The 28th Mayor of Mount Vernon NY, Shawyn Patterson-Howard swept into office in 2020 with a mandate to transform the City from the ground up by establishing a more responsive, transparent, and effective government. In the midst of multiple major crises, including the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic and food insecurities, she has remained calm and committed to providing the people of Mount Vernon with the resources and effective leadership needed to navigate their current challenges.
A progressive Mayor with a pragmatic approach to leadership, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard’s first-term goals include strengthening youth services and education, supporting seniors and empowering them to age in place, and bolstering the quality of life for all residents through innovative, equity centered solutions fostered by public, private and community partnerships.
Born in Mount Vernon, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard hails from a family rooted in service to the City. A proud graduate of Mount Vernon High School, she also holds degrees from Howard University School of School Work and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Mayor Patterson-Howard began her esteemed career in public service as a social Worker at AIDS-Related Community Services and Director of the City of Mount Vernon Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA). Mayor Patterson-Howard worked with local, county, and state agencies to develop comprehensive HIV/AIDS services that remain active throughout the state, including shallow rent subsidies, needle exchange programs, and harm reduction models.
Mayor Patterson-Howard continued her hallmark innovative leadership in a storied career that includes roles as Director of Westchester County’s first Drug Treatment Court, Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Family YMCA, and President and Chief Executive Officer for the Yonkers Family YMCA, where she created programs to support the region’s growing community of immigrants and also to address the needs of those reintegrating into the community after extended periods of incarceration.
In 2016, Mayor Patterson-Howard was appointed Commissioner of Planning and Community Development and the Executive Director of the Urban Renewal Agency. Under her leadership, the agency secured funding to launch a Zombie Home elimination initiative, Fourth Avenue Redevelopment Study, New York State Economic Development Council funding for Memorial Field, and an Arts District.
On November 5, 2019, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard made history as the first woman elected mayor in the City of Mount Vernon, and the first Black woman chosen for the office in Westchester County.
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard proudly continues her family’s century-long legacy of service to Mount Vernon with support from her husband of 32 years, Marvin Howard, and daughter Nia.