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The Rotary Club of White Plains is Club 5043, District 7230, Zone 32, Region USCB, Federal tax ID 13-6111471.

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1712, White Plains NY 10602.

Our "Foundation of the Rotary Club of White Plains" is tax exempt, New York State #219346, tax ID 13-6165380.

Website created August 2001.

The Rotary Club of White Plains was chartered October 1, 1919, charter number 540.
 

Meet Glen Hockley

By: White Plains Times
Published: July 21, 2006

By Michael Pellegrin

Councilman Glen Hockley fancies himself a “Truman/Lieberman Democrat.” A little grandiose, or tongue-in-cheek, perhaps, for a local politician? Not at all, Hockley says. He tries to find role models “that do not cave into political leverage” and that “keep the priority on the people,” and these two Democrats, past and present, fit that bill, he said in a recent interview. “When one is elected, one does not represent those of their particular party, but everyone,” he said. “I do believe in my party’s ‘planks of the platform,’ ” he said, “but only in positive action, not the rhetoric that only tears down.”

Hockley, 53, was born in the Bronx to Frank and Ruth Hockley. Frank Hockley, a German Jewish refugee, arrived in the United States in 1936 and served during World War II, including fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Ruth Hockley was a Holocaust survivor who “finally found freedom on our shores in 1945,” Hockley said. Ruth Hockley still pays tribute to a German Christian family, the Tietjens, who hid her and her parents in a barn for two years. A well-known retired fashion designer, she spends time volunteering to help Russian immigrants become acclimated to the U.S., and she is active with the American Friends of The Open University of Israel.

Hockley said the death of his father when Hockley was 19 years old was one of the saddest days of his life. Hockley regrets that his father missed his college graduation, his marriage, and the birth of his son, Max, now 17. Hockley graduated from Husson College in Bangor, Me., with a bachelor of science degree in marketing. After graduation, Hockley worked in domestic clothing manufacturing for over 20 years, much of it as vice president and partner in Miss Fashionality.

After “changes in our economy and industry” led Hockley to decide on a career change, he moved to White Plains in 1987 “and found a city that had it all.” Hockley said he found White Plains to be “a wholesome place to bring up a family that was diverse in many ways and that had culture, class, and most importantly a place I could call home.” Hockley continued to plant roots in the city, founding the “Hunger No More” program, which did food collections to assist and support The Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless. Hockley said that the program will be starting up again thanks to fellow Councilman Arnold Bernstein and to Frank Williams, chairman and executive director, respectively, of the White Plains Youth Bureau. Hockley is currently marketing director for a collection agency in White Plains, a position he has held for 11 years.

Hockley has been married to Melody Hockley for five years. She is an elementary school teacher, also specializing in English as a Second Language instruction and “Literacy Through Music.” Melody Hockley also volunteers at the Lighthouse, helping people with sight afflictions, and helps with fundraising for breast cancer research and for the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

After devoting time to Hunger No More and other endeavors, Hockley decided to enter the realm of local politics and became a Democratic district leader in 1995. “I thought getting involved in this fashion would give me a greater opportunity to do more in assisting others,” he said. The first issue he became involved in was when the Arcade was potentially coming to the Galleria Mall. “Thanks to a broad coalition of caring people,” Hockley said, “we were able to turn the Common Council’s vote around and stop it from being approved.”

In 2001, Hockley began serving on the Common Council after apparently unseating Republican incumbent Larry Delgado by 47 votes. A jammed voting machine was discovered at George Washington School, however, and after a protracted legal fight that went all the way to the New York State Court of Appeals—where Hockley’s right to the seat was unanimously upheld—he was removed from office on a quo warranto action by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. In his two and a half years on the Common Council, though, Hockley said he was able to “accomplish a great many things. I was able to start many wonderful new initiatives, but none could have taken place without communicating often and constructively with residents, achieving bipartisanship and a consensus with my colleagues on the Common Council.” Hockley and Delgado are now friends, Hockley said, likening the two to “two gladiators” whose battle is now over.

Before being removed from office, Hockley sponsored the “grant writer bill,” which was passed unanimously and has brought over $5 million to city coffers, Hockley said. “This was a creative idea to lessen the burden of our city taxpayers,” he added. Hockley also sponsored what he called “the apprenticeship bill,” which gives “another option in education and career for our young people to learn the skills of a trade.” Hockley is also proud of his role as founder or co-founder of several city celebrations and services, including the Juneteenth Parade and Festival, which had its second successful installment in June; the city’s Flag Day celebration; the “Bark Park” on Brockway Place; and the Safe Housing Task Force. He is also proud of “Citizens to be Heard,” which he said he initiated jointly with the late Councilman Robert Greer, and which allows citizens to address the Common Council and mayor before each monthly Common Council meeting.

Hockley won his current seat on the Common Council in 2005, and said he is currently pushing several initiatives, some of which he brought up during his campaign. These initiatives, which he said he will continue to promote “until they become reality,” include increasing low- and middle-income housing, coming up with creative means to offset the city tax burden, strengthening and expanding relations between the Common Council and the Board of Education, pushing for green technology, and establishing a hiring hall for day laborers.

Hockley said that “networking is the key to life, and I’m quite excellent at it.” Hockley has breakfast with a different citizen or acquaintance each day, and prides himself on getting things done for people, whether it’s referring them to some further help or helping them find employment. While Hockley is pleased with all the new businesses in White Plains and the “reason to come downtown” they provide to residents (“movie theaters, Broadway entertainment, great restaurants”), he thinks the city should do more to attract new businesses and new types of businesses, in part to provide new job opportunities for residents, and especially for residents in Section 8 and other low-income housing. He thinks the city could use a party center for children’s birthday parties and other events—preferably one that doesn’t “lean to boys so much” like other businesses he’s encountered—and while there are great restaurants in the city, Hockley pointed out that the city still needs a good soul food establishment and a glatt kosher restaurant that could cater to the city’s Orthodox Jewish population, although Hockley said the city does boast a good “Orthodox-style” restaurant.

Hockley said the city and its residents have much to gain from the new development downtown. “An agreement is only good if it’s good for all parties,” Hockley said, and this applies to zoning amendments granted after projects are approved. Speaking specifically of the Residences at the Ritz Carlton, the two-tower project currently under construction on Main Street, for which developer Louis Cappelli was recently granted zoning amendments by the Common Council—with Hockley joining the majority in granting the amendments—he said that “since all the additional square footage was internal, it allows the business entity to offer more for the city. It enables the city to have another large taxpaying entity on its tax rolls, a great hotel of international acclaim, a long-awaited restaurant on top of Westchester, and a public state-of-the-art spa. What more could one ask to keep our city exciting and alive?”

“Most people, I feel, are for a progressive downtown, but there exists a pocket of folks that wish to keep White Plains the way it was 20 years ago.” Hockley said he believes in Truman’s “simple concept that after all the information and ideas are in, ‘The Buck Stops Here.’ The Council makes the decision. I believe most residents enjoy the benefits of progress and what has happened to their property values. Herb Brooks (the former U.S. Olympic hockey coach) said ‘great moments come from great opportunity.’ Let’s not miss the opportunity.”

 


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