MEET COLIN SMITH
"I am excited to run for re-election to the Westchester County Legislature for District 1 (Peekskill - Cortlandt - Yorktown).
Since first getting elected to office in November 2019, my mission has been to focus on policy and getting things done for the people that elected me. The last year has been quite different than I expected when I was sworn in January 2020, but working together we’ve made great progress on the big issues that matter.
Affordable housing continues to be an ongoing challenge in our communities. The lasting effects of Covid-19 on evictions and homelessness have yet to be determined. I will continue working with our partners in County and State government to insure adequate housing for those most in need.
I will continue to be part of that leadership team of County Legislators that is committed to bringing culturally inclusive, environmentally conscious, and economically sound policies and initiatives that will continue to propel. Westchester in a positive direction in 21st Century.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the residents of my district and Westchester County."
Colin Smith is a lifelong Westchester County resident, born and raised in Peekskill. After graduating from Peekskill High School in 1991, he went on to obtain his B.A. Philosophy at Cedarville University in Ohio and then his Juris Doctor at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY.
After graduating from law school, he was an Assistant District Attorney with the Bronx District Attorney’s office before going into private practice. After spending ten years as a litigator and legal consultant in New York City and the surrounding area, he opened his own law office in the bustling downtown area of Peekskill where he still practices today.
Colin began his public career after being elected to the Peekskill Board of Education in 2012. As a School Board trustee, Colin worked to increase the quality of education in order to improve student outcomes, all while keeping property tax increases below the state-mandated cap. He understands that we all must work collaboratively in order for students to reach their full potential.
In 2017, Colin was elected to the Peekskill Common Council, where has voted to enact sustainability measures like CCRA, a citywide energy audit as well as smart-city initiatives like web-based parking meter apps. Along with his Council colleagues, Colin has also helped bring affordable housing for low and middle-income families as well as for seniors. In addition, Colin has worked to ensure fairer and more inclusive hiring practices throughout the city.
As a member of the County Legislature, Colin has helped pass legislation that reduced penalties for property owners impacted by Covid-19, banned exotic animal exploitation, strengthened the laws that regulate County employee’s ethical conduct and adopted the Police Reform Task Force plan. In 2021, he will continue to make battling Covid-19, infrastructure, childcare, eviction prevention, small business assistance, food insecurity and police reform top priorities for people of Westchester.
In addition to his work in elected office, Colin is a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce and has worked with groups like the Peekskill Youth Bureau, Hudson River Healthcare, the American Legion, and Peekskill NAACP, to name a few. Colin is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and practices law in New York state and federal courts, as well as in Connecticut.
ACTIONS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Passed the Coronavirus Taxpayer Relief Act to provide much needed help for struggling homeowners during the height of the pandemic last year. This legislation waived or significantly reduced penalties that taxpayers would have owed for late payment of their taxes last year, which otherwise would have been due during some of the worst moments we faced as a community.
He worked with State and local governments to make sure there was PPE and testing available to those who needed it, and he's now working to bring COVID vaccinations up to speed. As part of that effort, Westchester County facilitated local COVID testing in Peekskill and at other locations throughout Northern Westchester.
As Public Safety Committee Chair, he’s leading legislative review of the Westchester Police Reform and Reimagining Task Force, to turn recommendations into reality, with input from both community advocates and police. This effort, launched in response to last summer's protests over the death of George Floyd, has been a collaborative process to establish best practices for our local police departments and work with them to ensure they are using those practices. Thanks in part to Colin's leadership, it hasn't devolved into some of the more angry rhetoric we've seen around these flashpoint issues across America.