In 2018, much of the national and world news ranged from depressing to despicable, but here in Westchester County, there were some high points. We at JGT PR had our share of those, such as working with Neighbors Link, its partners, and the county legislature to enact the Immigrant Protection Act (IPA), which prohibits the use of Westchester County’s resources to assist in federal investigations based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or national origin. The mission of Neighbors Link—to strengthen the whole community by actively enhancing the healthy integration of immigrants— was highly relevant to one of the most talked-about issues in the news. In the fall, three different stories about the organization appeared in The Journal News/LoHud, one of which was a commentary written by Executive Director Carola Bracco. Neighbors Link also received coverage from several other local outlets; plus, The New York Times mentioned the organization in a real estate article about Mount Kisco.
We also had the privilege of helping Westchester Children’s Association (WCA) and New York’s Raise the Age coalition get the state’s age of criminal responsibility raised to 18 years. Now the state no longer automatically charges all 16-year-olds as adults. According to an editorial in the Journal News, “this means that most juvenile defendants will have their cases handled in Family Court, which is far better prepared to deal with their unique developmental and social needs than Criminal Court.” WCA’s incoming executive director, Allison Lake, was featured in several news stories this year, including a profile in the Journal News/LoHud, and News 12 Westchester ran a story on a group of local teens who started a campaign to fight human trafficking, Westchester Community Foundation funded through WCA.
Phelps Hospital welcomed several highly accomplished doctors to its team, including the eminent breast surgeon Alice Police and Marc Herceg, a neuropsychologist who specializes in brain injury and concussion. Michelin star chef Andrew Cain, whose mission is to take hospital food to the next level in flavor and healthy eating, arrived at Phelps this year. Another major news story about Phelps appeared in Westfair Online, which highlighted the hospital’s investment in a $12 million interventional radiology upgrade.
The Youth Shelter of Westchester marked its 40th anniversary with a gala celebration that was covered in Westchester Magazine. One of the shelter’s former residents, Shakil Henriques, was featured in the Journal News/LoHud for receiving the Youth Leadership Award at the 38th Annual Volunteer Spirit Awards, sponsored by Regeneron and Volunteer New York.
And on the pro bono front:
As the volunteer executive director of the Sustainable Port Chester Alliance, Joan authored a commentary in the Journal News/LoHud calling on village residents to mobilize, vote, and take more responsibility for Port Chester’s future. Zeltzyn Sanchez, a 20-year-old community organizer who works with the Alliance, was quoted in a LoHud article on Port Chester’s food and restaurant scene.
The annual Veteran’s Day memorial ceremony sponsored by the Friends of the African American Cemetery was included in an article on holiday events in the Journal News/LoHud. The burial ground, located next to the Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, is a designated historic landmark.
Looking forward in 2019:
We are grateful to our clients and the coalitions that partner with them for the opportunity to be part of the solution to the social, economic, and political challenges of our time. Here’s wishing everyone who is reading this a happy, healthy 2019.