Legislator Troiano Honors Leone Baum for Women’s History Month
County legislator proudly recognizes Hempstead resident as the 2nd District’s 2013 “Trailblazer”
(MINEOLA, NY) – Legislator Robert Troiano (D-Westbury) was proud to honor Hempstead resident Leone Baum as one of this year’s “Trailblazers” at the Women’s History Month 2013 Celebration at the Nassau County Legislature in Mineola on Monday, March 18. Baum has spent the better part of her adult life working and advocating for those whose voices were muted because of their gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
Each year, as part of Women's History Month, county legislators honor outstanding women in their legislative districts who have "blazed trails" through the wonderful work they do in their communities.
For more than 30 years, Baum worked for Nassau County’s low income community as a staff member of the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County (EOC). In her role on the commission, she advocated for low income minorities and the disenfranchised by assisting them in overcoming the artificial barriers that impeded their progress. Baum assisted in developing training programs on the local, state and national level when she served as President of the National Training Committee for Economic Development.
In addition to her role on the EOC, she worked with Congressional staff in Washington, D.C. on the development and passage of programs such as the Women, Infants and Children’s Act; Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Corporations Act and the Community Services Block Grant program.
Baum has always promoted fairness and justice for all people. In 1991, when six plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the Nassau County Board of Supervisors, charging that its weighted voting system unconstitutionally deprived the county’s growing minority population of political representation, she rolled up her sleeves and worked tirelessly to change this biased system.
In the history of Nassau County, no black or Hispanic person had ever served on Nassau’s Board of Supervisors, even though black and Hispanic residents and other minorities represented nearly 20 percent of the county’s population. Her efforts to change Nassau County’s system of government finally paid off when Federal Court Judge Arthur Spatt declared the Nassau County Board of Supervisors unconstitutional and directed that a 19-member legislature be formed. Because of her work, there are now three predominantly minority districts, ensuring that minorities have a voice in the County Legislature.
Though retired, Baum still wears many hats. She is an active member of the Village of Hempstead community. She is a member of the Village of Hempstead Community Benefits Committee; she serves as Vice President of the Traffic and Safety Committee in the Village of Hempstead and is the immediate past President of the Village of Hempstead’s Chamber of Commerce where she served on the Board for more than 20 years. She is also co-chair of the Hofstra Suburban Diversity Committee and is a board member of the Hempstead for Hofstra scholarship committee. Over the years, this scholarship committee has donated more than $1 million to students who live in the Village of Hempstead and attend Hofstra University.
Baum is the proud mother of Douglas and Frances and prouder grandmother of Jason, Matthew and Kenneth.