U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey is undeniably committed to improving the Hudson Valley region. Raised in Manhattan and Saugerties, N.Y., Hinchey earned a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in education from New Paltz.
"New Paltz gave me the opportunity to make choices that I was unable to make before I was a student here," said Hinchey. "It gave me a good, solid liberal arts education."
Since 1993, Hinchey has represented New York's 22nd Congressional District, ranging from Dutchess and Ulster Counties through the Catskills, across the Southern Tier and up to the Finger Lakes. In addition, he is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Hinchey has consistently been a strong voice for environmental issues. He began focusing on environmental protection in 1974, when he was elected to the New York State Assembly. He oversaw the investigation into Love Canal, one of the nation's first major toxic dump sites and wrote the first acid rain laws in the United States. Hinchey has also been a lead force in establishing the Hudson River Valley Greenway, a state-sponsored program dedicated to encouraging and coordinating voluntary planning alliances, and the designation of the Hudson Valley as a National Heritage area.
Little-known fact: Hinchey supported himself during his time at New Paltz by working as a night-shift toll collector on the New York State Thruway.