Eleanor’s Legacy Welcomes New Executive Director

By Eleanor's Legacy | September 19, 2023

Albany, New York; (September 19, 2023) – Eleanor’s Legacy, a statewide organization that recruits, trains, and supports pro-choice Democratic women for elected office across New York State, today announced that Julie Shiroishi will be joining the organization as its next Executive Director, effective October 2nd, 2023.

Eleanor’s Legacy Board Chair Donna Zaccaro said, “We are thrilled to welcome Julie to this critical role for the organization. Her political expertise, professional executive experience and knowledge throughout New York State will serve the organization and our record breaking number of endorsed pro-choice Democratic women candidates well. The Board and I look forward to working with Julie and continuing to enhance the organization’s impact throughout NYS.”

Shiroishi began her career in newspaper and book publishing, including as Director of Advertising and Promotions at Viking/Penguin Books. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Shiroishi joined her local Democratic committee and became an active participant. That volunteer work led her to become chief of staff to NYS Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-104), and later Chair of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee. In 2022, Shiroishi ran for the New York State Senate, District 39, in the Hudson Valley, becoming the first AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) woman to run for the state legislature outside of NYC. She currently serves as a Vice Chair of the NYS Democratic Committee. A working mom, Shiroishi is committed to preserving democracy, our environment, and reproductive freedoms for future generations as well as to honor her late father, who was a Japanese American internee during World War II. Originally from California, where she earned a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, Shiroishi has lived in New York since 1997 and currently resides in Beacon.

“As a former Eleanor’s Legacy-endorsed candidate myself, I recognize the pivotal role the organization plays in helping pro-choice Democratic women make their way onto the ballot and into elected office,” said Julie Shiroishi. “Well before the Dobb’s decision transformed the landscape, Eleanor’s Legacy has been at the forefront of electing leaders committed to ensuring women’s rights and bodily autonomy in New York State. I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to work with the organization’s Political Director, Molly Kraus, and the dedicated Eleanor’s Legacy Board, to lead it into the future.”

Shiroishi succeeds Interim Executive Director Joanne Dittes Yepsen, who took a leave from the Board to serve in the top executive spot. With Yepsen’s leadership, the Search/Nominating Committee of the Board conducted the new Executive Director search for the organization.

Joanne Yepsen said, “We conducted an exhaustive search process for this important position and fortunately had numerous well-qualified applicants. Julie rose to the top due to her extensive mix of political, managerial, administrative, and fundraising expertise and experience. With more women than ever looking to run for elected office, I am pleased to hand the reins to Julie as she helps take Eleanor’s Legacy to new heights.”

About Eleanor’s Legacy

Founded by Hon. Judith Hope in 2001, Eleanor’s Legacy recruits, trains, and supports pro-choice Democratic women to run for state and local office throughout New York. The organization provides assistance to endorsed candidates from the petitioning process to developing a campaign strategy and from the recruitment of volunteers and staff to fundraising, professional guidance, and more. This year, the organization endorsed and is currently supporting nearly 300 pro-choice Democratic women running for elected office in 2023 – the largest class of endorsed candidates in its history.

For more information visit https://www.eleanorslegacy.com.