2020-2021: Deputy Chair, Public Health & Social Services Committee
Peter Criswell is serving his first term as Ulster County Legislator. His priorities include ensuring that Ulster County has laws, policies, and resolutions that defend human rights, build the economy, and protect the environment. He’s committed to working with colleagues and constituents to develop pathways to quality affordable housing; to provide equitable opportunities for residents to use the county’s educational resources; to support county services and programs; and to encourage economic development in an atmosphere of inclusiveness and transparency. He’s particularly interested in advancing the county’s thriving arts scene, as he understands the power of art to change lives, bring communities together, and serve as a force for economic growth.
Born in Bethlehem, Penn., he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College and a Master of Science degree in Business Leadership and Strategic Management from Manhattanville College. His professional career has focused on the nonprofit sector. He’s worked as Executive Director for five nonprofit groups: Hudson River Heritage, Historic Philadelphia Inc. & Betsy Ross House, the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, the New York City Gay Men's Chorus & Youth Pride Chorus, and, currently, the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, in Cragsmoor, N.Y.
Mr. Criswell is currently serving his second term on the City of Kingston’s Arts Commission. He sits on the Bard College Alumni/ae Association Board of Governors and served as that body’s president for two years. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Key of Q, the Hudson Valley’s LGBTQ and Allied Acapella Singers.
A fun fact is that he portrays old Rip Van Winkle in the annual Sinterklass parade in Kingston. He is looking forward to serving the communities and people of Ulster County and the constituents of District 7 - City of Kingston Wards 6, 7, and 8.