MOUNT VERNON, NY — Shawyn Patterson-Howard made history as the first woman elected as Mount Vernon’s Mayor.
The day after her groundbreaking win, Patterson-Howard told PIX11, “it was a surreal experience.”
Patterson-Howard started her career as a social worker and eventually ran the YMCA in Yonkers. The mother and grandmother told PIX11 she never imagined running for office.
“But like many citizens I became frustrated,” she said. “I think we saw women around the county rise up, just regular women.”
Motivated by a desire to see greater accountability inside City Hall, Patterson-Howard says her campaign was focused on the issues and not her opponents.
“I just chose not to involve myself in the devolution of politics and the name calling and the baiting of other candidates," she said.
Patterson-Howard’s family has deep ties in Mount Vernon.
“My grandfather was the first person of color to be hired here in city hall back in 1937," she said.