ITHACA, N.Y. – A Ulysses native announced her run for a seat in the New York Senate in District 58 in a press release on Monday. 

Amanda Kirchgessner, a local waitress and advocate for working people, is up against the current senator, Tom O’Mara (R) and Schuyler County Legislator Michael Lausell on the Democratic ticket. District 58, one of the largest districts in the state, covers five districts in the Southern Tier including Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates and Tompkins Counties.

Kirchgessner is currently the treasurer of the Jacksonville Community Association, the vice-chair of Tompkins Employees Federal Credit Union Board of Directors and a member of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee. She said she has also been working as a server at The State Diner in Ithaca for nearly 10 years.

“Working at the diner has been such an incredible learning experience, from the people who work there, to the regulars who come here and the people who own it,” Kirchgessner said. “I talk to such a diverse group of people on a daily basis and I try to be very compassionate and listen to a lot of people – I want to have conversations with people because thats really where good policy starts. I’m tired of trickle down policies that make it harder for people to live.”

Kirchgessner has recently organized a People’s Caucus, according to the release, which aims to bring local community groups together with county legislators to collaborate on state policies to include concerns of the working class like a living wage, affordable housing and food security.

Working people need a voice and they don’t have one right now,” Kirchgessner said. “Most of the people we elect have advanced degrees but they don’t account for the experience of the janitor, the bus driver or the nurse’s aid – they don’t look at how these people are really going to be affected.”

More information about Kirchgessner’s campaign is available on her website  and Facebook. The campaign’s launch party is scheduled for Sunday, June 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at D’s Pierogi Place at 810 E. Church St. in Elmira.

Featured image courtesy of Facebook.

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.