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Tedra Cobb

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Tedra Cobb
Photograph of Tedra Cobb, an American politician, consultant, educator, and congressional candidate for New York's 21st congressional district.
Personal details
Born (1967-08-18) August 18, 1967 (age 51)
Seneca Falls, NY, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Scott Shipley
OccupationConsultant, Educator

Tedra Cobb[edit | edit source]

Tedra Lynne Cobb (born August 18, 1967) is an American politician, consultant, educator, and congressional candidate for New York's 21st congressional district. She served as St. Lawrence County Legislator from 2002 to 2010.[1][2]. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early Life and Education[edit | edit source]

Tedra Cobb was born on August 18, 1967 in Seneca Falls, NY to Barbara Ann Cobb (nee Veillard) and Theodore Charles Cobb. Tedra was the second child in a large family of 11. She has one older biological brother and 9 adopted siblings.

Cobb’s father was an elementary schoolteacher in the Fairport Central School District, Fairport, NY for 32 years until his retirement. He coached JV lacrosse and club swimming. Her mother Barbara was a homemaker during Tedra’s childhood. In 1986 Barbara returned to Nazareth College earning her Masters of Education at the age of 43. Barbara graduated from Nazareth College the same year Tedra graduated from SUNY Potsdam.

Barbara and Ted were committed churchgoers and helped to found Church of the Resurrection in Fairport, NY as part of the post Vatican II movement. The church is still functioning today.

Cobb attended Fairport Central Schools graduating in 1985. She played JV soccer as a goalie and defense. She was in the National Honor Society. She attended university at SUNY Potsdam double majoring in Sociology and Spanish. In 2003 she graduated with distinction from SUNY Potsdam with a MS in Education. She speaks English and Spanish.

Family Life[edit | edit source]

On May 12, 1990 she married Scott Shipley. They overcame her parent’s initial reluctance and the wedding was held in a field on the organic farm where Scott worked and lived.

In 1993 Tedra and Scott purchased land in Canton, NY in St. Lawrence County, a mile from the farm where they were married, and began building their home. They lived off grid with no running water for the first 10 years adding to their home as funds became available. They have lived on the same land for 24 years. Their home is solar powered. Her husband owns an electrical company designing and installing solar electric systems.

They have two children: Ansel born in 1996 and Aida born in 1998. Ansel graduated Suma Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase in 2017 completing college in 3 years. Ansel now works at a farm to table meat store in Brooklyn, NY. Aida attends the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

Work[edit | edit source]

Prior to and during college Cobb worked as a waitress, a groundskeeper, a retail store clerk, and delivered newspapers all to earn money for her education. Her first professional job after college was at Riverview Correctional Facility in Ogdensburg, NY, then part of Ryker’s Island (NY city).[3] Riverview was built to house overflow from the overcrowded NYC prison population. Cobb was a Hispanic Inmate Needs Coordinator and a Spanish speaking corrections counselor. Part of her work included translating HIV test results for Spanish speaking inmates. She was a member of PEF, the Public Employees Federation union while at the prison.

In 1992 she began work at North Country AIDS Outreach as an HIV/AIDS educator serving St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson Counties. She concurrently held a position at AIDS Community Resources of Syracuse, NY as a case manager serving St. Lawrence County. Tedra coordinated the visit of the AIDS Quilt to SUNY Potsdam.

In 1999 she was hired to help start and become executive director of a non profit community health coalition, the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative. Cobb led the agency from an initial start-up grant of $19,000 to a annual budget of over $500,000 and eight full time staff. The mission of the agency to this day is to measurably improve the health and access to healthcare of St. Lawrence County residents. In 2002 the agency won the prestigious Healthcare Association of NY State’s 2002 Community Health Improvement award, was a Finalist for the American Hospital Association’s 2003 NOVA Award, and received Honorable Mention for the 2003 Community-Campus Partnership for Health Award[4] for agency outcomes and accomplishments. Tedra coordinated the first ever regional North Country Health Needs Assessment in the North Country.

In 2003 she founded Tedra L. Cobb and Associates providing consulting services to not for profits and businesses in strategic planning and development, collaborative change, communication, strengths-based leadership, supervisory skills and performance management, time management, professionalism, behavioral interviewing, training of trainers, sexual harassment and violence prevention, professional writing and English language communication.

