MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- The National Organization for Women (NOW) Westchester chapter, defunct for close to 10 years, officially has been reactivated.
New Westchester NOW President Lisa Hofflich, who lives on the Mount Vernon/Bronxville border, said there used to be more than 700 members in the Westchester group.
"I consider that a big pool to pull from as we reinvigorate the group," she said.
The first public chapter meeting is slated for March 26 in the rotunda of Mercy College's Dobbs Ferry campus . Board members from Bronxville, Rye, Hastings, and Armonk, along with leaders from all over the county are expected to attend.
A former TV producer, Hofflich has spent the better part of the last decade devising, spearheading and leading statewide policy action campaigns in women's and children's issues, centering mainly around combating human trafficking, domestic violence, and transgender rights. Her advocacy experience led her to New York's City Hall, Capitol Hill and Albany, where she has testified in state Senate public forums and Assembly roundtables.
She also was president of the Junior League of Bronxville and chair of the New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior League so she understand politics and diplomacy.
As to why now to reinstate the group? She answered: "There are so many holes that need to be plugged; we’ve been fighting many of the same fights for 40 years and still don't have equal pay for equal work, among other issues such as human trafficking, which is huge and occurring in our backyard, domestic violence issues as well as the right to choose.
"There's a lot going on in the Cuomo administration; he outlined a Women's Equality Agenda in his State of the State address in 2013 which has been stymied in Albany because of partisan politics," she explained. "We have these strong bills that are there on the table that can help thousands and thousands of women but right now, they're just sitting there. That's one of the reasons I’m so fired up about this."
Westchester she said, is the largest county in the state so women have the ability for loud and powerful input.
"That's really the impetus for the chapter to be restarted," she said. "Women need a seat at the table to discuss these issues. Right now we don’t really have a voice."
For information, go to www.westchester-now.org.
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