Greenburgh and Westchester County lost a giant today with the passing of Lois Bronz. Lois was trailblazer who made our community a much better place. An educator for 32 years, Lois was elected In 1976 to the Greenburgh Town Board—and was appointed Deputy Town Supervisor of Greenburgh. She served the town for 16 years. In 1994, Lois become the first African-American woman elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators and in 2002, she was unanimously elected to lead the Board—the first African American chair of the Legislature. In addition to serving on the board of the Lois Bronz Children’s Center, she has also served as Director on the boards of Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester Coalition, Westchester Community Opportunity Program, United Way of Westchester, Westchester Arts Council, and the Hudson Valley Council for Senior Citizens. Lois was honored by numerous organizations –many appreciated her hard work and dedication.
Lois did so much for the local day care center next to the Theodore Young Community Center (Union Child Day Care Center) that the Board, in 2006 voted to rename the center in honor of Lois. Lois had served for many years on the Board of UCDCC where she chaired their major phone-a-thon fundraiser and for her 25 years of advocacy for children in the community. When I was starting my career in government, I would always get a call from Lois asking if I could spend some time making phone calls for the day care center.
When Lois was first elected to the Greenburgh Town Board and to the Legislature it was much harder for African Americans to win election to positions of leadership than it is today. It took leaders like Lois to pave the way – making it easier for today’s generation of leaders to seek and win prominent positions in local, county, state and national offices.
This is an interesting interview with Lois that appeared in the NY TIMES in 1977. The Greenburgh Town Board will begin our next meeting on Wed March 28th with a moment of silence in honor and in memory of Lois Bronz. She will be missed. But, thousands of people will continue to benefit from her initiatives and dedicated service.