Re-elect Peter Criswell for Ulster County Legislator
If re- 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.

Who I am
    • Currently serving first term as Ulster County Legislator - UC District 7 Legislative committees include:
        • Deputy Chair, Public Health & Social Services
        • Member, Energy & Environment
        • Member, Legislative Programs, Education, and Community Services
      Sub committees include:
        • Ulster & Delaware Trail Rail Advisory Committee
        • Climate Smart Communities Committee (served in 2020)
    • First term endorsements: Working Families Party, Ulster People for Justice & Democracy, Citizen Action of NY
    • Newly appointed Executive Director of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center
    • Serving second term on the City of Kingston’s Arts Commission
    • Board of Directors, Key of Q, the Hudson Valley’s LGBTQ and Allied Acapella Singers
    • Board of Governors, Bard College Alumni/ae Association
    • Own a home in Midtown Kingston
    • Hobbies include hiking, cooking, and singing
My values as a legislator
  • Practicing fair, wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars
  • Advocating for the underserved and fair treatment for everyone
  • Supporting education and arts as key aspects of our economy and community wellness
  • Working in a collaborative, community-oriented, bipartisan manner
  • Reaching out to constituents to understand their questions and concerns
  • Highlighting local talent who are building a unique economic engine for our communities
  • Helping make Ulster County a thriving, equitable place where graduating high school and college seniors want to stay, with affordable housing and good job opportunities
How I have solved problems during my first term as an Ulster County Legislator
Restored funding to social services organizations
During the budget approval process, constituents alerted me that a number of critical social service agencies, serving domestic violence victims and children and families at risk, were slated for drastically reduced or eliminated funding. I communicated with the heads of agencies, including Family of Woodstock, Family Services, Families Now (YWCA), and Youth Advocate Program; organized constituents to write to the legislative Ways & Means Committee; and initiated discussions with county Deputy Executives. I then worked with the County Clerk’s office and a fellow legislator to craft budget amendments to fully restore the funding. After lining up bipartisan support, I presented amendments that passed both the committee and in the full legislature, restoring funding to all the agencies.

Protected local libraries and arts organizations from proposed funding
In the budget process, libraries and the arts faced drastically reduced funding. During the pandemic, with schools shuttered and parents struggling to keep children engaged, local libraries and arts programs have been an invaluable support. I led the effort to protect them from proposed cuts by reaching out to the director of the Kingston Library and the Executive Directors of Arts Mid-Hudson and Ulster County Performing Arts. With their input I crafted a message to constituents around the county via directors of every county library, Midtown Arts District, Kingston Arts Commission, Saugerties Arts Commission, and individual artists. More than 100 constituents sent emails to legislators. I also crafted a letter urging fellow legislators to support the libraries and the arts, ultimately I gaining bipartisan support from the full legislature to restore vital funding for these critical community agencies.

Joined the effort to fight the loss of mental health beds in Ulster County
I co-sponsored a memorializing resolution that called on HealthAlliance to bring back to the county 40 in-patient mental health beds, 20 dedicated to chemical dependency. I worked within the Public Health Committee to find incentives to bring HealthAlliance back to the negotiating table, and urged the County Executive to continue discussions with HealthAlliance as well as come up with alternative solutions until the beds are restored, such as enhancing the county’s mobile mental health services.

My priorities for future governing
  • Strengthen the local economy
    • Support COVID relief efforts, taking into account the disproportionate impact on job losses for women, lower income workers, and members of the Black and Hispanic communities
    • Support the Green Jobs Academy
    • Support workforce development efforts, especially through our Community College
    • Help advance the Tech City project focusing on local developers who want to create local living-wage jobs
  • Strengthen mental health services and delivery
    • Continue to fight for the return of in-patient mental health beds
    • Support the county’s ORACLE and Mobile Mental Health programs
    • Advocate for mental health interventions when appropriate rather than law enforcement interventions
  • Protect the environment as a community wellness and local economic issue
    • Continue my public support for a robust local network of parks & trails
    • Support agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    • Support Ulster County’s efforts to be a leader in the clean energy revolution, reducing our dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas
  • Support efforts to alleviate the housing crisis
    • Work toward establishing a County Land Bank
    • Support tenants’ rights, especially underserved populations
    • Encourage the development of affordable and workforce housing
To learn more about my experience and goals please follow my campaign on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CriswellforUlster7
Peter Criswell Democrat for Ulster County County Legislature (NY)
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