This is a letter to the editor in support of New York State Senate candidate Lea Webb written by Ithaca resident Kathy Russell. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit letters to the editor, please send them to Matt Butler at [email protected]
The impossible will take a little time. So said Billie Holiday and she should know. Those of us who fight for social justice know this too. In the face of the disastrous and misogynistic Supreme Court ruling on Roe and all the other things – police violence against people of color and trans people, discrimination of all kinds, the prison industrial complex, political divisions, the urgency of change climate and more – we keep on going. One step after another.
Many of us across the country are working for a more just and equitable society by organizing to get more progressive women of color into local and statewide positions. Structural racism, sexism and classism have produced the makeup of who is in power as well as the entrenched electoral system we have now, including exactly who is able to raise campaign funds and even has enough time in the day to stand for election.
Electing candidates like LEA WEBB for the New York State Senate is a step forward and we need to take it so we can have people in government who have not yet been to the table.
To bring about truly transformative change, we need people in government who can truly represent the diversity of our communities. More people from historically marginalized populations should be in office.
Lea Webb is on the ballot for the Aug. 23 Democratic primary, endorsed by the Working Families Party and Tompkins County Progressives. Her list of supporters is impressive: Anna Kelles, Svante Myrick, Barbara Lifton, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Martha Robertson, Veronica Pillar, Irene Weiser and former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan. Many are convinced that we need progressive, experienced and courageous women of color in public office. https://www.leawebb.com/endorsements
Lea has clearly proven that she has a deep knowledge of political issues. It took courage and strength to be the first African American and the youngest person ever elected to the Binghamton City Council. And her work has won an Environmental Protection Agency award and been recognized by both Oprah Magazine and the White House Project.
His leadership efforts in passing equal pay legislation, fighting for a ban on fracking, expanding affordable urban and rural housing, advocating for landlords for tenants’ rights and creation of a city-based human rights commission has shown that it has what it takes to fight for the issues that matter in our district! She walked picket lines to win better health care benefits in union contracts, worked with others to establish an award-winning citywide climate action plan, and supported the development of small businesses and job creation. Webb knows how to expand opportunities for civic engagement and increase active and marginalized voices in our communities.
Yes, we have a long way to go and progress can seem distant and difficult, especially at this time. We must build from the local level. Electing proven and diverse leaders like Lea Webb is certainly a step in the right direction.