ITHACA, NY -- Leslie Schill announced her candidacy for the Tompkins County Legislative District 2 seat recently vacated by Anna Kelles, our new NYS 125th Assemblyperson. This will be a Special Election to be held on Tuesday, March 23.

 Schill believes that her work as a planner, which promotes outreach, listening, discussion, compromise, and learning, are key assets for the job.

“I am running to give something back to my community, to be a voice for progress. I have considered a run for local government for some time, but at this moment in our political history, I feel compelled to take action. This is truly a return to my public service roots.” 

Her platform is focused on Public Health.

“I pledge to dedicate my efforts in 2021 as a County Legislator to addressing the COVID crisis locally. I will collaborate with our County Health Department to ensure that we get the message out to our residents and secure the resources required to efficiently deploy the vaccine.” 

Her campaign frames the values and needs of Tompkins County through a public health lens to: 

  • Prioritize personal wellbeing and mental health services 

  • Expand childcare options and child nutrition programs

  • Develop more and affordable housing, in partnership with key local non-profits

  • Rebuild Tompkins County’s healthy economy

  • Preserve our environmental health through water and land quality improvement efforts

A seasoned local planner with extensive experience working in government, Schill is a leader in her field and has produced initiatives that have yielded real change. These include restoring parks and developing new trails and community recreation centers while at the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation. During her tenure at the Tompkins County Planning Department, she co-authored an energy and greenhouse gas emissions element for the Comprehensive Plan; managed the local affordable housing funding program; and spearheaded regional efforts such as the Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Plan. Today, she is the University Planner at Cornell, heading up the Campus Planning Office, where her work includes stewardship of the Ithaca campus master plan, managing community-campus collaborative projects, and intermunicipal planning.

Currently, she is the Vice Chair of the Tompkins County Planning Advisory Board and is a Program Oversight Committee member of the Community Housing Development Fund – a joint effort of the County, City and Cornell. 

Schill is a long-time Fall Creek community member where she has resided for the past 13 years with her husband, two children who attend ICSD schools, and their rescue pup, Hamilton. She will be running on the Healthy Community line. 

To speak with Leslie about your ideas and concerns for District 2, contact her at or find her at

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