Editor’s Note: Today the Ithaca Voice is publishing two letters about a race for the Tompkins County Legislature between former Legislator Nate Shinagawa and local advocate/resident Anna Kelles.
Below is a column supporting Kelles by Katie Stoner; read one supporting Shinagawa by Dan Cogan here.
Submit additional guest columns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Katie Stoner:
ITHACA, N.Y. — Anna Kelles’ decision to run for the Tompkins County Legislature is great news for those of us living in District 2 (Fall Creek/North Campus neighborhoods).
The recent resignation of our previous representative, Kathy Luz Herrera, has created an opportunity to infuse fresh energy and perspective to this County seat, as well as to the broader legislative body. I believe that Anna Kelles is the right person at the right time to represent our district, and I know that she will work hard to ensure our voices are heard. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Anna since I moved to Ithaca in 2008, and have always held her in high regard; her commitment to the community, her tireless work ethic, and her respectful yet persistent approach to advocating and organizing makes her a standout leader in Tompkins County. I have seen, firsthand, Anna’s ability to build coalitions and mobilize hundreds of people, as evidenced by her leadership in the Old Library redevelopment effort. During her tenure as Director of the Green Resource Hub, I witnessed Anna’s impressive intellect and pragmatism at work as she developed and launched the successful Green Plus program which helps local businesses improve their sustainability practices.
More than any one initiative though, Anna is a person who truly shows up as a community member – she gets out there and connects with people and groups, she attends meetings, events, and rallies and learns so that she can be an informed and engaged resident, and she listens with presence and compassion.
Participation in this election is as important as the issues that matter to us, the voters. Voter turnout in local Tompkins County elections is notoriously low, and yet, local issues are often the ones that impact our lives most directly and profoundly. In the recent primary election for the 2nd District Common Council seat, a mere 254 of the 6,000 registered voters went to the polls. Let’s all take advantage of our right to choose by visiting the polls on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. If you don’t know you’re polling place, simply visit: http://tompkinscountyny.gov/boe/For_Voters/Where_to_Vote/Index_Where_to_Vote
To register, visit: http://tompkinscountyny.gov/boe/For_Voters/How_do_I_Register/Voter_Information
I have the utmost confidence in Anna; she is a fast learner with a sharp mind and a dedication to action. I plan to vote for Anna Kelles for the 2nd District seat of the Tompkins County Legislature, and I hope my neighbors will join me in electing a person who will be a strong voice in government for our district.
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