Leslie for New York

Leslie Danks Burke Announces Her Candidacy for Congress

Ithaca, NY – Leslie Danks Burke announced today that she will seek the Democratic nomination to represent New York’s 22nd district in the U.S. House of Representatives. A lawyer, community activist, civic leader and mother of two young daughters, Ms. Danks Burke is a dedicated advocate for the people of New York.

“I am fortunate to live, work and raise my children in this beautiful region where the Catskills meet the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier stretches into Western New York,” Leslie said. “I’m committed to seeing upstate New York rebound into an economically vibrant place for everyone who lives here. I work hard for my community, my clients and my family, and I will bring that same determination and passion to representing the people of New York.”

Leslie is committed to representing this region whether she is running for a vacant seat or against an incumbent Republican. “We are losing a great advocate with Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s retirement, and we must ensure that our region keeps a Democratic seat at the table,” Leslie remarked. “We cannot allow New York’s slow redistricting process to shut us out. Slow redistricting favors incumbents because incumbents have the podium to raise money. I’m not waiting on the sidelines – I’m in to win.”

She is off to a strong start. Leslie has raised over $100,000 in the first week of her campaign alone, and is receiving support from across the state. She also has launched a website at www.lesliefornewyork.com.

“We are at a crossroads,” Leslie stated. “We are emerging from the financial crisis, yet must do more to incubate and retain jobs and spur economic growth. We have built systems to protect our health, environment, and way of life, yet we face the prospect of energy corporations extracting our natural resources for their gain with questionable long-term benefits for New York. Our greatest assets are our people, who have created vibrant agricultural, tourism, and tech industries, and we must maintain that investment. We have an outstanding educational network, yet we must relieve the pressure on education funding that could undermine the work of generations of New Yorkers. We need smart, experienced, hard-working people in Washington who ignore the bickering and find concrete solutions to problems by working with every kind of person.”

“I do not believe in letting fear dictate the choices we make for our future,” she continued. “We can turn our economy around by creating high-tech energy jobs, halting the migration of small businesses and large industry out of the region, and securing funds to train our workforce. We can empower our families to educate and care for their children, so that the next generation of New Yorkers lives in a world that we built to be better.”

Leslie’s Biography

With twenty years of experience developing real solutions from the ground up, Leslie has a strong track record as a seasoned professional and tireless advocate for her community.  Leslie has lived in the Finger Lakes region since 2004, where she practices law, serves as Chair of the Town of Ithaca Democratic Party, advocates for community groups in education and health, sits on multiple boards including the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation, serves as a Girl Scout troop leader, and raises her family.  Before that, Leslie practiced law at a leading international firm in New York City, working on litigation surrounding the World Trade Center disaster as well as major international arbitrations and commercial litigation for public and private sector clients.  She has maintained an extensive pro bono practice throughout her law career and has been twice awarded by the Legal Aid Society of New York for outstanding community service.

Leslie attended the top-ranked University of Chicago Law School, where she worked to protect the civil rights of public housing residents and specialized in international law. Prior to law school, Leslie was a legislative tax consultant for Deloitte & Touche, LLP where she developed a deep knowledge of the federal legislative process. Born in Colorado, Leslie graduated from the University of Colorado with magna cum laude degrees in history and international relations. Leslie and her husband Cody live in Ithaca and are the proud parents of two young daughters, Anna and Sophia.