Carol Elizabeth Owens / email@example.com
On Mon. Jan. 3, 2022, Monroe County Legislator Sabrina LaMar (27th Dist.) became the first African American woman in the legislature’s history to serve as its president.
LeMar’s presence as the legislature’s first Black woman in the presidential position is particularly notable when we recognize that the Monroe County Legislature began as the Monroe County Board of Supervisors in 1820 — two hundred and two years ago; it became a legislative body in 1967.
LeMar’s Monroe County Legislature presidency has been, as the old folks used to say, ‘a long time coming’.
The legislative body’s historic announcement about LaMar’s rise to legislative power came from the county in a statement saying, “[LaMar] has agreed to a leadership arrangement in which she will preside over the County Legislature as its President.”
The legislature also said, “LaMar, a lifelong Democrat, will remain a Democrat but will join with members of the Republican Party to form the ‘Majority Caucus’ in the County Legislature.”
“Today, I am announcing that I intend to rise above partisan politics and instead choose to be a bridge between ‘politics as usual’ and getting things done, which is exactly what my constituents want — they want someone who can get beyond petty political bickering and deliver results,” said LaMar. “I have always been a [d]emocrat, I remain a [d]emocrat and I don’t intend to ever be anything but a [d]emocrat. However, I am not afraid to reach across the aisle to deliver results for my ‘largely African American’ constituents.”
LaMar is the first democratic party representative within the city of Rochester to hold the tie-breaking presidential position in nearly 35 years, according to the Monroe County Legislature’s records.
LaMar says her district is “one with a significant number of residents in poverty and [she] sincerely believe[s] [she] can best serve [her] neighbors” in her new role within the legislature.
“I firmly believe that a Black, woman, Democrat President from the City of Rochester will be a better advocate for city residents who look like me instead of another suburbanite and I know my constituents and neighbors agree,” LaMar said. “The [l]egislature [d]emocrats were trying to get my support for their preferred [p]resident candidate who was a white male from the suburbs.”
The legislature’s official biography of LaMar says she is a member of the19th Ward Association, Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Black Excellence/Juneteenth Planning Committee, and Roc The Peace; it also states that LaMar is project coordinator for the Community Engagement to Reduce Victimization (CERV) project at Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT’s) Center for Public Safety Initiatives in the Criminal Justice Department in addition to chairing the education committee of the ROC Against Gun Violence Coalition.
LaMar has two children, Tashmere and Jaiona, and one grandson, Nasim. She lives in the 19th Ward of the city of Rochester.