ITHACA, N.Y. — Legislator Anna Kelles, who represents Fall Creek and Cornell Heights, has announced she will seek re-election this year.
Kelles was first elected to represent District on Tompkins County Legislature in 2015. Kelles said being a legislator has been profound, rewarding and at times, humbling.
“Being your elected official gives me a chance to create an inclusive government with an informed and engaged public, build a community standing at the cutting edge of sustainable infrastructure and economic development initiatives in alternative energy technologies, support awareness building efforts on social and economic inequities, and fight for human rights,” Kelles said in a news release.
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Kelles chairs the Health and Human Services Committee and vice chairs the Jail Study Committee and Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also serves on the Public Safety Committee.
Kelles spent months working on the “Public Safety for All” resolution to make Tompkins County a sanctuary county. The resolution, supported by Sheriff Ken Lansing, states that county departments, officers, personnel and agents “should not engage in certain activities solely for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration law.” This includes stopping, questioning or interrogating someone based on their actual or suspected immigration or citizenship status.
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Kelles also fought against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without an alternative, pushed legislation urging the federal government not to fast track natural gas storage sites, increase FERC oversight and expand methane hydrates (ocean fracking) research and development.
Most recently, Kelles worked on a resolution to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21 in Tompkins County. The new local law is meant curb tobacco use in people of all ages, but especially children.
“As we move forward in these politically and economically uncertain times I will be focusing efforts to maintain safety nets for vulnerable populations, support alternatives to incarceration to reduce our jail population, encourage mixed-use and inclusive mixed-income development to address our housing crisis, and foster innovative endeavors for alternative energy generation,” Kelles said in a news release. “As opportunities and issues arise, I ask you all to help educate and empower me to serve and represent our community. I am devoted to my work and service to Tompkins County.”
Featured image: Anna Kelles chairs the Health and Human Services Committee which brought the T21 legislation forward. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice