PELHAM, N.Y. Democrat Mercedes Maldonado is running for town justice in Pelham in the November election. The mother of three has been a Pelham resident for nearly eight years.
Question: How did you get involved in the town justice race this year?
Answer: Last spring, both the village mayor and the co-chair of the Town of Pelham Democratic Party asked whether I would be interested in running for the town justice position. I knew I would have a lot to offer and did not hesitate to take the opportunity.
Q: What do you think are some of the important issues in Pelham?
A: First and foremost is maintaining the high quality of life that all of us here in Pelham have come to expect. That starts with keeping our families safe and our neighbors respectful of one another. Having been raised in a crime ridden part of New York City, the quality of life in Pelham is something I never take for granted Im also interested in bringing attention to the need to create and sustain a vibrant downtown in Pelham, a perennial concern here in Pelham.
Q: How would your experience as a lawyer and as village attorney help you serve as town justice?
A: As village attorney, I am involved in any number of local issues and advise the mayor and the board of trustees regarding their legal implications. From that experience, I have a much better sense of what is going on in the village, and the types of dilemmas the village and its residents face. As an attorney, I have worked on both sides of the labor and employment field, which teaches me that there are always two sides to each dispute worthy of being fairly heard.
Q: What was your familys reaction to your decision to run?
A: My family has been nothing but supportive. My children have been very interested in the whole process, and are wondering when my poster will be going up in store windows. My parents are also thrilled. My candidacy is a tribute of sorts to my mom, who taught me, by example, how to set and achieve goals. She obtained her associate, bachelors and masters degrees while I was growing up so she could be a teacher, and this after having six kids. I aim to teach my children that same lesson of hard work through my candidacy and campaign for town justice.
Q: What has the reaction been from Pelham residents to your candidacy?
A: Ive been overwhelmed by the support that Ive received. I think people value my experience as village attorney and support having a working mom on the bench, who, like them, is raising kids here in town. I bring a valuable perspective and people see that.
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