Committee Members

Committee Members


  District 1: William Wheeler Murray – A life-long resident of the state of New York, Bill has been a registered Democrat for over forty years. He is a Trustee for the Village of New Paltz, is Treasurer for the all-volunteer New Paltz Fire Department where he serves as an interior firefighter and driver, and has served on many community committees and boards. Murray operates his own business consulting arts organizations, is married, and his three children are enrolled in the New Paltz Central School District.
  District 1: Randy Kitzmann – Randy and her husband Gary moved to New Paltz in 1962 from Reno, Nevada where she had completed her B.A. in psychology & he had obtained his M.S. in physics. Both became active with the local Democrats although there were very few in all of Ulster County in those days. They started a family and had two daughters, now also Democrats. Gary taught physics at SUNY while working on his Ph.d., and Randy worked in Dutchess County. as a psychiatric social worker. Gary was then awarded a post-doctoral fellowship which he completed at Stanford & N.A.S.A. at Ames Research Institute. Two and a half years later the family returned from California to New Paltz, and Randy worked on her M.S.W. degree at SUNY, Albany. Gary again became active with the New Paltz Democrats and was elected chairman for a time. Later he represented them on the Ulster County Committee & also on the N.Y.S. Democratic Committee. Randy became Director of the Poughkeepsie Continuing Service Center for 5 years before moving to Ulster County Mental Health Services. After Gary passed away in 2011, Randy decided to pick up some of the slack and again became active with the New Paltz Democratic Committee. It is wonderful to see how the Committee has grown since 1962.
  District 2: Amy Cohen – Amy is a life long New York resident. Amy is a Cornell graduate (class of 1989). She has been involved in retail management, design, and has worked as an international buyer and sales manager. Amy has been a New Paltz resident and property owner for over 20 years. She is a Mother of four. Amy has served on many local boards and commissions including the Town of New Paltz Police Commission and the Town of New Paltz Planning Board. She has also served as the Vice President of Jewish Federation of Ulster County. Amy (and her business partner/ husband Jonathan) own and operate Groovy Blueberry Clothing Company which is both a local icon and a national brand. Amy is on a mission to empower the next generation of leaders and works on many initiatives & local programs to develop new leadership. Amy actively engages in controversial conversations to address important community issues. She respects all citizens and focuses on myriad local issues which impact us all. 

District 2: Ray Miller – Recording Secretary. Ray is a longtime member of the New Paltz Democrats and lives in the Village.

