A little bit about me

Gina Arena has called Westchester County, District Two home all her life. Born and raised to a working-class family, Gina has a strong work ethic, sense of family, and a deep awareness of the public well-being. Being a working mother of eight children, Gina understands the challenges of balancing work, family, and advocating for a strong community. She is committed to making Northern Westchester the best possible place to live, work and raise a family. As our district’s tax burden continues to rise, among the many concerns, Gina is committed to working so her parents can stay in the communities they love and make sure when her children move out they are able to stay close to home.

Gina’s life experiences have steered her toward civil service. Both Gina and her husband Jim come from a long line of volunteers in our community, making service a part of her life event at an early age. Raised and educated in upper Westchester she graduated from John Jay Sr. High School in Cross River. Through the years Gina was an avid girl scout, where she learned about the importance of giving back. Gina always made herself available to volunteer throughout her community. Married at St. Patrick’s Church in Bedford Village, Gina and Jim have been married for 32 years, and have raised eight beautiful children who have all attended the Somers Central School District. Her family extends past the service of volunteer firefighters to include her daughter serving in the United States Army. 

Gina herself has served in various capacities as a community advocate. One of her first works in public advocacy was for children with autism who were unable to attend public school. Researching cutting edge educational programs and developing a program for her own child who was not getting the education she needed, Gina was instrumental in creating the Foundation for Educating Children with Autism and the Devereux Millwood Learning Center. As a parent whose child suffers an opioid addiction, Gina works one day at a time to help her daughter to be strong in her recovery. Gina is an advocate for families going through this knowing the vigilance, struggle, and hope that a family needs to tackle the disease of addiction. While no struggle a child goes through can be compared to another, Gina tragically lost one of her children to brain cancer in 2005. Due to her son’s loss of life, she and her husband worked tirelessly to establish the Just Imagine Making Miracles Yours (JIMMY) Foundation in their son’s memory. The organization helps children suffering from life-threatening diseases and/or injuries by helping with financial assistance.

Her life, her past, and her work makes one thing clear: where troubles lie, Gina Arena fights to find a solution.

Our mission and vision

The #1 concern I hear from door to door: Taxes. Our property taxes, which are one of the highest in the US – have been raised two times in two years. As if that’s not enough, the County has also raised the sales tax as a way to prevent a 3rd tax increase this year. 

Property values have dropped, home sales are struggling, and everyday expenses from gas to groceries have increased.  What will happen to our community when our parents can no longer live here or if our children can no longer afford to move back? When will our county legislators be held responsible for balancing our budget? 

A vote for me is a vote for responsible financial practices. I will hold the line on taxes. I will take a hard look at the budget and search for ways to curb spending and find alternative funding.

I have experienced firsthand what many families in Westchester experience every day. Our county does not have the resources or proactive interest to tackle the needs of many of our most vulnerable. I have worked to make sure my children get the education they need, to get the recovery services they need, and if my daughter comes home from the U.S. Army to make sure she is welcomed home. As your representative, I will fight to make sure your voice is heard by not only the county but by the state and the federal government to make sure we are getting what we need to succeed. I will be your proactive voice in the various departments of Westchester County. In our communities, I will raise awareness for the needs of our seniors, our veterans, the disabled, and our volunteers. A vote for me is a vote of advocated and public servant.

It is clear that our county government is not doing well-maintaining taxes, as a consequence, businesses are suffering. We need our small businesses to stimulate economic growth by providing revenue and employment opportunities for all of Westchester. While these issues may be complicated, I believe in taking a properly analyzed and carefully implemented legislation that will affect employees and business owners. That is why I was upset to see our current legislator sponsor the Earn Sick Leave Law and then vote against it while remaining a sponsor.

The Earned Sick Leave allows our community members the time to keep healthy, both mentally and physically, which is good for both them and the environment they work in, no questions about it. That being said, when acting as a legislator we need to make sure the laws we seek to pass are clear in their action, intention, and implementation. Voting against a bill you sponsored without removing your name is not the action of a responsible legislator.

Our Parks and wonderful natural areas are one of the many things we are blessed to have in Westchester. They provide us with a chance to be outside and enjoy our communities, making it clear that we must protect them from pollution and keep them intact for generations to come. Ensuring our county government takes an interest in finding the best ways to cut down our carbon footprint, like Bedford 2020 Initiative, will be what I will advocate for in our county government.

Protecting our parks and natural areas from pollution is as important as protecting their integrity against outside interests. In the last two years, our parks have been under attack as the county proposes to sell community assets to balance the deficit in our budget. This issue which has primarily been in lower parts of the county is now being faced in our very own district. Our current county legislators have recently brought a lawsuit against the well-known park, Merestead in Bedford, which was donated by the Patterson Family. The Patterson’s, as a condition of the donation, created the Deed to ensure the property could stay open to the public and be featured as a cornerstone of our district’s history. The lawsuit proposes to dismantle all conditions for the deed which leave the property and many of our communities historical artifacts at risk for sale, along with the liquidation of 4.5 million dollar trust to the hands of a fiscally irresponsible government. We need to find alternatives to ensure our parks stay intact. I find advocating for our parks has been replaced by dollar signs and if elected to office I will ensure the future of Merestead and all our parks will be secure.

Don’t just take my word for it view the Deed and Lawsuit.

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