40 Years of Fighting for Political and Economic Equity
Forty years ago, the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Inc., the brainchild of Alice Scott, Joan Mosley and other pioneering Black women within Westchester County, New York, collaborated with like-minded women, who shared a vision for improving socioeconomic conditions within their communities of color. Most notably, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, May Morgan Robinson, others, agreed fair, equal access to jobs; housing, daycare, capital, were achievable goals by using the power of our collective VOTE and the Ballot Box to force change.
The Civil Rights Movement and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 had a profound impact on Black communities, nationwide. Here, Black women organized and joined forces to create a new political movement: thus, creating the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Inc.
Today, within our five chapters, members still hold true to the mission and have fulfilled the promise envisioned by Caucus Founders. Many have held powerful elected and appointed positions within state and local government, and through their efforts, became African American Women “Firsts.”
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins – “First” woman, African American Senate Democratic Leader, and “First” woman as Legislative Leader in New York State history. She is also on cusp of making history again by becoming Senate Majority Leader, pending results of November 2016 Election.
Honorable Ruth Hassell-Thompson – A Founding member, former State Senator, City Council President and current advisor to Governor, who organized Black women and community activists to create a new, strategic political alliance more representative of communities of color.
Honorable Pearl Quarles – “First”, African American woman elected by Legislators to serve on the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Honorable Lois Bronz – “First”, African American woman elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators, and “First” to serve as Chair of the Board of Legislators.
Sandra Blackwell – A former Caucus President, current Owner/Publisher of Westchester County Press.
Overall, Caucus members have served as Senators, State Minority Leader, New York State Legislative Law Clerk, County Legislators, Judges, Elected Municipal Officials, School Board Trustees, District Leaders, City Marshall and prominent government officials, including County Deputy Commissioner. Members also launched non-profits, own corporations, and serve on non-profit and community Boards.
The Caucus will continue to build a strong political base, encourage citizens to vote, and help elect competent, effective representatives to ensure the vitality of our community.
Ms. Ronnie A. Cox
President, Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Inc.