Crystal Collins, a Mount Vernon district leader, is running to replace Westchester and Bronx State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson–who is herself reportedly seeking Mount Vernon’s mayoralty.
The Bronx-born Ms. Collins reported witnessing widespread disaffection with the political process in district while campaigning for committeewoman, which she said inspired her to seek higher office.
“People don’t even want to sign a petition and refuse to vote any more,” Ms. Collins told the Observer. “Many of the members of our community have lost their faith, trust, and hope in our system.”
The candidate blamed Ms. Hassell-Thompson for failing to address crime, unemployment and rising housing costs in the low-income sections of the north Bronx and southern Westchester she represents.
“The community really feels like nothing is being done,” Ms. Collins said.
As former Parent-Teacher Association president for Middle School 370 in the Bronx, Ms. Collins said she was particularly concerned with classroom overcrowding and a lack of resources for students in the district.
“There are sometimes 32 children in a class,” the candidate said. “There are no computers for our children. This is the new wave of where our economy is going, and our children are at a true deficit.”
Ms. Collins would appear to be a longshot against the seven-term Ms. Hassell-Thompson, who won re-election in 2012 with almost 98 percent of the vote. But the the Bronx Times reported in April that Ms. Hassell-Thompson had told the paper that she would step down from the state legislature at the end of her seventh term this year to run for mayor of Mount Vernon.
A receptionist who answered the phone at the senator’s office denied that report, but the pol did not respond to requests for comment on Ms. Collin’s announcement.