The Rye Democrats have announced their slate for the fall City Council election. Longtime community volunteer Jamie Jensen is running with incumbents Josh Nathan and Lori Fontanes. All three candidates are known for active engagement in the community, responsible stewardship of Rye organizations, and dedication to addressing issues that they believe matter most to residents.
In a joint statement announcing their candidacy, the trio said, “We are committed to using our longstanding knowledge of Rye to make sure that all voices are heard, all issues are considered carefully, and that City government always works in a nonpartisan, responsive, and effective manner to address the needs of Rye residents, businesses, and community organizations. These guiding principles represent our commitment to serving Rye.”
County Executive George Latimer said, “Josh, Lori, and Jamie represent years of experience in community leadership positions in Rye. They have proven their commitment to our neighbors by working hard, listening well, and responding to issues. They will continue that dedication to the community with fairness, fiscal discipline, transparency, and civility, and will help move the City in the right direction for the future.”
The slate has also been endorsed by each of Rye’s Democratic representatives in the State and County legislatures: State Senator Shelley Mayer, State Assemblyman Steve Otis, and County Legislator Catherine Parker.
In his two years on the Council, Josh Nathan has demonstrated responsiveness to neighborhood and community-wide concerns and good governance and has been a strong voice in the City’s efforts to address its flooding challenges. He was the only member of the Council who wanted to grant more time for discussion of The Osborn’s petition for a zoning change. Prior to serving on the Council, he was a member of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery NY Rising Community Reconstruction Rye Planning Committee, which identified storm resiliency and flood mitigation projects that the city is proceeding with today. He served with distinction as a nine-year member of the Rye City School District Board of Education, including three terms as president. During his tenure he helped guide the District through the great recession, labor settlements, fiscally responsible budgets, and strategic planning in curriculum and facilities.
Mr. Nathan is an attorney serving nonprofits, small businesses, professionals, and organizations in media, culture, and arts. After graduating from Vassar College, he earned a JD at Cornell Law School.
Lori Fontanes is in her first year on the Council after years of volunteer service in the community. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Jay Heritage Center, she was founding co-chair of the Rye Healthy Yard Program, managed Rye Town Park’s recent Pollinator Project as part of her work on the City’s Sustainability Committee, and served as Vice-Chair of Rye’s Conservation Commission/Advisory Council. For more than a decade, she has served as a member of the Rye YMCA Cross-District Wellness Committee. Previously, she served on the Safe Routes to Schools committee for Milton School and the County’s Planting Westchester Soil Health Committee.
A communications professional for more than 30 years, Ms. Fontanes is also an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College. She is a graduate of Temple University and earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Manhattanville College.
A longtime advocate for and supporter of Rye Town Park, Jamie Jensen currently serves as an officer of the Friends of Rye Town Park, working to improve the park’s infrastructure, and to enhance the gardens, lawns, and programming. She has forged partnerships with community organizations to bring new programs, performances, and art to the park and beach. Ms. Jensen has also served as a Parent Organization president, co-chair of “Heard in Rye”, class parent, and founding member of the Rye Fund for Education. Since 2016, she has served the Rye community as a contributing writer for The Rye Record.
Beyond Rye, she is Chair of the Board of the Open Door Foundation which supports the work of Open Door Family Medical Centers, serving more than 65,000 patients in seven locations across the Lower Hudson Valley, including Mamaroneck and Port Chester. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and earned her MA in Education at University of Michigan.
Rye Democratic Committee Chair Danielle Tagger-Epstein, a former member of the City Council, said, “This is an amazing slate of dedicated community volunteers who believe in the principles of good government and have proven their ability to work across party lines for the good of the community.”