With a bright smile and a pair of oversized silver scissors, New York State Sen. Lea Webb (D) cut through a purple ribbon outside of her new office in downtown Ithaca on Monday, August 21.
“It has been far too long since the residents of Tompkins County have had local access to their New York State Senate representative,” Webb said at the grand opening. “I am thrilled to open our doors here in Ithaca and look forward to welcoming the community to our office.”
Located in the Crescent Building at 217 North Aurora St., the new State Senate office is the first in Tompkins County in over a decade, increasing accessibility to constituents in Ithaca.
Webb’s District Office in Binghamton has been open to the public since January, according to Chief of Staff Stacey Dimas. Alongside her team, Webb has been reachable at community office hours throughout New York’s 52nd district, which includes Tompkins County, Cortland County, and some of Broome County.
Webb and her team said they hope to bring a similar openness to Ithaca. Staffing the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, Webb’s constituent team will be available to assist community members with various issues, including unemployment, health insurance, Home Energy Assistance Program, WIC, SNAP and more.
“Having a physical presence in a community as a public servant is a game changer,” said Assemblymember Anna Kelles. “It allows a representative to see firsthand day after day the life and experience of the community.”
Kelles further acknowledged Webb’s commitment to community, noting that despite overseeing a large district, Webb still manages to attend events in Ithaca. “She shows up, she listens and she acts on our behalf to fight for the things that we need,” Kelles said.
Other members of the Ithaca community helped celebrate the office’s opening, including City of Ithaca Alderperson Robert Cantelmo.
“The City of Ithaca appreciates Webb as a partner who works with us to improve the lives of those working, learning, and playing in our community,” said City of Ithaca alderperson Robert Cantelmo.
Also at the grand opening, Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis commended Webb’s legislative accomplishments. In her first year in office, Webb introduced 54 bills, 32 of which passed through the Senate and 23 of which passed through both houses before arriving on the Governor’s desk, where they await her signature.
Webb serves as the Chair of the Senate’s Committee on Women’s Issues. She is also a member of the Committees on Agriculture, Health, Higher Education, Procurement & Contracts, Mental Health, and Cities.
Webb’s office offers internships for high school, undergraduate and graduate students. Interested students are welcome to apply.