“I’m ready to lead the Kingston Common Council.” Andrea Shaut Announces Candidacy for Alderwoman-at-Large. As current Ward 9 Alderwoman and lifelong resident of the Kingston area, Shaut could become the first woman to hold the Alderwoman-at-Large position in Kingston.
KINGSTON, NY –Andrea Shaut, a lifelong resident of the Kingston area announced her run as the Democratic candidate for Alderwoman-at-Large today. If successful, she would become the first woman to lead the Kingston Common Council in its 252 year history.
“It’s my honor to endorse Andrea Shaut for Alderwoman-at-Large of the City of Kingston.” said Joseph Donaldson, former long time chair of the Kingston Democratic Committee. “Andrea has been a great Alderwoman for the 9th Ward, and will bring the same energy and knowledge to the Council President’s position.”
In 2017, in leading her own campaign with tenacity, strong management skills and hard work, Andrea defeated the two term incumbent to go on to serve on the Kingston Common Council representing Ward 9. “I dug in and worked hard going door to door to meet my neighbors, hear their concerns and to share my ideas to get important feedback.”
Some of her successes on the Kingston Common Council since she took office in 2018 include expanding constituent service in Ward 9 through monthly coffee hour meetings and email newsletters as well as quarterly ward meetings, and helping to facilitate discussions into strengthening the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission and planning process. Andrea led a group of students from the Kingston High School who were interested in understanding the local government process during the Council’s passage of a memorializing resolution for gun safety and most recently, serving as Chairperson of the Laws and Rules Committee.
“Andrea has far exceeded my expectations of a council member.” said Marissa Marvelli, Vice Chair of Kingston’s Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission. “We’ve been working together to improve Kingston’s historic preservation program. She always comes to the table with questions, not assumptions, and a determination to achieve clarity for everyone.”
Shaut’s collaboration with Ward 5 Alderman and former Majority Leader Bill Carey has produced a Council Handbook which would be distributed to new Council members in conjunction with an in-person training. It will outline the roles and responsibilities of the Council, expectations for Committee Chairs and Council Leadership, communication procedures, and other frequently asked questions. “Andrea, as a lifelong resident, has an infectious passion to make Kingston thrive.” says Carey. “Her organizational skills and work ethic are undeniable. She is bright and open minded and would be an outstanding choice to keep Kingston moving in a positive direction as Alderwoman-at-Large.”
In discovering her passion to serve the public as Ward 9 Alderwoman, a unique opportunity presented itself when long time Alderman-at-Large James Noble announced that he would not seek re-election after 22 years of public service. Shaut felt ready to apply her sharpened skills to do more by running for higher office. “James Noble has served the community well, and has been a mentor for a generation of those serving on the council.” she said.
Long time City of Kingston Democratic Committee member Lynn Johnson who resides in Ward 9 also proudly endorsed Shaut. “Andrea is very smart, hardworking, and passionate about making Kingston a better place for all of us. She works very well with all of her colleagues on the Council. She also has management skills which would enable her to frame the work and offer support to any of the council members who needed it. I cannot think of a better person for Alderwoman-at-Large.”
Andrea’s values center strongly around standing up for equal rights, racial justice, and women’s rights, supporting local small businesses, safeguarding the environment, and helping the Kingston arts community to thrive. “I have built a network of partners throughout the city and the county that illustrate my collaborative approach.” Shaut said. “With a heightened awareness on issues ranging from #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, these important conversations will guide us towards better policy in our city that can provide equal opportunity for all residents living in Kingston.”
“I’m honored to endorse Andrea Shaut for Alderwoman-at-Large.” said Lynn Eckert, Ulster County District 5 (Kingston) Legislature. “Andrea has spent the past two years addressing some of the toughest issues that face the City. She is collaborative yet independent, thoughtful, effective, and unafraid to make the difficult decisions that are in the best interest of our community. She isn’t someone to sit on the sidelines, entering the race when it’s convenient. She’s done the hard work of governing and is prepared to take on a larger role. She is committed to inclusiveness and fairness for all and understands the need for and challenges of economic growth. Andrea has my support and vote for Alderwoman-at-Large.”
Some who have worked closely with Andrea on the Council see her wanting to lead the nine member body as the next natural step for her. “I’m proud to support my friend Alderwoman Shaut in her bid for the position of Alderwoman-at-Large.” said Jeffrey Ventura-Morell, City of Kingston Ward 1 Alderman. “During our time serving together on the Common Council she has proven great leadership, fearlessness, compassion, willingness to think outside the box to solve the issues at hand, and a deep love for our city and its residents; all qualities I’m confident will make her an excellent Alderwoman-at-Large.”
With the news of Andrea’s decision to run, esteemed community members and world renowned local business owners came forward to express their support. “Andrea is a dedicated public servant who understands that it is our diversity and ability to talk to each other that makes our community thrive.” says Ann Bailey of Bailey Pottery located in Midtown Kingston. “As a small business owner with close to 30 employees in the Midtown area and a member of the Kingston Arts Commission and Midtown Arts District, I can say Andrea has always made herself available to address the many concerns we have for Kingston’s future. As we build a strong vibrant and just city, Andrea Shaut hears all voices and really understands the needs of our community. She listens and is fair and would be a dynamic Alderwoman-at-Large.”
Richard Frumess, owner of R&F Homemade Paints also located in Midtown Kingston agrees. “As a manufacturer in Kingston and a member of both the Kingston Arts Commission and the Midtown Arts District, I put great weight on the responsiveness of the local government to our small businesses and to the growing role of the arts as an economic driver in our City. As such, I have been greatly impressed by Andrea Shaut as an Alderwoman. She understands the necessary interdependence of our community and our local businesses. As both a musician and Kingston native, she understands the opportunity to make the City a cultural center and how that opportunity can benefit and bring together our very diverse population. Not least, of course, is that having youth in our leadership lays the groundwork for Kingston’s future.”
Andrea’s community involvement centers around her leadership skills. She is an organizer for Swinging Moments Cabaret, an annual event for the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, a volunteer and venue host for Black History Month Kingston and the Director/Founder of Hudson Valley Recital Project. The latter was created to use the power and beauty of music to promote education and community and has been a platform to raise money for a number of causes.
Outside of her public service work in Kingston, Andrea is a successful freelance musician, the pianist for the West Point Military Academy Glee Club, maintains a private piano teaching studio, co-leads The Kazz Music Orchestra, an award-winning wedding band, and does extensive freelance performing throughout New York. “I view the discipline I’ve learned as a musician as one of my greatest assets. I’ve proved over and over that when I put my mind towards something, I’m able to get great results, and I credit much of that to my musical training, and particularly to my father, former Kingston City Schools music teacher, Bob Shaut.”
Andrea holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Ithaca College in Music Performance. After graduation, she moved back to the Kingston area to help her family with the care of Andrea’s grandmother, Marie Wojcio, former Head Nurse at Kingston Hospital, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Andrea quickly settled back into her hometown and eventually she and her husband Joe Kaczorowski purchased their home, a restored church on Hasbrouck Avenue. Known as ‘The Church House’ Andrea and Joe have opened their home to host dozens of community events ranging from musical concerts, important social justice events to potluck gatherings.
“I am really excited about my campaign this year. If elected, I will work hard with my colleagues on the council and collaboratively with the Mayor’s office to serve our shared constituents and achieve great things.”
Brewster St. resident and Family of Woodstock Peer Advocate Michele Hirsch is running as a Democrat for the 9th Ward seat Shaut is vacating.