Shawyn Patterson-Howard: "It's time for solutions. It's time for work."

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News 12’s profiles of the Democratic candidates for mayor in Mount Vernon continues with a woman who is hoping her decades of experience as a business leader shows voters she's ready to step up and rebuild.

Shawyn Patterson-Howard comes from a long line of trailblazers, and she's keeping the tradition alive.

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Her grandfather was the first African-American to work at city hall in 1937, and her aunt was the first woman of color to be a police sergeant in Mount Vernon.

If elected, Patterson-Howard would become the first woman to become mayor in the city's history.  "It's time for solutions. It's time for work."
Patterson-Howard was born and raised in Mount Vernon. 

She went to the public library with her friends every single day after school and, later, earned degrees in social work and criminal justice.

She tells News 12 that many people thought she was crazy throwing her hat in the ring, many asking why she would want to get involved with the drama at city hall. With the support of her husband, daughter and mother, she decided she couldn't sit by and watch her city get torn apart. "What I want to focus on is what are the problems and what are the solutions? What can you handle? What is my part? And then if you do your part and I do mine, we can make a difference."

Patterson-Howard is challenging her old boss, Mayor Richard Thomas, who is currently under indictment, charged with stealing campaign funds. She worked under his administration less than a year in 2016, serving as the city's planning commissioner. "We had a different vision. We had a different moral compass, and we wanted to approach things in a different way."

She also hopes to bring life back to Memorial Field. "It's where I ran track. I graduated on Memorial Field."

Also on her list is bringing a community center back to Mount Vernon after the city's YMCA closed down. Currently the president of the Yonkers YMCA, Patterson-Howard says she knows what a gem the "Y" is.

Her mayoral plan also includes improving he city's infrastructure, strengthening community policing, and attracting new and diverse businesses. "I've chosen Mount Vernon over and over again and I'm hoping that Mount Vernon would be willing to choose me."

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