Official Press Release from Debbie Kozak
Describing herself as a “work-from-home Mom,” grassroots activist Debbie Kozak launched her candidacy for the office of County Legislator today from District 16, a newly drawn legislative seat encompassing the west side of Yonkers.
As such she is the first Republican to run in this district in nearly 20 years. “I’m campaigning on three main issues,” Kozak said, “issues that are truly nonpartisan but in my opinion need more focus at the County level which is needed to meet the kinds of challenges we who live here have to deal with every day. Those challenges are Affordability, Personal Safety, and Quality of Life, she said. “I will confront the need for each of them as earnestly, as directly and as honestly as the dedicated, goal-oriented work-from-home Mom that I am.
A graduate of Pratt Institute where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management, Kozak has lived in and voted from Northwest Yonkers for the past 33 years. She also earned two associate degrees from Westchester Community College – one in Accounting and one in Applied Science – which she says will help meet constituent needs. She worked as a Project Manager for a construction company and engaged in a variety of community and volunteer activities over the years while she and her mechanical-engineer husband maintained a household, raising two daughters who are now of high-school age.
Affordability, Kozak says, “Refers to the need for eliminating and/or cutting back on any and all unnecessarily high County-level taxes, fees and regulations. “It’s no secret that living costs in Yonkers are less and less affordable…that housing prices have increased…that rent hikes are outpacing tenants’ ability to pay for them…and inflation has begun to price such basic necessities as food and fuel beyond the reach of many people. “As a County Legislator I will work to suspend county-level taxes on gasoline and diesel, plus natural gas and home-heating fuel, which unfairly and disproportionately punish those who have to commute to work.
“By Personal Safety,” she adds, “I mean working in conjunction with County and Yonkers PDs, I’ll push for the County to promote, fund and provide resources for Neighborhood Watch Groups to look out for and report on potential as well as actual criminal activity. Many such groups already exist but are in need of awareness and support.
“Crime is more than a neighborhood concern, Kozak says. “It’s a matter leadership too, and Westchester needs to push back against city and state-level attempts at the revolving-door criminal-coddling that its proponents call bail reform. “As County Legislator I will not vote for such pro-criminal legislative acts, and I will support the repeal of those already on the books.”
Last but certainly not least of Kozak’s Key Issues is the Quality of Life “in neighborhoods, towns and cities al across Westchester: “The extended lockdown and various measures to ‘keep us safe’ during the pandemic caused social, economic and personal health issues, the consequences of which, many of them being negative, will be felt for many years to come. “As County Legislator I’ll confront certain health-related hardships for my constituents — like not having access to mental-health professionals in emergencies — head-on. “And I’ll support existing County-level programs and resources that work for the people that I will represent. I’ll initiate and negotiate any changes to programs or resources that don’t work. The pandemic’s over; it’s time to fix what’s broken.”
So mark your calendar: November 8, 2023, County Legislator-elect Debbie Kozak will be rolling up her sleeves, getting ready to go to work.