In 2016 Tedra was named to the National Small Business Association Leadership Council.[5]

Tedra has served as an instructor and adjunct faculty member and taught classes to international students in ESL and international management at SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University, and St. Lawrence University.

Political Career[edit | edit source]

In 2001 Cobb ran for St. Lawrence County Legislature against a longtime incumbent and won[6]. She cites as inspiration for running an earlier public event where a county legislator physically turned his back on the crowd, refusing to engage the public over the controversial plans to build a garbage incinerator in Ogdensburg, NY. “When he turned his back on all of us I thought to myself, he does not belong representing the people and one day I’m going to run.”

In 2005 she ran again unopposed and received the most votes of any candidate for legislature in the county[7]. During her tenure she served as vice chair. Tedra led the effort to create and pass the current St. Lawrence County ethics Law[8] and the creation of the St. Lawrence County Board of Ethics. She also served as Chair of the Services Committee and the Government Review Committee. Strongly committed to term limits, she retired from the county legislature at the end of 2 terms.

As a legislator she worked to stop the practice of counting inmates as part of apportioning representation in the county. Previously inmates who receive no representation from government leaders were counted in determining legislative districts. Tedra worked to end this type of gerrymandering[9]

In 2017, with her children grown, she decided to return to politics announcing her candidacy[10] for Congress in New York's 21st congressional district on July 4th, 2017.

Tedra Cobb won a decisive victory on June 26, 2018 in the 21st Congressional District Democratic primary. Of the field of five Democrats, she won more than 55 percent of the vote. Overall she won in 10 of the 12 counties all or partially located within the district.[11]

Community Service and Awards[edit | edit source]

  • Community ESL Instructor - working primarily with university associated international students to improve English language skills, June 2015-2017
  • NY State Committee on Open Government appointed by Governor Cuomo from 2007 to 2010.[12]
  • Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley - Board Member, April 2012-November 2013
  • Northern Lights Home Healthcare, Inc. - Board Member, November 2012-November 2013
  • NY State Department of Health, North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission member from December 2013 to March 2014.[13]
  • School Equity Advocacy - During the NY State school funding crisis Cobb worked to organize local residents to advocate for increased school funding.[14]
  • Women, Gender and Leadership Alumni Mentoring Program, SUNY Potsdam - mentor
  • Marriage Equality - working to pass marriage equality for all NY State residents
  • St Lawrence Valley Renewal House Woman of the Year - 1999
  • FUNDASIDA - HIV/AIDS education project in San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Central American Peace project - promoting peace in Central America through cooperation and an end to US funding of military dictatorships[15]
  • Work on Waste - opposition to construction of a garbage incinerator in St. Lawrence County[16]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Cobb Defeats Incumbent Greenwood For St. Lawrence County Legislative Seat". NCPR. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  2. "St Lawrence County Election Results". www.stlawco.org. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  3. Ravo, Nick; Times, Special to the New York (1988-08-31). "It's Near Canada, but It's New York's Jail". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  4. Admin, MemberClicks. "Annual Award Winners". ccph.memberclicks.net. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  5. "President of Tedra L. Cobb and Associates in Canton named to National Small Business Association Leadership Council | NorthCountryNow". northcountrynow.com. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  6. "St Lawrence County Election Results". www.stlawco.org. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  7. "St Lawrence County Official Election Results". www.stlawco.org. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  8. "St. Lawrence County Board Meeting: Board of Legislators" (PDF). 2008-01-02.
  9. "Supreme Court of New York State: Notice of Motion to Intervene" (PDF). 2011-05-17.
  10. "Democrat Tedra Cobb to challenge Stefanik for NY-21 seat". Watertown Daily Times. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  11. "Cobb wins Democratic primary in 21st Congressional District". 2018-06-26.
  12. https://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/pdfs/2010AnnualReport.pdf
  13. "North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission". www.health.ny.gov. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  14. "Watertown Daily Times Article: School advocates gearing up for Dec. 5 bus trip to Albany". Fair Funding for ALL Students. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  15. "Central American Peace Project (CAPP) | Libraries".
  16. https://www.stlawu.edu/library/sites/default/files/finding-aids/MSS164fa.pdf

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