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Elizabeth Whitehouse
Chemung County Legislature
13th District









Business as usual is not good enough.

We must find a better way.

I am running for the legislature to give people a choice. That doesn't just mean a choice of political affiliation; it also means the choice between the status quo and a new approach.

There is always a better way to approach any situation.
In political terms that means reducing partisan animosity and increasing integrity, honesty and accountability. And communication.

In general, it means recognizing that there is a climate crisis and making informed decisions about every aspect of life that will not cause further damage to our increasingly fragile environment.

As poet Drew Dellinger wrote:

It’s 3:23 in the morning and I am awake

Because my great-great-grandchildren won’t let me sleep.

My great-great-grandchildren ask me in dreams

“What did you do when the earth was unraveling?

“Surely you did something when the seasons started failing,

“As the mammals and reptiles and birds were all dying?

“Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen.

“What did you do, once you knew?”

I know, and I'm doing what I can.

I am a long term resident of the Southern Tier, having moved to Corning in 1984, when my late husband was offered the position of Curator of Ancient and Islamic Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. 

I raised our three children and was involved in many PTA activities.  I obtained a Master's degree in Education from Elmira College, and have taught, lectured and tutored here and there.

I am a professional bookbinder and restorer (largely retired). I was a bookseller for a decade or so, after which I turned to writing. Apart from five books, I have written many letters to the editor on political and environmental issues..

In 2012, I was introduced to an organization called People for a Healthy Environment, based in Horseheads, which led to much environmental activism, and another degree's worth of conferences and workshops, webinars and two MOOCs..

In 2016, I became a citizen, in part so that I could vote for Bernie Sanders, and became involved in local politics. I ran for Mayor of Corning.

Although I am new to Elmira, I know the area from Alfred to Binghamton very well. I know what the problems are, and I have given considerable thought to possible solutions, many of which involve thinking outside the box.

I have also traveled extensively and I read three or four newspapers a day. I am very well informed. I subscribe to the idea of think globally, act locally.

I trained as a book restorer and over 30 years of practicing my craft, I developed problem-solving skills, I learned to repair anything without a cord.

The many conferences, workshops and courses I have attended over the past decade have taught me the necessity of adopting a reduce, reuse and recycle lifestyle - and the tools to do so easily.

Looking for solutions from an environmental perspective is about more than climate change, as what is good for the environment is also good for people.

A Legislator - if willing - can achieve a lot outside the Hazlett Building.  Much, much more than an individual can.


I hope to bring about some changes in the way the Legislature does business. Possibly in the very structure of the Legislature itself, to produce a streamlined, more efficient body, with much more engagement and communication between different branches of government, and between government and people.


Chemung County, like everywhere, has many issues to deal with.  Some of them are universal - healthcare, housing, roads, taxes, internet access, childcare. The climate. Some are local like Elmira's sewer issues; the Health Care facility, loss of the Southport Correctional facility, housing. I have seen an appalling number of abandoned or foreclosed houses in the 13th District. We must - and can - do something about that.


The Chemung County Legislature cannot affect many global issues, but what we do here does have an affect on the rest of the world.

Perhaps the biggest issue is the budget - how the County decides to spend it's money. And how little say the people have in how their tax dollars are spent.


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