Stronger New Castle


Campaign Announcements and Community Updates

The Inside Press: Stronger New Castle: Browde, Markels, & Pool

For a Town You Love to Call Home

Your vote for Stronger New Castle will bring experienced, detail-oriented managers to Town Hall, positioning our town for a resurgence and improved quality-of-life.

We are running for Town Board because we love New Castle and know we can improve our future! We want to live in a community that is resilient in the face of change, welcoming of newcomers and diverse opinions, culturally exciting and safe for our citizens–young and old. After the 2016 elections, sitting back was not an option for us. Collectively, we feel a strong sense of responsibility to step up and do our part to ensure open, honest and transparent governance in our hometown. We bring the skills that are needed and the passion this town deserves. We are Stronger New Castle…for a town you love to call home!

Kristen Browde is a Family Law attorney working in Chappaqua, a trustee of a $2.4 billion dollar pension fund and a director of two Bar Associations. She served on the Town Board of Ethics and helped draft the revised Town Code of Ethics. Kristen sits on the Chappaqua School Board’s Financial Advisory Committee and the Town Diversity Committee. She has two children, including an eighth grader at Seven Bridges.

Gail Markels began her legal career as an Assistant DA. She has served as General Counsel and managed nationwide state and local government affairs programs for several industry trade associations, representing video games and motion pictures. She currently works as a consultant providing government affairs and legal services to trade associations and businesses. She is a co-chair of the Chappaqua Garden Club. Her two children graduated from Horace Greeley High School.

Ivy Pool is a public sector consultant whose clients include Bloomberg Associates and the Obama Foundation. Ivy has managed multi-million dollar projects for the State and City of New York. She earned a Master’s in Public Administration and is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Ivy is Vice President and Treasurer of the Greeley Hills Neighborhood Association and a Girl Scout Troop Leader. She has two children at Grafflin, where she is active in the PTA.

This is a critical election for New Castle. There are shovels in the ground all over town and there is a new and ambiguous Comprehensive Plan. You have a clear choice: the incumbents favor large-scale development in residential areas. We’ll put your interests over those of developers.

We have the ability and the temperament necessary to work together to bring about the improvements and reforms New Castle desperately needs, and to work cooperatively with the two Town Board members you elected in 2015, Jeremy Saland and Hala Makowska.

Stronger New Castle is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party, the Women’s Equality Party, and Up2Us, the former Chappaqua Friends of Hillary.

Our Platform

The following platform is a practical and financially-sound vision for a town you love to call home:

1. Stronger New Castle Will Bring New Energy, Enthusiasm and Solutions to Our Hamlets

  • Revitalize Downtown Chappaqua.
  • Rezone downtown to allow for expanded and creative uses of existing spaces.
  • Solve structural challenges like traffic and parking.
  • Build a Stronger Millwood.
  • Address top concerns, such as the DOT facility, the restoration of the train station, and the bike lane on Route 100.
  • Install sewers and finish sidewalks.

2. Stronger New Castle Will Enhance Safety and Improve Infrastructure

  • Establish a Truck Safety Unit within the New Castle Police Department.
  • Conduct a full review of speed limits; invest in traffic calming measures.
  • Build sidewalks on Route 117 from downtown to Horace Greeley High School and Chappaqua Crossing.
  • Fix failing sewers in Random Farms, Riverwoods, and Yeshiva.

3. Stronger New Castle Will Protect Your Investment and Keep Taxes in Check

  • Minimize town taxes and maximize efficiency.
  • Actively pursue Federal, State, and Regional grant funding opportunities–no more missed deadlines.
  • Employ project management best practices: eliminate “no bid” contracts and multi-million dollar cost overruns.

4. Stronger New Castle Will Put Residents and our Environment First

  • Ensure a full review of environmental impacts as a precondition to any development outside of existing zoning regulations.
  • Work closely with neighboring towns on projects that impact our shared resources.

5. Stronger New Castle Commits to Open and Transparent Governance

  • Bring respect and civility to Town Hall and our meetings.
  • Honor and encourage the active participation in local government by all citizens.
  • Provide adequate notice of all town meetings, and full transparency on all board votes.
  • Improve access to information by streamlining the town website and indexing Town Board videos by topic.
  • Provide clarity on the priority, sequencing, and measurement of the actions identified in the recently adopted comprehensive plan.
Joseph Sgammato
Stronger New Castle slate brings message to voters

Stronger New Castle slate brings message to voters

CHAPPAQUA-MOUNT KISCO, NY - From Stronger New Castle: This morning, residents of New Castle came together for an exciting kick off to the Democratic nominees’ canvassing operation. Many enthused residents gathered at the Chappaqua Metro-North station in support of the change they want to see come to their town.

“It is exciting to see so many motivated neighbors eager to grab a clipboard and bring our message to the people,” said Kristen Browde, Democratic candidate for Town Supervisor. “Our slate will bring new energy, enthusiasm, and solutions to our community and today was a positive step in that direction.”

All morning long, volunteers streamed into the parking lot full of enthusiasm both on their way out to knock on doors and on the way back from meeting with voters.

“Today was successful because of the hard work our volunteers were willing to put in, which is driven by the grassroots support our campaign is built upon. I feel a strong responsibility to step up and improve our town government because of what I hear from residents who feel it is time for a change – and today served to strengthen that feeling,” said Ivy Pool, Democratic candidate for Town Board.

