José Alvarado of the 17th Legislative District in Yonkers was elected to Majority Leader of the Westchester Board of Legislators; replacing Christopher Johnson after a damning report from the Yonkers’ Inspector General.
Last month, an investigative news story by David McKay Wilson of Journal News/LoHud revealed a year-long housing scandal perpetrated by the now-former Majority Leader, Christopher Johnson. Wilson discovered that Johnson moved into a new home outside of his legislative district. Furthermore, Johnson signed conflicting residency documents for a condo he purchased under an affordable housing program in 2010. He allegedly also rented that condo to his brother-in-law. Days after losing his primary election to challenger Shanae Williams, the Yonkers Inspector General’s report confirmed these allegations, putting Johnson’s position in the BOL at-risk.
While Johnson’s eligibility to serve the 16th district at all is still under review by the Westchester Law Department, his leadership position at the Board of Legislators is now forfeit.
An old name for new leader
In a vote on Monday July 10th, the BOL voted Majority Whip José Alvarado to become their new Majority Leader.
The Honduras-born Alvarado became Westchester’s first Latino County Legislator in 2001. He served five terms from 2002 to 2011 before returning to the Board for the 2020. Alvarado won re-election for his seventh term in 2021.
Employed as Administrator of the Yonkers Parks Department, Alvarado’s commitment to his district is evident in his efforts to improve the community. He successfully secured funding for various projects, including a new water access park in the Ludlow Park Neighborhood, the completion of the south-end Riverwalk project, and the modernization of Tibbett’s Brook Park. He has also been instrumental in supporting youth programs and ensuring the well-being of seniors throughout the county.
Tyrae Woodson-Samuels of Mount Vernon replaces Alvarado as Majority Whip.
Barring anymore unforeseen scandals at the Board of Legislators, Alvarado will serve as Majority Leader until a new vote is taken in the next term starting in January 2024.