Who’s who on the Beacon ballot
Beacon City Council
Molly Rhodes (Ward 1)
Why are you running? After being part of the 2020 police chief search committee, I felt inspired to continue working to ensure everyone in Beacon feels valued and supported and benefits from a growing anti-racist community of care. I particularly want to continue Beacon’s focus and investment in safe and affordable housing for all.
Biggest issue: Public safety
Justice McCray (Ward 2)
Why are you running? Ending systemic racism requires systemic change. Through my work with Beacon 4 Black Lives, I’ve seen the power of civic engagement and mutual aid and I want to create policies that are actively anti-racist, foster sustainability and address the direct needs of the people who live here now. We can redefine our understanding of community safety when we center the lived experiences of those who are most vulnerable. The only way forward is through accountability, transparency, accessibility, compassion and creativity.
Biggest issue: Housing insecurity
Wren Longno (Ward 3)
Why are you running? As a working parent and 18-year veteran in nonprofit management, I value practicality and the importance of operational, essential systems run by government. On the council, I hope to improve communications between the city and residents so that local policymaking can be a community project.
Biggest issue: We have to face changes responsibly by intentionally protecting our natural environment and our human environment, including protections for affordable housing for all.
Dan Aymar-Blair (Ward 4)*
Why are you running? I’m listening to working-class people who tell me they haven’t felt the benefits of new development and tourism. We must make Beacon’s success work for everyone while minimizing the negative impacts. Can we make our streets safer? Can we make Beacon affordable again? Can we finally build a community center and provide municipal broadband? Let’s roll up our sleeves and get it done.
Biggest issue: Improving the quality of life for the people who built this community.
George Mansfield (At-large)*
Why are you running? I am excited to be running for City Council with a slate of individuals who will bring fresh ideas and unique perspectives to local government. With my 12 years of experience on the council and two years on the Planning Board, I can offer a unique historical perspective and deep institutional knowledge on the challenges we face.
Biggest issue: Our human infrastructure: social services, community kitchen, youth and senior services and a community center.
Paloma Wake (At-large)
Why are you running? I am running to change the dynamic of city government to be more collaborative, transparent and anti-racist. I seek to extend my work with Beacon 4 Black Lives, Mutual Aid Beacon and the Human Rights Commission to more effectively address the basic needs of our city’s residents and meet our biggest challenges with brave solutions.
Biggest issue: The rising tide of the climate crisis, which has intersectional consequences and requires intersectional solutions covering housing, food and community connections, which become frayed when basic needs are not being met.
Dutchess County Legislature (District 16)
Ronald Davis (R)
Why are you running? I have made the Beacon Hills community my home for more than 40 years. It is time for me to give back to the area by offering my experience to serve in the Legislature. My priority will be to ensure that our county lives within its means. County agencies need to be efficient in dealing with tax dollars.
Biggest issue: To make the Community Resource Center in Poughkeepsie, where our youth can learn quality skills, become an active part of our community, too.
Yvette Valdes Smith (D)
Why are you running? As a past public school teacher, proud union member and mother, I know that hard work and everyday values are worth fighting for. Our government should be more inclusive and diverse, and I will be a strong advocate for all of us. I serve on the board of directors for Stony Kill Farm and have sat on the Environmental Management Council for the Legislature. I know the uphill battles we face to make our community strong and healthy, and I’m ready to tackle them.
Biggest issue: The county is receiving American Rescue Plan funding that must be invested in rebuilding our communities. I am running to ensure the proper oversight and usage of said funds and our tax dollars, and to serve the people of our area.
Dutchess County Legislature (District 18)
Nick Page (D)*
Why are you running? I’d like to be a part of a county legislature that’s committed to providing the people of Dutchess County with forward-thinking infrastructure improvements, real social services and career opportunities, and serious attention to reducing the local cost of living.
Biggest issue: The Legislature has the potential to be what it is on paper — a separate and functional branch of county government.