Leslyn McBean-Clairborne currently works as the Deputy Director of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, (GIAC), a multicultural and intergenerational community center in the City of Ithaca. She also serves the community as an elected Tompkins County Legislator, representing the 2nd Legislative District, City of Ithaca. In 2006, she was elected by her legislature colleagues to serve as vice chairperson and held that position for 2 years. She is the first person of color to be elected to this executive level in Tompkins County Government. As a legislator, Leslyn chairs the Public Safety and the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committees and is vice-chair of the Personnel Committee. She is dedicated to bringing the voice, needs, and concerns of those she represents to all the activities of the County Legislature. As a former welfare recipient, and a foster and adoptive mother, Leslyn understands the need to balance affordable tax support of public services without putting intolerable pressures on family and individual incomes. She is an advocate for sensible spending, a livable wage for all workers, recognition and celebration of all cultures, responsible and respectful economic development, good-quality affordable housing, fair employment practices, tourism growth, and alternatives-to-incarceration programs that improve individual lives and the community as a whole. She believes in and is spearheading the County’s initiative to become a fully representative and inclusive model employer.
Educated both abroad and domestically, Leslyn holds two Bachelors of Science degrees in K-12 Education and in Intercultural Communication/Adult Education. Additionally, she provides speaking engagements on diversity and empowerment, offers consultation and training fo r several agencies, universities and governments on developing internal communication and conflict management procedures, embracing diversity, multiculturalism, and enhancing race relations. She is an experienced facilitator and mediator and a New York State Unified Court System certified mediation trainer. She is also an Associate with the Institute for conflict Transformation. As a former Teacher, Human Rights Investigator and Acting Affirmative Action Officer, Leslyn has a well-rounded experience that helps her to advocate effectively for those who are disenfranchised and discriminated against.
Leslyn, who is originally from Guyana has lived in Ithaca for the past 17 years. She is also a trained actress/performer and has been seen in many local stage productions. Her most important and proud role, however, is that of a wife to husband JR Clairborne, an Ithaca City Councilman and mother to her 12-year old son, Kelsey and 1-year old daughter, Indira.