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 Ulster County Legislator.
If elected, I will work to ensure the growth we are experiencing here in Ulster County is implemented in a way that promotes economic prosperity while being socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. My life experiences and professional skills make me uniquely positioned to help the communities and the people of Ulster County and the constituents of District 7 – City of Kingston Wards 6, 7, and 8.
· Ensure Ulster County has laws, policies, and resolutions that defend human rights, build our economy, and protect the environment.
· Work with my constituents to develop pathways to quality, affordable education; to support county services and programs; and encourage economic development in an atmosphere of inclusiveness and transparency.
· Advance the county’s thriving arts scene, as I understand art has the power to change lives, bring communities together, and serve as a force for economic growth.
To accomplish this, I hope to serve on the Economic Development, Tourism, Housing, Planning & Transit Committee, the Legislative Programs, Education and Community Services Committee, and the Energy and Environment Committee.
My Experience & Education: earned a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership, served as Executive Director for five nonprofits, and a lifetime dedication to community service.
My Endorsements: Ulster County Democratic Committee, City of Kingston Democratic Committee, Working Families Party, Citizen Action, Ulster People for Justice & Democracy.
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood of Bethlehem, PA, where I attended public schools. My life changed when I attended Bard College, which also began my three-decade long love affair with the Hudson Valley. While in school, I worked in restaurants and other minimum wage jobs to pay tuition and support myself, while I earned a bachelor’s degree in theater. Twenty years later, I continued my education and earned a master’s degree in Business Leadership from Manhattanville College.
My professional career has focused on the nonprofit sector which also gave me the opportunity to travel the world. I’ve served as Executive Director for five nonprofit groups: Hudson River Heritage, Historic Philadelphia Inc. & Betsy Ross House, the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus & Youth Pride Chorus, and currently, the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing. Along the way, I’ve owned my own entertainment agency, been a performing artist, an events manager, and an arts educator for kindergarteners, undergraduates, and every age in between.
In 2015, I was thrilled to move back to the Hudson Valley to accept a position at the Omega Institute. I bought a house and settled in Kingston.
Community involvement is important to me. I serve on the Kingston Arts Commission, am a member and past president of the Bard College Alumni/ea Association Board of Governors, and serve on the Board of Directors (and sing with) Key of Q, the Hudson Valley’s LGBTQ and Allied Chorus. I formerly served as local union liaison to the national Actors’ Equity Association, and I worked with VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. I am an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills. In my spare time you might find me on a hiking trail, in my kitchen cooking up a storm, or on stage belting karaoke.
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.