  District 3: Orna Gorosh – Orna  grew up in NYC and spent her childhood weekends and summers on a working dairy farm in Calicoon; truly the best NY has to offer. She comes from a long line of union members and political activists. Orna has a strong commitment to self governance and our civic duty to show up to assist in the creation of the more perfect union our forebearers entrusted us with. Orna has been a kindergarten/preschool teacher since 1993. She has recently opened a small, home based daycare in New Paltz.
  District 3: Josh Honig, Chairman.  Josh has been the chairman of the New Paltz Democrats for several years and a political strategist. Additionally, he has been an activist who fought the incursion of Walmart in New Paltz.
  District 4: Jane Schanberg, Vice Chairman – Jane believes in active citizenship and participating in the democratic process at the local level. Jane comes from a family of Roosevelt Democrats and her passion for New York politics began the year she spent as an assistant to the late Senator Jacob K. Javits. It continued throughout her career as a journalist, newspaper editor and blogger. Schanberg is a proud fusion Democrat who believes in restraining taxes, streamlining government, single payer health care, election funding reform, a renewed assault rifle ban, reinstating Glass-Steagall, net neutrality, wilderness conservation and green energy. She has lived in New Paltz since 2002 and is a member of UAct and the Ulster County Democratic Women’s Committee.
  District 4: Neil Bettez – Neil is the New Paltz Town supervisor. He lives in the Village of New Paltz.
  District 5: L.Pearl Lee – My journey in New Paltz began in 1965 when I joined the staff of the New Paltz School District as its first African American educator, retiring in 2000 after 34 years of teaching Health and Physical Education and coaching various sports. I am a graduate of SUNY. In Savannah, Georgia I worked with the college chapter of the NAACP and achieved success in integrating the movie theaters in 1964 but not the church. When Title 9 became law, I helped organize High School Girls Sports in this area. I coached and served on the State Gymnastics Committee for 20 years. In 1996, my lifelong dream of attending the Olympic Games not only came true but my son and I volunteered at the track and field venue and attended the opening and closing ceremonies in Atlanta. After retirement I joined this Committee and served as its president until my parents needed more more.
  District 5: Amy Dooley-Olender. Amy is a graphic artist who has lived in New Paltz for many years.
  District 6: Lawrence Badendyck – Larry Badendyck recently retired after 30 years of serving in the English Dept. of Nassau Community College. He has a BA in Philosophy from Colgate U. and an MA and Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center.A graduate of the US Army Language School he served as an Arabic linguist stationed in Eritria. He later worked as a case worker in the NYC Dept of Social Services. He has been a homeowner in NP since 1992. His plan upon retirement was to write the articles and books made impossible by his teaching load. But now our political crisis takes priority. Raised in a working class union family when the party of Roosevelt and Truman stood for those people he wants to restore the Democratic Party to that mission.
  District 6: Tricia Bowen – Tricia works in the tech world and was instrumental in creating the new Dems website. She lives in New Paltz Village.
  District 7: Maggie Veve – Maggie Veve has been a resident of Ulster county since she was seven and a resident of New Paltz since 1972. Her professional experiences include being a teacher, teacher, New Paltz school district administrator, college professor, and is a now a retired NewPaltz College administrator. She is a lifelong Democrat, who admires the Democratic Party values. Consequently, she has been involved in a range of social justice issues all of her adult life. She is particularly interested in economic justice; is a leader of health care reform advocacy, women’s equality, supporter of criminal justice reform and voting rights reform. She has been an advocate for Clean Elections/Fair Elections to reduce the influence of money in politics for over 15 years. She is a member of Citizen Action and is heavily involved as a leader with Ulster Activists. Maggie is a member of the New Paltz Racial Equity Coalition, a group dedicated to promoting racial equity in the New Paltz School District, where she and her husband Edgar Rodriguez raised their three children. She is proud of her role as an activist but is careful to distinguish that with the role of a Democratic Committee member, the latter requiring
willingness to pragmatically address the tension between electable Democrats and the desire to promote progressive values within our “Purple County”.
  District 7: Ken Crannell – Ken Crannell joined the Democratic Committee shortly after moving to New Paltz to join the Administration of County Executive Mike Hein as his Deputy County Executive. As a Democrat and through his public service, he knows, first hand, that balancing fiscal responsibility with social responsibility enables a government to invest in people and the community. Ken joined the Democratic Committee not to be part of a group of like-minded people, but to be part of a group of people with shared values – diversity, social and economic justice, equal access to healthcare and education – and to support the election of candidates who demonstrate those values and, together, work to realize a world where diverse opinions are welcomed, dialogue is open, and nobody is marginalized. Email:
  District 8: Hector Rodriguez – Hector represented the Village of New Paltz in the Ulster County legislature since 2006. He was the Democratic minority leader there from 2016-18 and currently chairs the Economic Development, Tourism, Housing, Planning & Transit committee.
  District 8: Terry Dungan – Terry is a lifelong Democrat and the former Mayor of New Paltz.  


  District 9: Richard Heyl de OrtizTreasurer, Richard is a New Paltz native. He grew up on Huguenot Street and is the former president of the Elting Memorial Library. While on the board, he led two successful public referenda for library funding. Richard has a strong commitment to community service. He is the former Director of Programming and Development for Historic Huguenot Street, has over three decades of experience in the non-profit sector and has served on the boards of several local and state boards. Richard is the Executive Director of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York, a statewide organization headquartered in New Paltz. Richard and his husband Anthony have been homeowners in New Paltz since 2003. Email:
  District 9: Alexandria Wojcik – Vice Chairperson – Alexandria “Alex” Wojcik has been a self-proclaimed Fairy of Social Justice since first learning to organize with NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) as a student at SUNY New Paltz (BA ‘07, MA ‘09) back when it was impossible to imagine a worse president than George W. Bush. Now, she’s a community organizer with a variety of campaigns, a raver-punk music journalist by night. A former public interest lobbyist/canvass director/organizer extraordinaire in the fight against fracking and future JD student, Alex currently spends her free time smashing the patriarchy every way she can think of (like organizing New Paltz’s first-ever March Against Rape Culture: SlutWalk back in November), or registering voters while raising funds for organizations that fight the good fight at local dance parties with a purpose (the “Rave Against Restriction” party series in New Paltz). Following the inspiring Women’s March on Washington, she co-organized March On! NY/March On! New Paltz’s People’s Climate March on the Walkway Over the Hudson, the largest sister solidarity event in NY. Her memoir of her 20s, ‘Love in the Time of Fracking,’ is due out as soon as she gets a break from resisting. Email:
  District 10: Rick Remsnyder – Rick Remsnyder has been a lifelong Democrat, who has been a member of the New Paltz Democratic Committee for the past four years. Rick and his son, Ted, live in the Village of New Paltz and have resided there for nearly 20 years. Rick, who has been the Ulster County Tourism Director since 2007, was a member and former Chairman of the New Paltz Police Commission for nine years. Rick’s father, Robert, was also very active in politics serving as the Mayor of New Paltz and the Village Clerk.
  District 10: Dan Torres – Dan is a lifelong New Paltz resident and Democrat. Previously he served as a Trustee on the New Paltz Central School District Board of Education and is a former President of the College Democrats of New York. In addition, he was selected to be a delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and presently serves on the New Paltz Town Council.