CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. – It’s all about leaning in.
“Women need more exposure and to be more empowered,” said Valerie Moldow, a Nanuet real estate agent and Clarkstown’s newest council member, in a recent sit-down interview at Clarkstown Town Hall. Moldow, 55, filled the position vacated by town Supervisor George Hoehmann.
Politics for Moldow, a mother of three, makes sense.
“When I was approached about the vacancy, at first I said “Are you kidding. Me?”
But Moldow,, a native Rocklander, a real estate broker at Keller Williams and long-time volunteer for organizations like Meals On Wheels and Keep Rockland Beautiful realized the right answer was "why not?".
“I run a household, I help my husband with his business, I am a successful business person,” she said. “I realized I can help run this town.”
Moldow holds the seat until November with a salary of $41,000. She is the fourth Republican on the five-member Town Board.
It was her grandmother Frieda who first showed her what a strong matriarch looks like. A woman who lived until the age of 102, the German immigrant was the “cement” that held the Moldow family together. Moldow’s father, a quality control man for Ford Motor Company, worked three jobs to keep the family going. There were four children, and Moldow’s mother, who suffered from depression.
Moldow, who was the second oldest child, felt the burden of raising her younger siblings but she has fond memories of a close-knit family growing up “in the country.” Rockland County seemed especially small-town when she left to attend Boston University. Though she wanted to be an anchor woman, and does indeed have the good girl-next-door looks, she found it difficult to break into television. Time spent in banking, taught her about mortgages. She got her real estate license in 1996.
Moldow made a name for herself in real estate, and until she became a councilwoman, she held the post of treasurer at the Clarkstown Civic Association.
The new council woman is hoping to use her political post to illuminate two issues: the blight of zombie houses and the need to de-stigmatize addiction recovery. The second issue is personal for Moldow, one that has touched her family.
“I want to become a voice for recovery,” she said.
Moldow faces election this November and again in November 2017, when all four of Clarkstown's council seats are up for grabs as part of a new ward system, splitting the town into four districts.
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