assembly District 92 Democratic virtual Candidates Forum. The district consists of the Towns of Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant. 
The candidates include Thomas J. Abinati and Jennifer Williams. 

Please register in advance at:

To submit questions for the candidates, please do so in advance at:

Oh, there's also a Presidential Primary - so vote!

Now for the 2020 Census. Mt. Pleasant is still lagging behind the percent of residents completing the census. In 2010 it was 73.4%; so far this year, we’ve only hit 69.3%. Remember, each person counted brings about $2,500 each year to NY state. We get that back through property tax relief, the STAR program, infrastructure grants and a myriad of other programs that benefit Mt. Pleasant. So, please, please, please complete the 2020 Census and encourage others to join you.

And finally, your public health message. Wear your mask! As our Covid case numbers drop and our favorite haunts begin to reopen, we might be tempted to think the threat is over. Well, it isn’t. It’s just contained because of all the responsible things we’ve done for the last three months. We don’t want to go back to self-quarantine, so please wear your mask, wash your hands, maintain social distancing. We’ve been a model for the rest of the nation – let’s keep it up!

Stay safe, stay well, and stay politically engaged.


Friday, May 1, 2020

2020 Census Needs Our Help

Hi All,

This weekend there's a big push to get everyone to complete the census. We're being asked to help by posting encouraging messages on social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whichever you ones you use.

So why should we do this?

First, a lot of us have time on our hands right now. But more important, historically NY has been under counted on the Census and that affects each and every one of us. The Census is used to distribute Federal funding to the states for:
---Human Services
It determines Federal representation (# of Representatives).
It's data is used by the state and localities for planning and distribution of funds.

What can we do?

Message on social media!

It can be a simple Facebook or Twitter message like "I'm Counted! #2020Census" or "We're Counted! #2020Census" to more substantive messages about Education, Healthcare, etc. Below are some examples from the 2020Census Team. You can get out your message as a text, a meme, a video, or any other expression that strikes you. If you're bilingual, please post in all the languages you know.

Let's do this. Let's make it happen for Mt. Pleasant, Pleasantville, Westchester County and NY State. The success of our count benefits us for the next decade.


Sample posts (just copy and paste):

--In our country, everyone counts—no matter who you are, what you do, how you worship, or whom you love. I’m proud to support the
@USCensusBureau and the #2020Census . Respond to the census now at . #shapeyourfuture

○ Why do I support the #2020Census ? The census informs where federal funds go every year for things like our healthcare workers, EMTs and firefighters. Go to now to respond! #shapeyourfuture 

○ The #2020Census counts everyone who lives in the United States. No matter who you are, we all count! Go to now to be counted. @USCensusBureau. #shapeyourfuture

○ There’s still time to shape the future for your community. You can complete the #2020Census now online, by phone, or by mail. Visit 

-- No matter where you call home, the #2020Census is your chance to shape the future of your community. Complete the census today!

○ Complete the #2020Census to help shape the next 10 years for health care and infrastructure. There’s still time to respond! Visit

○ The #2020Census helps direct billions of dollars of funding for things that your community needs, including roads. Complete the census today. Visit

○ Help the schools in our communities when their doors reopen and for the next 10 years by responding to the #2020Census now. You can answer online, by phone, or by mail. Visit

○ The #2020Census informs funding for the services that keep your
community safe and prepared. Complete the census today!

○ Your answers to the #2020Census are safe, secure, and used only toproduce statistics. Learn more at .

Please Help the Neighbors' Fund

Hey, IP!
So far the fund has raised over $10,000!!!! Thanks so much to all who have donated. If you have not donated please consider making a donation this weekend as we'll start taking applications for housing assistance grants on May 5th (TUESDAY).
Applications for housing assistance funds can be accessed on the website
as of Tuesday (and donations accepted at the same address!)
Also - PLEASE HELP us spread the word - please share about the fund on your social media and help us continue to raise funds to help the Pleasantville Food Pantry and our neighbors!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note to remind all of you of how much we accomplished in 2019.

Political efforts:
--we collected signatures to get candidates on the ballot
--we knocked on doors, made phone calls, and wrote postcards to support our candidates
--we worked as Election Inspectors and Poll Watchers to assure fair elections

And a special thank you to Francesca, Laura, and Liz for running for office. You did us all proud – thank you!

Community service:
Justine and Angela found worthwhile volunteer opportunities for us and for
--legal service luncheon for immigrants
--Open Door clients
--Pleasantville Food Bank recipients
--Pleasantville Cottage School residents

2020 promises to be a year of even greater challenges and we’ll need everyone’s help. The political efforts listed above will be on steroids because so much is at stake, but we can do our part.

