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New Rochelle swears in Mayor Yadira Ramos-Herbert, first Latina elected mayor of top ten city in New York

Yadira Ramos-Herbert becomes first Latina elected mayor of top 10 city in NYS
Yadira Ramos-Herbert becomes first Latina elected mayor of top 10 city in NYS 02:04

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- For the first time, three of the Westchester County's five cities are led by women of color. 

New Rochelle Mayor Yadira Ramos-Herbert, a Democrat, took the oath of office at noon on New Year's Day. 

"It's the first time I get to formally address an audience as the mayor of New Rochelle," Ramos-Herbert said in her opening address. 

Ramos-Herbert identifies as Afro-Latina. Her grandparents were born in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. She is the first Latina elected mayor of a top ten city in New York State.  

New Rochelle's Hispanic population is growing and adding entrepreneurial energy to the city. 

"And as they grow, they want to be part of the mainstream. Having Yadira as the first Latina mayor makes us all very proud because it shows the diversity," said New Rochelle City Council Member Martha Lopez. "Latinos feel that finally they are part of the city." 

Ramos-Herbert succeeded longtime Mayor Noam Bramson, who urged her to run. 

"It's not just who she is in terms of identity, it's who she is in terms of character and integrity and intelligence and ability," said Bramson. 

Women of color now serve as mayor in New Rochelle, Peekskill and Mount Vernon

"I don't think that when we run, we ran as women nor we ran as people of color. But we ran as citizens in our community who wanted to lead a very diverse community and work and be a part of the transformation of our communities," said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. 

Ramos-Herbert promised an inclusive leadership style sensitive to long-time residents and newcomers of New Rochelle, the fastest growing city in the state. 

"That our constituents, our friends, our neighbors are counting on us to do the small and the big. To fill the potholes and complete the revitalization of our downtown," said Ramos-Herbert. 

It's the start of a new era for politics in New Rochelle and Westchester County. 

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