Community activist Jessica Brennan one of five running for vacated Niskayuna Town Board seat


A community activist on Sunday announced her candidacy in the November election for a recently vacated Town Board seat.

Jessica Brennan, founder of Nisky NOW, which stands for Nutrition on Weekends, and The Nisky Attic, is one of five candidates to be interviewed Monday by the Niskayuna Democratic Committee for the party’s endorsement.

The other candidates are Nicholas Buonanno, a member of the Schenectady County Young Democrats, and editor of the Troy Record and Saratogian; Feng Chen, a former principal of the Capital Region Chinese School and engineer at GE Global Research; Brendan Kennedy of the New York State Bar Association; and Leslie Gold, a member of the planning board and a longtime activist in the Democratic Party.

Interviews start at 7 p.m., according to committee chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw,

Reached Sunday, Brennan said this is her first foray into politics.

The 45-year-old said she felt compelled to run after noticing increased divisions in town between various income brackets and matters concerning the police, among other topics.

Brennan said she’s skilled at bringing people together to solve problems and build cohesion in town.

Brennan said she has a good feel for the needs of the town, considering her job as a school district social worker, and her father, a senior citizen, lives in town.

“As a Niskayuna community activist, I am in a unique position of having personal connections throughout our town,” Brennan said in her statement, which notes her regular communication with police, firefighters, senior citizens, youth sports programs, the Jewish Community Center and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish.

Brennan has been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

The candidate spoke of “two Niskayunas.”

“While there is great prosperity in our town, there are also those who are barely getting by,” said Brennan, a mother of four who’s married to community volunteer Tim Brennan.

“The pandemic just exacerbated the situation. While many are now considering additions to their homes, others are worrying where their next meal is coming from.”

The candidates are vying to replace Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, who resigned from the Town Board on July 1. The person elected in the November election would fill the remaining two years of her term, or until Dec. 31, 2023, under Public Officers Law.

Categories: Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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