Wishing everyone a New Year of health, happiness, and political activism.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Early Voting Begins!

Friday, October 25.

Tomorrow Early Voting begins!

A quick reminder: Francesca, Laura and Liz still need your help. They will be canvassing on Sunday (Oct. 27) in Sleepy Hollow. Check in at the Senior Center at 55 Elm in Sleepy Hollow, 10 am - 2 pm to lend a hand.

Below are the Democratic Slate and the location and times for Early Voting. Please note that in the previous slate I sent, I forgot to include State Supreme Court Justices and the Family Court Justices. They have been added for your review.

Please consider voting early. This is a brand new option and there will probably be some bugs. Good attendance will help bring them to light so they can be fixed before our big election next year.

See you at the polls.


Democratic Slate for 2019

Please note that sources of information about the candidates are in parentheses; FB refers to Facebook for those of you who don’t have an account. These sources are primarily candidate-generated so we encourage you to do a web search for additional information
State Supreme Court Justice (vote for 4)

            Nancy Quinn Koba, Esq  (FB: Judge Nancy Koba; website

                Steven Milligram, Esq (FB: Judge Steven Milligram; website

                Lewis J Lubell, Esq (FB: Lewis J. Lubell; website

                Gina C Capone, Esq (FB: Judge Gina Capone; website

County Court Judges (vote for 2):

                Melissa Loehr, Esq (FB: Judge Melissa Loehr for County Court)

                Robert Prisco, Esq (FB: Robert Prisco Campaign; website: Robert Prisco for County Court Judge

Family Court Judge (vote for 2)

Mary Anne Scattaretico-Naber, Esq (FB: Mary Anne Naber; web bio:

Wayne Humphrey, Esq

Town Board (vote for 2):

                Francesca Hagadus-McHale (FB: Francesca Hagadus Democrat for Mount Pleasant Town Board; Interview with Indivisible Pleasantville

                Laura Divenere (Interview with Indivisible Pleasantville

Town Justice:

                Elizabeth Smith, Esq (FB: Friends of Elizabeth Smith; website: Elizabeth Smith, Esq. for Mount Pleasant Town Justice; Interview with Indivisible Pleasantville


We don’t have the exact wording, but it’s essentially: should the Superintendent of Highways be an appointed position? (it is now an elected position; other town department heads are appointed)

Early Voting:
Location:              Community Center
                                125 Lozza Drive
                                Valhalla, NY

Dates:                   Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, November 3

Times:                   Saturday and Sunday:   12 pm – 5 pm    
                              Monday, Wednesday, Friday:   8 am – 4 pm
                              Tuesday and Thursday:   12 pm – 8 pm

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Meet the Candidates: Francesca Hagadus-McHale

Hi, Everyone,

Here’s the last installment of Meet the Candidates.  Francesca Hagadus-McHale is a current town board member who is seeking another term. In this interview, she describes some of the challenges to governing a sprawling town like Mt. Pleasant. Feel free to share this and/or the previous interviews with fellow voters. We’re working together for an informed electorate. Now, for Franceca…

IP: Francesca Hagadus- McHale is a current Mt. Pleasant town board member running for re-election. Hi, Francesca, thanks for doing this interview with Indivisible Pleasantville. Some of our members may not know what a town board member does so please tell us about your role and responsibilities.

Francesca Hagadus-McHale: As a Councilwoman on the Mt. Pleasant Town Board, I attend work sessions every second Tuesday to listen to residents as they outline proposals and questions ranging from requests to build new structures, additions, solar farm installations, traffic issues,  water quality, to the building of the North 60 Project. We also discuss personnel, budgeting and other financial matters. On the alternate Tuesdays, I appear on the air with the rest of the Board on the air to discuss the agenda and to take questions from the floor about many of the abovementioned issues, as well as others on the Residents’ minds.

IP: What do you bring to this job; what experiences in your background make you a good fit for this position?

FH:I have been a Resident of Mount Pleasant on and off since I was 12 years old. I attended Pocantico Hills School, and Sleepy Hollow High School. I moved,  with my family,  to Pleasantville 26 years ago and have seen the changes over the years. I am a teacher and  former Department Chair, so I am used to meeting the needs of a large group of people and managing a budget. I am very active in the political arena, striving for justice and transparency.

IP: You’ve been on the town board for about a year now. Tell us about your contributions.

