My name is Peter Criswell and I am running for Ulster County Legislator.
If elected, I will work to ensure the growth we are experiencing here in Ulster County is implemented in a way that promotes economic prosperity while being socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. My life experiences and professional skills make me uniquely positioned to help the communities and the people of Ulster County and the constituents of District 7 - City of Kingston Wards 6, 7, and 8.
Ensure Ulster County has laws, policies, and resolutions that defend human rights, build our economy, and protect the environment.
Work with my constituents to develop pathways to quality, affordable education; to support county services and programs; and encourage economic development in an atmosphere of inclusiveness and transparency.
Advance the county’s thriving arts scene, as I understand art has the power to change lives, bring communities together, and serve as a force for economic growth.
To accomplish this, I hope to serve on the Economic Development, Tourism, Housing, Planning & Transit Committee, the Legislative Programs, Education and Community Services Committee, and the Energy and Environment Committee.
My Experience & Education:
earned a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership, served as Executive Director for five nonprofits, and a lifetime dedication to community service.
Ulster County Democratic Committee, City of Kingston Democratic Committee, Working Families Party, Citizen Action, Ulster People for Justice & Democracy.
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood of Bethlehem, PA, where I attended public schools. My life changed when I attended Bard College, which also began my three-decade long love affair with the Hudson Valley. While in school, I worked in restaurants and other minimum wage jobs to pay tuition and support myself, while I earned a bachelor's degree in theater. Twenty years later, I continued my education and earned a master’s degree in Business Leadership from Manhattanville College.
My professional career has focused on the nonprofit sector which also gave me the opportunity to travel the world. I've served as Executive Director for five nonprofit groups: Hudson River Heritage, Historic Philadelphia Inc. & Betsy Ross House, the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, the New York City Gay Men's Chorus & Youth Pride Chorus, and currently, the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing. Along the way, I’ve owned my own entertainment agency, been a performing artist, an events manager, and an arts educator for kindergarteners, undergraduates, and every age in between.
In 2015, I was thrilled to move back to the Hudson Valley to accept a position at the Omega Institute. I bought a house and settled in Kingston.
Community involvement is important to me. I serve on the Kingston Arts Commission, am a member and past president of the Bard College Alumni/ea Association Board of Governors, and serve on the Board of Directors (and sing with) Key of Q, the Hudson Valley’s LGBTQ and Allied Chorus. I formerly served as local union liaison to the national Actors’ Equity Association, and I worked with VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. I am an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills. In my spare time you might find me on a hiking trail, in my kitchen cooking up a storm, or on stage belting karaoke.
To learn more about my experience and goals please follow my campaign on