MEET THE CANDIDATE: Asha Castleberry-Hernandez
Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, one of eight Democratic candidates running for New York’s 17th Congressional District, has received a series of high-level endorsements from the veteran community. Her campaign recently announced that Asha Castleberry-Hernandez was endorsed by the U.S. Army Major General, Dana J. H. Pittard (Retired), the first commander of Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq (JFLCC-I) against ISIS and also the former White House Military Aide to President William J. Clinton. Asha advised Mr. Pittard on military operations at U.S. Army Central in the Middle East region. Earlier this week, Asha Castleberry-Hernandez also received an endorsement of her congressional candidacy from Thomas Butler, the Deputy Mayor of Tarrytown who serves on the Board of Trustees. Tom Butler, a resident of Tarrytown over the past 26 years, raised three children in the village and through Tarrytown’s public-school system. Butler attended Pratt Institute and shortly thereafter launched his own architectural design firm. He left the firm after being called to service in Operation Desert Storm/Operation Desert Shield. He retired as a Colonel from the Army Engineers, U.S. Army Reserves. Currently, Butler serves as a Project Manager for the Tishman Construction Corporation in New York and is completing his sixth year as a Tarrytown trustee. Since first announcing her candidacy late last year, the veteran community has been increasingly supportive and enthusiastic about Castleberry-Hernandez’s run for U.S. Congress in District 17. Aside from formal endorsements, she has also been an active recipient of contributions from the veteran community. Most recently, Asha, a U.S. Army Major in the Reserves herself, received a generous donation from a national veterans’ political action committee, VoteVeterans. If elected, Asha Castleberry-Hernandez could be the first African American female veteran to serve in the United States Congress to date. Asha Castleberry-Hernandez is proud of these endorsements, particularly during a tumultuous time as the country and her native state of New York continue to face a national security crisis. This district is in dire need of a representative that has the leadership skills and experiences and is able and ready to navigate through a national security crisis. In addition, a candidate who has the ability to work closely with the Veterans Affairs especially in the midst of a nationwide crisis is essential during this time. Asha is passionate about expanding mental health services at Montrose and is eager to work with the VA Clinics in the district to ensure that comprehensive healthcare services are available to those in need during these challenging times. Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, 36, was raised in Tarrytown, New York. Three generations of Asha’s family were active union members working for General Motors. Her grandmother worked at Phelps Memorial Hospital for 48 years, and her mother devoted 36 years of active work at IBM. After high school, Asha attended and graduated from Hampton University and obtained her master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Asha enjoys studying foreign languages and is proficient in Arabic, as well as fluent in Spanish. Throughout her childhood, Asha was deeply inspired by her grandfather, a WWII veteran, and decided to join the U.S. Army following the events that transpired on 9/11. In 2012, she served on a 30-month deployment in the Middle East as part of the Anti-ISIS Military program. In the aftermath of her deployment and under the Barack Obama Administration, Asha served as the Special Advisor at the State Department supporting Ambassador Susan Rice’s foreign policy platform. She continues to serve our nation and is now a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Her last unit proudly provided Security Operations at Indian Point, Buchanan, NY. A National Security Expert and a devoted combat veteran, Asha has also spent the last few years in academia as a Professor at Fordham University, Baruch College and George Washington University, yet considers her proudest achievement her beautiful three-year-old daughter, Aaliyah. In 2016, Asha served as an Advisor for Hillary for America’s Middle East Foreign Policy Team, as well as the Veteran and Military Families Team. In 2010, she served as the Veterans Coordinator for the Gillibrand for Senate Campaign. As a National Security Expert, Asha Castleberry-Hernandez continues to appear in the mass media as a commentator and guest respected for her expertise, including on CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business Network, CBS News. Featured in Huffington Post, Forbes.com, and the Washington Post. Asha understands that National Security expands to and encompasses urgent local issues that plague the working class in our community. As part of the working class, Asha first protested for a teacher’s pay increase as a member of SEIU Local 200. She will continue to fight tirelessly for the $15 federal minimum wage, reinstating the SALT deduction, protecting Medicare and social security for our seniors. In addition, she is devoted to securing women’s reproductive healthcare, enhancing childcare programs, improving the Green New Deal, fixing affordable housing, supporting responsible immigration reform, eradicating student loan debt, supporting veteran rights, and abolishing gun violence. Asha is determined to put an end to the revolving door of corruption in Washington, D.C. A resident of Elmsford where she lives with her husband, Vladimir, and their daughter, Aaliyah, Asha is undeniably ready to serve as the next Congressional Representative of New York’s District 17 and provide the leadership that our community needs now more than ever.