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Kingston resident Michele Hirsch, a Family Peer Advocate with Family of Woodstock’s Adolescent Services Program has announced she is running for Alderwoman in Kingston’s Ninth Ward. Hirsch’s announcement follows Alderwoman Andrea Shaut’s decision to run for the position of Alderwoman-at-Large.

“My reasons for running are simple,” said Hirsch. “I love Kingston, I love my neighborhood and I believe in being actively involved in my community where I work and raise my children,” said the mother of two. “A vibrant community depends on the energy its people bring to it, and it is my intention to be a strong, vocal advocate for the people of the 9th Ward.” 

As a Kingston resident, Hirsch has thrown herself into the community whenever she has seen a need; from launching a successful fundraising campaign to alleviating a plumbing emergency at a local food pantry to re-launching the Kingston City School District’s Special Education Parent Group, and speaking at City Hall and school board meetings on key issues that impact the community. 

Hirsch was effective at moving an unsafe middle school bus stop from the KHS bus turnaround to Andrew Street – a change that parents had been trying to make for the past 20 years.

Hirsch noted that although the job of alderwoman is to approve laws and the city budget, chief among her duties will be ensuring the people of the Ninth Ward get the city services they pay for with their taxes. “The job off alderwoman means being a watchdog for your ward, an ombudsman – and advocate. And if the streets need paving or someone’s garbage isn’t picked up, City Hall will hear from me,” she said. 

In her work with families in Kingston, Hirsch sees first-hand tough issues that affect city residents every day and would like to work towards establishing more affordable, safe housing in the city so children aren’t disrupted every time a family has to move. Hirsch believes that a strong community and thriving school system will help bring economic development and jobs to the City of Kingston.

Hirsch, a Democrat, added that when she disagrees with officials in city hall or the County of Ulster – she will say so, regardless of party affiliation. “I am a Democrat, but I believe the needs of the people come first – before party interests. If I disagree with people in my party, I will have no problem sharing my views publicly, and fighting for what I believe in. I will be an advocate for the people”

To that end, Hirsch said she looks forward to going door to door talking to the people who live or do business in the 9th Ward to see what the needs are and to find out what city government can do better on their behalf. 

In addition to her position at Family of Woodstock, Michele Hirsch serves on the Board of Directors for PULSES – Parents United Learning the Special Education System. 

Hirsch lives with her children, Lily and Cash at 81 Brewster Street.

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