As a town with: one of the largest middle class African-American communities in The United States, (The Parkway Homes - Parkway Gardens Community) the first African American millionaires (Madame C.J Walker) and many famous jazz singers like Cab Calloway and Hazel Scott, Greenburgh is very proud of its racial and ethnic diversity and rightly so! This week, in our continuing celebration of Black History Month, we would like to turn our attention to African-American Town Board Members past& present.
African- Americans Nobly Serving Their Community At the Levers of Power: African-American Town Board Members Past & Present
By Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber
with research assistance from Ryan Stuzin
Greenburgh has had African-Americans on the Town Board ever since 1971, starting with the Honorable George Bland. This service to the town has always been just the beginning of a long exemplary career in public service. Some of these Town Board Members have gone on to be members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, others have gone on to lead the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus others, to school boards, and still others to civic associations. What follows is a chronological presentation of these individuals’ contributions to a better Greenburgh.
Honorable George Bland:
We know that he was elected to the Town Board in 1971 and that he was the first African-American Town Board Member (Esannason, 2017p. 6). But we need more information to do a more complete biography. We are asking any town residents who knew George Bland to please provide us with as much information as possible.
Honorable Lois Bronz:
Lois was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended St Mary's Academy and received her bachelors' degree at Xavier University New Orleans, and a Master’s degree in Education from Wayne State University. After graduation, she became a math teacher; teaching at every level K-12 at some point in her long career as an educator. She was married to Charles Bronz and they had three children: Edgar Louis Jr, Francine, and Shelly. Lois also had four grandchildren: Dorian, Nora Eloise, Edgar Louis III, and Gyasi.
Lois’ father was deeply interested in politics. This interest inspired in her a passion for citizen participation in government. In 1976, she was elected to The Town of Greenburgh Town Board. She served in this position until 1993, when she left to become a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. She was later elected Chair of the Board in 2002. She served on the board until 2009. Her greatest accomplishment in her 16-year political career was getting the landmark legislation passed that created the Westchester County Human Rights Commission.
She passed away on February 12, 2018 (https://obits.lohud.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?n=lois-bronz&pid=188189057&fhid=21962).