Gwynn Schroeder

Southold Town Council
Gwynn Schroeder

I love the North Fork, but fear for its future. Southold is facing a wave of unprecedented challenges, and we need to regain control of our town’s destiny. Change is inevitable, but development pressures and big-money investors are shutting out young and working-class people, stressing our natural beauty and diminishing our quality of life - the things that make this place unique.

We must protect our natural resources while providing affordable housing opportunities, but we must do sustainably. We can achieve this goal, but it will take commitment, foresight, and the ability to make tough decisions. We can’t simply build our way out of the affordable housing crisis.

I hope to bring forward thinking and proactive leadership to town government. Rather than reacting to issues, Southold needs a visionary approach to deal with the coming challenges before they become unmanageable.

I have a good grasp on how government works, and how it doesn’t, and believe good public policy can be reached through collaboration, cooperation, and compromise, not politics.

If elected, I would strive to create a better balance between private property rights and the needs of the town. I would work towards the long-neglected enforcement of the Town Code.

I ask you for your vote this November. If elected, I pledge to be a committed advocate in the effort to protect and preserve Southold.

Who I am
I have deep roots in Southold, having spent summers with my grandparents in the Mattituck home where my mother grew up. My grandfather was a local journalist and editor, and master gardener, and both he and my grandmother owned and operated local businesses, including Academy Printing before selling it in the 1970’s. My great-grandfather owned a chicken farm on Westphalia Road. Since I moved to the North Fork at thirteen from Brooklyn, I have called Cutchogue home, and my four children are fifth generation Mattituck-Cutchogue High School graduates.

Family members inspired my appreciation of the environment, and the need to protect it. After a career as a registered nurse, I joined the staff of North Fork Environmental Council (NFEC), eventually becoming the executive director. NFEC serves as a government watchdog, so I attended Town Board, Planning Board, ZBA and Trustee meetings. I worked on land use and water quality issues and was part of the team that helped pass the original Community Preservation Fund and created the Save What’s Left campaign, which included mechanisms for protecting open space and farmland. Later, I served on the NFEC board of directors.

I had served on the board of Friends of the Long Island Sound, which fought against dumping toxic dredge spoil in the LIS, and most recently served as vice president of North Fork Audubon Society. Additionally, I represented NFEC as a steering committee member for the Preserve Plum Island Coalition. I have stepped down from these roles to run for public office.

For the last ten years I have worked as a legislative aide for Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski. Among my other duties, I serve as an advisor to the legislator, evaluate legislation, and help constituents with a wide variety of issues. Working in government continues to be an incredible learning experience and reinforces my belief that good governance is achievable.