Legislator Robert Troiano (D-Westbury) recently honored 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.