After 15 years as a marketing-and-communications professional, Catherine Borgia had an “aha!” moment. “I was trying to get a client on a cable-TV show and found myself feeling ridiculous begging the show’s booker,” says Borgia. “I realized that my volunteer advocacy work was much more important to me.”
She left the corporate world for the public sector, first working as chief of staff to NYS Assemblywoman Sandy Galef while serving on the Ossining Village Board. Eventually, she became town supervisor of Ossining, a role in which she facilitated a first-of-its-kind agreement to consolidate the town and village court systems, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in the process, she says. Now, she’s running for her fourth term on the County Board of Legislators, where she ranks as majority leader in addition to serving as the co-chair of the Rules Committee and Families Task Force.
“In public service, you’re always trying to balance competing and often contradictory priorities,” Borgia says. But she’s been able to continually find common ground, having introduced and helped pass various legislative initiatives, from paid sick leave to eliminating the wage gap. Borgia even gained bipartisan support to help pass the Immigrant Protection Act (which was later vetoed).
When asked to what she feels she owes her success, her reply is equally direct and succinct: “Stubbornness… or ‘perseverance,’ if you want to say it in a more palatable way,” she says with a laugh.