Friday, September 2, 2022

40 Under 40 in Columbia County

On August 5, at the request of Mayor Kamal Johnson, Gossips announced his "40 Under 40" recognition initiative in Columbia County. There were reportedly 190 nominees. Yesterday, the winners were announced in the Register-Star: "Mayor's office unveils 40 under 40 finalists." According to the article, the forty finalist were chosen by "a committee of sponsors for the event."

Heading the list is Joan Hunt, director of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood. Three more members of the Promise Neighborhood team also are on the list: Adolfo Lopez, Linda McGriff, and Manny Folds. (Johnson is a former employee of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood and currently serves on its board.) Mayor's aide Michael Hofmann is on the list, as is Michelle Tullo, who was hired last summer to be Hudson's Housing Justice Manager. Also on the list is Claire Cousin, executive director of Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition; Bryan MacCormack, cofounder of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement; Calvin Lewis and Lucy Segar, both members of the Hudson City School District Board of Education (bizarrely HCSD is identified in the article as the Hudson Central School District); Shaheim Dejesus, founder of Unity Now Internet Service who managed the Zoom meetings for the City of Hudson during the pandemic; Gunnar Wordon, legislative assistant to Didi Barrett; Caitlin Hilverman, current president of the Hudson Area Library Board of Trustees; and Ashley Allsop, controller for A. Colarusso & Sons. The entire list of forty can be found here.

The forty finalists will be celebrated at an event hosted by Johnson to take place on October 28 at Helsinki Hudson.

Update: These are the sponsors of the "40 Under 40" event.


  1. Aren't these types of lists usually done by media organizations as a vehicle to drive ad revenue? I don't understand how this is city government business. They actually put this out on a press release on city letterhead. I really hope there are candidates the next city election cycle that will run on charter reform. We need an experienced municipal executive that will actually focus on, you know, running the city. That way, the mayor can just be one of the council members that is selected to do the ceremonial duties. Almost every advancement in Hudson in the past several years has been due to private efforts and investment. All that we get from City Hall is political theater, endless consultant studies (that get quickly forgotten), and platitudes about equity. All the while, the various city department heads operate unsupervised. That's why there's almost no code enforcement, why the sidewalks are a joke, and why we see little ROI on our taxes. It's a free for all.

    If I wanted to throw a party for all my friends and coworkers, I'd just host a cookout in the backyard.

    In the end, this is not a big deal. However, it's just one more example why we need to separate the politics from the civil management of the city. Nothing against the mayor, he's very likable and I believe he cares about the people here. But until we fix the structural issues with our local government, every mayor will be distracted with the political sideshow.

  2. It's true we need to acknowledge the good work being done by those in our community. This initiative is for ALL of Columbia County, not just Hudson, so why is the Mayor's Office doing this? The Register Star created the Best of Awards with the Chamber as a way to sell ads, perhaps a lot of work with little profit. The need to politicalize this undermines the intent. And since the Mayor's Office is running this, is it public knowledge how much in sponsorship money each organization is giving ? How do you reimagine a relationship between cities and corporations and neighborhoods?