FH: I have expedited the passing of the Home Rule law which adds a 3% fee to any hotel stay in Mount Pleasant, This fee goes directly to the Town of Mount Pleasant.
---I have met and toured both the Hawthorne/Cedar Knolls and Cottage School campuses which serve New York’s most needy children. I attended a joint meeting Chaired by NYS Senator Peter Harckham on how to best help these schools. There is a significant part of the community that promotes fear of these children. I am striving to mitigate this fear by encouraging community involvement and the resources to recruit, train and retain support staff to work with the children and ensure Town security.
---I have promoted Mount Pleasant as ONE Town with diverse Villages and hamlets. Because Sleepy Hollow High School won the Metro award for Best Overall High School Theater Production, I invited the entire cast, parents and teachers to a Board meeting to receive a Proclamation acknowledging this honor. Also invited were two Briarcliff High School students who had received top Metro awards.
---I attended two meetings at the Mount Pleasant Library sponsored by NYS Senator Pete Harckham where I answered questions from the Residents. For example, it was pointed out that there are many vacant stores in Valhalla and Hawthorne. I am looking into ways to fill these vacancies as retail is very difficult to maintain tenants.
---I have also met with Westchester County Offices to address the dangerous intersection in front of the Hawthorne Train Station. Elwood Avenue is Town maintained, but Commerce Street is County maintained. As a result, planning is very near completion for a better traffic flow, in order to avoid further pedestrian danger. 

IP: Running for office is very demanding as we can see from your Facebook posts. Why are you running again?

FH: I ran for a one-year term to fill a vacancy. I won handily, with a mandate. I am now running for a full four-year term, so that I can continue the work I began in this term. It is very important to have both parties represented on the Board, to keep it from being a “club”, and maintain transparency. As the first Democrat elected in 30 years, I intend to continue to bring my vision for ONE Town of Mount Pleasant working together to remain forward-thinking.

IP: What else would you like to tell our members?

FH: Mount Pleasant is very large. It has the unincorporated hamlets of Valhalla, Hawthorne, Thornwood and Pocantico Hills. There are two incorporated Villages of Sleepy Hollow and Pleasantville, both with Mayors and Board of Trustees. There is a part of Briarcliff Manor and a part of Chappaqua in Mount Pleasant as well. Our children attend schools in the districts of Valhalla, Mt. Pleasant (Westlake), Armonk ( Byram Hills),  Pleasantville, Chappaqua, Briarcliff, Pocantico Hills and Sleepy Hollow in addition to the two Special Acts Schools of Hawthorne/Cedar Knolls and The Cottage School. Maintaining a “ONE Town” vision needs a great deal of ongoing effort.

IP: Francesca, thanks for helping us inform our membership. Best of luck.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Meet the Candidates: Laura DiVenere

Hi Everyone,

Time for another installment of Meet the Candidates. This week we’re talking with Laura DiVenere who, with Francesca Hagadus-McHale, is running for Mt. Pleasant Town Board.

If you are finding these posts useful, please drop us a line to let us know or "Like" the post on Facebook. Now for Laura....

IP: Laura DiVenere is running to be a member of our town board. Hi, Laura. I think this is your first campaign for public office; tell us how your background and experience make you a good candidate.

Laura DiVenere: Yes, this is my first campaign for public office. I believe that I’m a good candidate because, I am not a politician. I am a resident who lives in the town of Mt. Pleasant for over 22 years. I am a Mother, Wife and Realtor.  I’ve been active in the community, teaching CCD for 12years, a Girl Scout Leader for 10years, I’ve been on the PTA Ways and Means Committee.  I graduated from Iona College with a degree in International Business. I was a Purchasing Agent (15years), I am a Realtor (12 years).

IP: Why are you running for this position?

LD: I am running for the Town Board position because I love my town. I raised my children here, and I truly believe it’s a beautiful place to raise a family, as well as, retire here. Being a resident of Mt. Pleasant for over 20 years gives me the knowledge of what’s needed and if in some small way I can improve our quality of life, I will try my best to do so.

IP: You have been busy campaigning all summer. Tell us what the experience has been like and what you’ve learned about the residents of Mt. Pleasant.

LD: During the summer months we were attending meet-n- greets, some fundraisers and most town events. It’s been busy but a fun busy. I’ve met so many wonderful people from town and met up with old friends as well. I’ve learned that the residents are ready for a change and were very receptive toward me. I truly had a blast this summer.

IP: What do you hope to do as a town board member?

LD: What I hope to do once I’m on town board is listen. I feel so many residents aren’t heard. I would also like to bring business for economic development town-wide to increase our tax base, while keeping our town’s charm.

IP: What else would you like to tell our members?

LD: I would like to thank you, Karin, and Indivisible Pleasantville for taking time out of your busy day to get to know me better. I am always available, I always have a notepad and pen with me if anyone has questions. I hope I can make you proud. Thank you.

IP: Thanks, Laura, for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck at the polls.