Byrne and Scuccimarra to Host ThinkDIFFERENTLY Community Forum

Dutchess County based initiative focused on fostering inclusive environment for residents with special needs

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) announced today that he and Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra will host Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and local stakeholders for a community forum to discuss Dutchess County’s highly successful “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” initiative to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for individuals with special needs. Offered in partnership with Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, this event promises to provide community members, law enforcement representatives, first responders and members of the local business community a valuable opportunity to discuss ways we can support our family, friends and neighbors with special needs.

This event will take place on Friday, May 25 at the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services Building and will begin at 10:30 a.m. All interested local residents are encouraged to attend and participate in what promises to be an extremely productive community conversation.

Launched by Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro in 2015, the “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” initiative seeks to change the way individuals, businesses, organizations and communities relate to residents of all abilities. Since July 2016, more than 60 communities around New York State have adopted “Think DIFFERENTLY” resolutions, promoting a supportive environment for residents with special needs.

“I’d like to thank County Executive Molinaro for not only taking the time to share this fantastic program with us, but also for his profound commitment to supporting our state’s special needs community,” said Byrne. “I urge any and all members of our community to come out for next month’s forum, and I am truly excited to see the lasting positive impacts adopting the ThinkDIFFERENTLY program’s resolutions will have here in the 94th Assembly district.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell added, “Putnam County is always looking to responsibly enhance the services we provided to our residents, especially for our vulnerable populations. I am looking forward to learning about the ThinkDIFFERENTLY program that has been successful in Dutchess County and consider how we can implement a similar program in Putnam.”

“The ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative speaks to caring, helping, and embracing those with special needs in our community. Since the implementation of the initiative in 2015, it is having a positive impact in communities and people’s lives,” said Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra. “I am honored to be a part of bringing this information into Putnam County, and I’m very thankful that Dutchess County Executive Molinaro is coming to Putnam County to introduce his ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative.”

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “I thank Assemblyman Byrne, County Executive Odell, and Legislator Scuccimarra for embracing the ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ initiative we’ve found so successful in Dutchess County, and I hope communities throughout Putnam County will continue to answer our call to action. Each New Yorker deserves to be treated based upon their own unique abilities and potential, and we in Dutchess County seek to embrace all residents of all abilities. I thank the communities in the Hudson Valley that have chosen to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY,’ and I look forward to seeing the trend continue throughout our state.”

To learn more about next month’s forum and the ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative, visit the program’s website or contact Byrne’s district office at (845) 278-2923.