Hon. April N.M. Baskin, Chair
Erie County Legislator District 2
A Buffalo native, April N. McCants-Baskin is a devoted community advocate on behalf of equity and social justice. A graduate of Buffalo’s Academy for Visual and Performing Arts high school, April attended Buffalo State College and holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from SUNY Empire State College. She is a proud mother of two.
In 2017, April was elected to represent District 2 of the Erie County Legislature. District 2 is the most diverse district in the county. It contains the region’s wealthiest and poorest neighborhoods and is home to immigrants and refugees from dozens of nations.
Upon taking office, Baskin was immediately selected to serve her caucus as the Majority Leader. Her colleagues elected her Chairperson of the full Legislature in spring 2019, making her the youngest person and the first freshman to serve as Chairperson in the history of the Erie County Legislature. Baskin was unanimously re-elected by her Democratic Caucus members to serve as Chairwoman in 2020, 2021 & 2022.
As Chair, Baskin has worked diligently to reform the county’s jail system. She led initiatives to implement body cameras for Erie County Sheriff Deputies and increased the number of surveillance cameras in the county’s detention facilities. She created the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board, which enables members of the public to provide input and oversight into the management of Erie County’s jails. She also spearheaded a successful campaign to end the shackling of youth detainees in Family Court. Under her leadership. Most recently, she worked with the Sheriff’s Office and the departments of Health and Mental Health to implement a new Medically Assisted Treatment program for detainees who are struggling with drug addiction.
Baskin worked with specialists from the University at Buffalo to implement the County’s Department of Health “Lead it Go,” expanding services or children who have been poisoned by lead. She was the chief coordinator and lead sponsor of the Office of Health Equity Act, a new County office whose sole focus will be on the social determinants of health, and developing programs and policies to address racial inequities in healthcare.
In 2019, she established the annual Urban Initiatives funding, which secures funding for communities in the urban core during the county’s budget process. Baskin reformed the county’s outmoded Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise policies by passing the 2021 MWBE Modernization Act, which increases set-aside percentages and helps to level the playing field for minority and women entrepreneurs in our community. She also partnered with leaders in the private sector to develop multiple community initiatives that empower Black and Minority Owned Businesses to receive capital and mentoring.
Chairwoman Baskin is a member of Jack & Jill Inc. Buffalo Chapter, a graduate of Leadership Niagara and the Allstate Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs (MWEE) program sponsored by the University of Buffalo. She is a former member of AmeriCorps and has been honored with the Buffalo Black Achiever Award, the Community Engagement Award from the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals Chapter, the Utopian Euphoria Woman of Distinction Award, a 2018 ATHENA award finalist, and has been chosen as one of the Top 10 most influential elected officials in Western New York by Buffalo Business First.
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