For the past four years I have served on the Tompkins County Legislature representing the western and southern portions of the Town of Ithaca. In this time, I have served on the Planning, Energy, and Environmental Quality committee, the Budget, Capitol, and Personnel committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, the Complete Count Census committee, and the Government Operations committee. I chaired Government Operations in 2020, and hope to continue in that role in 2021 (pending the Legislature Chair's appointments). Additionally, I have served as liaison or member to a variety of agency boards including, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Tompkins County Public Library, County Office for the Aging, Health Planning Council, Environmental Management Council and Waste Reduction subcommittee, Water Resources Council and HABs subcommittee, and Public Information Advisory Board.
The first and foremost issue I am concerned with is climate change. As a long-distance backpacker and former Park Ranger, I am dedicated to protecting the natural world for our children. One major way we can address this is by creating a sustainable energy system. Tompkins County is already doing a lot, but there is much more to be done. During my years on the Legislature, I have been proud to support many environmental initiatives including, fighting for a local plastic bag ban, passing a policy to cease purchase of plastics and Styrofoam within County operations, supporting the County's transition to electric vehicles, preserving the County-owned forest land, and more. It is essential that we move toward a fossil-free future and make choices that will preserve our planet for future generations.
I am also focused on women’s rights and equality, the struggle for affordable childcare, and creating strong and supportive health and human services for our most vulnerable communities. Over the years, I have voted on many issues and topics to support our Department of Social Services and the wide range of community agencies we partner with such as St. John's Shelter and Tompkins Community Action, to create a County Veteran's Department, to build on alternatives to incarceration, to fund the Community Outreach Worker program position, to support Tompkins Cortland Community College, and much more.
As a writer, I am also deeply invested in preserving local arts and culture organizations. My time on the Legislature has allowed me the opportunity to build on the Tompkins County Poet Laureate program, support the Tompkins County Public Library and rural libraries, and vote for initiatives that give more help and funding to arts and culture organizations.
I have been putting down roots in Tompkins County for 20 years and am deeply tied and committed to this community. I am a freelance writer and editor and have had my literary nonfiction published in a variety of journals. You can read my writing via my writer website Amanda K Jaros (FYI- that's my maiden/publishing name). I'm also the Editor in Chief at Literary Mama. I am a proud mother of a 14-year-old son and 22-year-old stepdaughter. My husband, Robert, operates a small business called Creative Constructions.
I look forward to serving my community for another four years!