With the announcement that County Legislator Lynn Eckert is not seeking reelection, Abe is honored to have her support to step up and represent the City of Kingston on the Ulster County Legislature.
Abe’s time in the Hudson Valley began as an 18-year-old in New Paltz, where he planted his roots during college as a student and a bike mechanic.
During this time, Abe served as a member the Village Landlord-Tenant Relations Committee fighting for tenants rights, and as a member of the Town Transportation Committee where he helped spearhead the effort to implement the still-running New Paltz Loop bus service – a collaboration of SUNY New Paltz, The Town and Village of New Paltz, and Ulster County.
After graduating SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Political Science, Abe married his wife Eileen, a software engineer and Hudson Valley native. Abe and Eileen left New Paltz and bought a home in Kingston shortly after marrying, as Abe stepped away from public service to begin a career in technology in the Uptown business district, which was quickly becoming the region’s technology hub.
Now President of Dragon360, a digital media agency located in Kingston’s historic Senate Garage building, Abe leads a team that works with clients throughout the country and runs campaigns across the globe. The call of public service and community development never subsided; Dragon360 became a founding sponsor of the now thriving Hudson Valley Tech Meetup, and Abe now serves on the board of directors of Family of Woodstock and the Kingston Land Trust.
David Donaldson is serving his thirteenth term on the Ulster County Legislature. He served four years as Chairman of the Legislature and was elected Minority Leader twice. David Donaldson’s goal has been “to make a difference where a difference is needed.” His character trademark of tenacity makes him an outspoken leader representing the constituents City of Kingston’s Wards 3, 5 and 9.
He has been recognized by numerous non-partisan organizations for his tireless work to help others as well as his constant push for good government initiatives. Dave has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to work with anyone willing to be part of a progressive agenda of government reform, the right economic growth, protection of our beautiful area, effective programs for youth and the elderly, along with enhanced collaboration with the City of Kingston and Ulster County.
Dave started an initiative of “Better government at a better price” by sponsoring and ensuring reformed fiscal management of County government, sustaining budgets below inflationary rates, maintaining and improving transparency and improved services through consolidations and efficiencies.
Dave served as an Alderman in the City of Kingston prior to joining the County Legislature. As an alderman he initiated a City Charter change as well as creating policies that helped bring about the Revitalization of the Rondout Area of Kingston. He continues to work with City Leaders, regardless of party or other affiliations, for the betterment of the City of Kingston.
Dave taught Government and Economics at FDR High School in Hyde Park for 20 years before recently retiring. Prior to teaching, Dave was a Foreman and Inspector for Conrail Railroad.
He began his college education at SUNY Ulster and went on to receive his Bachelors in Political Science and Master in History/Education from SUNY New Paltz.
Currently, Dave serves on the SUNY Ulster Presidential Search Process and Search Committee and represents the Ulster County Legislature on the Ulster County Jury Board.
My name is Peter Criswell, and I am running for the position of county legislator in Kingston’s District 7. My life experiences and professional skills make me uniquely positioned to help the communities and people of Ulster County and the City of Kingston.
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood of Bethlehem, Pa., where I attended public schools. My life changed when I decided to attend Bard College, a school my parents had never heard of. I worked restaurant and other jobs to put myself through college, earning a bachelor’s degree in theater and, not coincidentally, beginning a three-decade love affair with the Hudson Valley.
My career has been varied and allowed me to travel the world, focusing on the not-for-profit sector. I’ve served as executive director of four nonprofit groups — Hudson River Heritage, the Betsy Ross House, the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus — doing everything from setting strategic direction to raising funds to balancing books to booking halls. I have entrepreneurial experience, having started my own entertainment agency, which operated in Philadelphia for six years. I’ve also been a performing artist, an events manager, and an arts educator (of kindergarteners, undergraduates, and every age in between).
Along the way I earned a master’s degree in business leadership from Manhattanville College; certificates in nonprofit administration (from University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies ) and entrepreneurship (from Temple University’s Fox School of Business); and a degree from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.
In 2015 I moved back to the Hudson Valley, buying a house in Kingston and beginning work at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, where I’m now the senior program curriculum developer, hiring faculty and creating workshops.
I’ve spent much of my life volunteering. I serve on the Kingston Arts Commission working on policy and citywide arts planning. I’m a member and past president of the Bard College board of governors and long-time board member of the Village Halloween Parade, which also runs the Hudson Valley’s Sinterklaas. I’m an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, and I serve on the board of (and sing with) Key of Q, the Hudson Valley’s LGBTQ and Allied Chorus. I formerly served as local liaison to the national Actors’ Equity Association labor union, and I offered free help to taxpayers with VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
As a candidate, I want to spend time getting to know constituents, to hear their stories and understand their concerns. If elected, my priorities would include education; the environment; social service programs; budget transparency; and economic development, including by implementing the One-Kingston agenda. I have a special interest in developing the county’s thriving arts economy, as I understand the power of the arts to change lives.
I live with my partner, Riley, and our cat Dante, on Abbey Street in midtown Kingston. In my spare time you might find me on a hiking trail, in my kitchen cooking up a storm, or on stage belting karaoke.