Andrea Zeydelis: Denville Mayor Candidate- Democrat

Andrea Zeydelis: Denville Mayor Candidate- Democrat

 

  1. What is your educational and volunteer background?

 

Bachelors in Psychology, St. John’s University 

Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Public and Non-Profit Performance Measurement, Rutgers State University of New Jersey

 

Volunteer experience Seton Foundation, Children and Families with Developmental Disabilities, Amnesty International,  Jersey Cares Project Coordinator, previous volunteer with Dress for Success. Project Playground volunteer and proud Denville Sunrise Rotary member. Chair of Denville Democratic Committee, Morris County Chamber of Commerce member and Morris County Democratic Committee and Women’s caucus member. 

 

  1. Why did you choose to run for mayor/council?

 

Part of who I am is looking critically at a situation and evaluating performance, so much so that I  pursued a Masters in it. When I moved to Denville I began to look at my new hometown. What I saw was a wonderful foundation, a strong community and a changing demographic that wants to move forward. I feel that with a few small changes Denville could be even better than what it is today. We need to evaluate the trends and address them head on. 

 

  1. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Denville today?

 

I think Denville needs to be forward facing and be strategic in its planning. With four new developments approved by the current administration, we need to develop Denville for a successful future. That includes building sustainable infrastructure, planning for an increase in population, particularly families with school-age children, and remaining nimble to address changes as they come.  Whether we have lived here for years or are just moving in we want to keep our small town values alive. With that said, there is room for efficiency and modernization. Small changes that will make a big difference in how our town is run. Furthermore, I think Denville residents deserve accountability from local officials, transparency in how decisions are made and communication to the public. We have amazing residents but I want to make sure that everyone feels heard and issues are related in a timely manner so that problems can be addressed.

 

  1. Why did you decide to run now?

 

Now seemed like a good a time as any!  As a parent, as an observer of trends I exhibit a sense of urgency that has propelled me into this position.  There is no time like the present to get involved in my local community to keep our town so wonderful. 

 

  1. What specific skills will you bring to the table if elected/re-elected?

I am a grant writer by trade. I am aware and honed into where we can be looking for in terms of grants and assistance for what the town needs. I am also knowledgeable regarding social service resources. I make it my business to know where you can get help. I have always been a problem solver and I want to bring that to Town hall. I am invested in this town and I understand the plight of many residents in town who feel the tightening belt. This campaign is about everyone and I am excited to utilize my experience and expertise to help guide Denville forward. 

 

  1. What new programs or initiatives would you like to start if elected/re-elected?

I have spoken to many residents and have heard their concerns. I am very concerned about our lakes, rivers and streams. I want to provide education regarding keeping our water clean and our sewers clear. I am also interested in revitalizing the Denville Chamber of Commerce into an Office for Economic Development. By providing residents and businesses the support they need to succeed we are helping the entire town prosper. I would love to see more art and culture right here in Denville. I have met so many talented artists and performers who just need an avenue to display their talent. There are so many ways that we can come together as a community, physically and in a communal sense and I want to be that conductor of progress. 

 

  1. What are you passionate about?

 

Not many people will say they are passionate about efficiency, accountability and transparency in government, but I am! I believe in civility and the power of the people. I also believe in civic education and keeping people of every generation engaged. As Grant coordinator at the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey I am lucky in that I can create programs and proposals to address gaps in services for our seniors and individuals with disabilities but I would like to bring that experience to my hometown. I am passionate about solving problems and thinking outside the box to create solutions. 

 

  1. What is the best thing about Denville?

 

The residents are the best thing about Denville. Every time I meet another neighbor their story and experience inspires me. So many small business owners pursuing their dreams, so many passionate parents hustling and striving to provide their kids with the very best, so many seniors with years of history and experience to teach the rest of us and  our avid volunteers and organizers who are passionate about making Denville beautiful and succeeding daily. I am inspired by the people of this town. 

 

  1. What are your hobbies/interests?

 

I consider myself the creative type. I can craft with the best of them. For the past few years I have volunteered with the Lakeview talent show, I write the script and work with the 5th graders who emcee the show. Being involved seeing those brave, talented kids is my favorite event that I have been involved in here in Denville. I’m currently taking on a new challenge – coaching my son’s soccer team. I enjoy writing, traveling, and spending time with my family. 

 

  1. What is your professional background?

 

I have worked for a variety of Nonprofit and  government agencies throughout my career. I began my professional career at the Department of Justice as an intern for the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA), it was an education in policy and how it affects relationships within the community. It also helped me form my perspective on criminal justice and society. From there I worked for Seamen’s Society for Children and Families working with families experiencing substance abuse, child neglect and the foster care system in NYC. In 2008, I pursued a position in research with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) within the Institute for Basic Research were I worked on a Health Initiative curriculum developed for adults with developmental disabilities. In 2011, I began my work with the VIsiting Nurse Association of Staten Island. I worked as a Program Manager for the Traumatic Brain Injury/Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver program in NYC overseeing  a city wide initiative with the New York State Department of Health. While working in NYC I pursued my Masters in Public Administration and was blessed with my two children. Currently, I wear multiple hats. I am Grant Coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey and the CEO of my own online platform, Better Together. As a grant coordinator I work with federal, state and county and private corporations requesting, appropriating and accounting for funds. I am also responsible for creating programs to address gaps in services, an aspect of my position that I thoroughly enjoy. I created Better Together after seeing the call from the community requesting information on where they could donate used or new goods. Better Together is geared towards nonprofits, charities and townships as an online calendar of events that the public can access. I believe that when you give the public the information they will show up for the events to support their local communities. It was inspired by this community and I hope to launch it nationwide. 

 

I feel that my experience and expertise working with various organizations throughout my career makes me an excellent candidate for Mayor. I am thrilled to bring my knowledge to Denville and serve the residents of this amazing town. 

 

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