ITHACA, N.Y. — Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, who has served on Tompkins County Legislature for more than a decade, has announced she will seek re-election.
McBean-Clairborne is in her fourth term on Tompkins County Legislature and was first elected in 2001. She represents District 1.
In a letter to 1st district voters Tuesday, she said she has and always will be passionate about working for the human, civil and personal rights for all people, especially those who are less fortunate and marginalized.
“The struggle for quality, affordable housing in the economic center of the county; enhanced alternatives-to-incarceration programs; living wage; and building a safe, inclusive, vibrant community for all are all issues I’ve worked on and will continue to work on with my colleagues in County Government,” McBean-Clairborne said in the letter.
McBean-Clairborne has brought and supported legislation related to the Safe Act, Keeping Families Together Act, against the death penalty, reducing solitary confinement and making Tompkins County a living wage employer, according to her biography on the Tompkins County Legislature website.
Throughout her tenure, McBean-Clairborne has served on every standing committee of Legislature and established the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Read her full letter to District 1 voters:
Dear Friends & 1st District Voters,
Today I am declaring my intention to seek re-election to the Tompkins County Legislature as the 1st District Representative. I believe that I have made a profound difference in representing the needs of most county residents over the years.
I have and will always be passionate about working continuously for the human, civil and personal rights of all people, especially those less fortunate and marginalized. Those values are what led me to run for the Tompkins County Legislature in 2001. During my tenure I have served on every standing committee of the Legislature and several special committees. I established and currently chair the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee, leading the County’s diversity and inclusion initiative. Additionally, I served as Vice Chair of the Legislature from 2006 to 2009. The struggle for quality, affordable housing in the economic center of the county; enhanced alternatives-to-incarceration programs; living wage; and building a safe, inclusive, vibrant community for all are all issues I’ve worked on and will continue to work on with my colleagues in County Government. These are more than words on a page to me. I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with single mothers, knocking on doors and confronting landlords and housing agents who would not rent to them because of unspoken stereotypes and discrimination attributed to the fact that they have housing vouchers. As an employer I have a more complete understanding of what it takes to balance a budget in order to pay employees a living wage without compromising service or product for the community.
Given the seeming national assault on social justice I’ve been vigilant in my actions to help normalize Islam, include LGBTQAI community members in a safe space, protect women’s right, and keep relevant Black Lives Matter while simultaneously respecting the difficult work of our law enforcement personnel. Most major issues we face as a community have personally impacted my life in some way. From poverty to lack of affordable housing to incarceration to drug use to lack of affordable child care to being a home owner and taxpayer, these issues and more are those that I bring direct, personal knowledge to inform deliberations and my vote. I look forward to continuing to bring your voice, needs and concerns to County Government for another four years as we seek creative and direct ways to ensure community safety, inclusion, human-rights protections, economic equity and fiscal responsibility.
I believe that my record of advocacy and votes demonstrates my consistency and honesty in fulfilling my commitments to you. I understand both policy and people and how policies need to be balanced as they impact all sides. I value your support in returning me to the Legislature as I continue to try to effect the changes needed in Tompkins County and the 1st Legislative District. Thank you for your support.
Featured image: Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, director of GIAC, addresses attendees of the annual GIAC MLK Community Breakfast. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice