This month, Peekskill Democrats elected Valerie Alcena to be the new chair of the Peekskill Democratic City Committee (PDCC), making her the first woman of color to chair the committee. The PDCC also elected TJ Rogers, who had been serving as interim chair, to resume his duties as vice chair.
“My vision, first and foremost, is to bring Peekskill together,” Alcena said. “We are a diverse city and we need to reach across racial, ethnic, religious and class lines to build a stronger city that serves all of us. As a first-generation Haitian-Filipina American, I understand the importance of learning about and celebrating our differences to help us all achieve the American Dream.”
Alcena’s priorities include reinvigorating the progressive base in Peekskill, strengthening engagement between citizens and local, regional, state and national elected officials, arming citizens with the information they need to advocate for themselves and their communities and pushing for policies that protect Peekskill’s families, environment and economy.
“I’m very excited that Peekskill Democrats elected Ms. Alcena as chair,” said Councilwoman Kathie Talbot. “She has a lot of energy, passion and vision which progressives here and around the country need to get through these challenging times.”
A native of Peekskill, Alcena holds a master’s degree in public administration and is a licensed social worker. She has been active in progressive politics since she started the first NAACP chapter at her college and served as vice president. After that, Alcena moved to Atlanta to become the youngest regional canvass director for the Georgia Public Interest Research Group, where she pushed for civil rights, renewable energy and the Affordable Care Act.
She is currently a clinical social work consultant with Weill Cornell in White Plains and a fundraising consultant for progressives in Westchester and New York City.