“The support we have received from our community has been inspiring. It was great to hear so many stories of the positive feedback our volunteers were getting from New Castle residents they spoke with,” added Gail Markels, Democratic candidate for Town Board. “With the turbulence on our national political scene, New Castle residents want strong Democratic leadership at home. We are humbled by the opportunity to serve and are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Joseph Sgammato
Strong Media Coverage for the Stronger New Castle Team

Last week's Press Conference announcing the Stronger New Castle team's slate attracted representatives from many area news outlets.

Here are some highlights of the media coverage received so far: 

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Cynthia Schamespress, media
New Castle Democrats Choose Slate to Build A Stronger New Castle

APRIL 5, 2017:

After conducting a multi-month search for the best possible candidates, the New Castle Democratic Committee has voted unanimously to endorse three first-time candidates to return the town to a Democratic majority, and move forward with their vision for a Stronger New Castle. 

FOR RELEASE: 11 A.M., Wednesday, April 5, 2017


New Castle Democratic Committee Announces 2017 Town Board Candidates

The New Castle Democratic Committee is proud to announce a slate of three candidates to run for Town Board in November of this year: Kristen Browde, Ivy Pool and Gail Markels. The candidates will be introduced on the steps of Town Hall in Chappaqua at 11:00 on Wednesday, April 5th and at the annual NCDC dinner that evening.

Candidate for Town Supervisor: Kristen Browde

Ms. Browde is an attorney and well-known former journalist. She served as Secretary of the Town of New Castle Board of Ethics from inception, resigning last month when she agreed to run for office. Ms. Browde continues to serve on both the Chappaqua Central School District’s Financial Advisory Committee and the Town’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

An attorney in private practice, Ms. Browde started her professional career as an Emmy-winning reporter and television news anchor, leaving CBS News in 2013 after 17 years at the network. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Pension Fund, serving on its Investment Committee, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York. She is a founding member of the Transgender Bar Association.

Ms. Browde has lived in New Castle since 2004 and is the proud parent of two sons, one attending Seven Bridges Middle School and the other studying abroad. Ms. Browde is a graduate of Cornell University and Fordham Law.

“My vision for New Castle is one of renewal, of transparent, honest government and responsible management of residents’ tax dollars,” says Ms. Browde. “I’m also fully committed to the idea of rebuilding the Democratic Party from the local level up to White Plains and Washington DC.”

Candidate for Town Board: Ivy Pool

Ivy Pool is a business owner and management consultant, currently advising non-profits and government agencies on improving outcomes for underserved populations. Ms. Pool is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Previously, Ms. Pool served as the Program Director for the New York State Integrated Eligibility System, a program established by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to modernize and streamline access to health and human service programs. Ivy also served during all three terms of NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration.

Ms. Pool has lived in New Castle since 2010. She and her husband have two children who attend Douglas Grafflin Elementary School.  Ms. Pool is a graduate of Columbia University and has a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU.

“As a lifelong public servant, I understand how to successfully design and lead large-scale, public-sector projects,” Ms. Pool says. “I never expected to run for political office but, like a lot of women, I feel personally motivated by recent political events. I feel a strong responsibility to step up and do my part to improve the services in our hometown, and to drive open, inclusive, and transparent governance in New Castle.”

Candidate for Town Board: Gail Markels

Gail Markels is the President of Markels Strategies, a company that provides legal, trade association management and government affairs services to industry trade associations and businesses. Ms. Markels was General Counsel and Senior Vice President for the Entertainment Software Association, where she was a founding employee, as well as Vice President and Counsel to the Motion Picture Association of America. Ms. Markels has extensive experience in state and local government affairs and is a subject matter expert in developing certification systems for industry self-regulation. Ms. Markels began her career as a prosecutor in the Office of the District Attorney of Kings County. Ms. Markels is a graduate of Cornell University and Cardozo Law School.

Ms. Markels and her husband, Richard Young, have lived in New Castle for over 25 years and raised two children who graduated from the Chappaqua schools. Ms. Markels is co-chair of the Civic Improvement Committee of the Chappaqua Garden Club.

“I have extensive experience working with elected officials from all levels of government to arrive at solutions that address problems in a productive way. I am running for office because I want New Castle to be the kind of community that our children move back to to raise their own families,” Ms. Markel said. “This means working to ensure that New Castle continues to have great schools, an open and transparent town government, an inclusive community and a vibrant downtown. The November elections were a wakeup call for me to step up and get involved in local government because it affects our lives every day.”

“Not only is each candidate extremely well qualified, but the collective skills of this team will keep New Castle strong,” said Karen La Porta, co-chair of the New Castle Democratic Committee. “We are very proud of this slate.”

All three candidates are members of Up2Us, the group formed from the Chappaqua Friends of Hillary. Ms. Browde worked for the Clinton campaign primarily in North Carolina, where Democrats unseated the Republican Governor and attorney general. Ms. Markels worked in Pennsylvania and Ms. Pool was a supporter in New York.

Members of the town board are elected to serve four-year terms. The Town Supervisor is elected to serve a two-year term. When elected, the slate will join Democrats Hala Makowska and Jeremy Saland on the Town Board.

The New Castle Democratic Committee also endorses the re-election campaign of Town Judge Noah Sorkin.

The Town of New Castle encompasses the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood, as well as some homes served by Mt. Kisco, Ossining and Bedford postal addresses.

For more information, or to donate to the Democratic Party ticket, please visit

Candidates for New Castle NY Town Supervisor and Town Board