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Leigh-Ann Barde intends to be the voice of all of the residents of the Town of Islip. Having grown up on the South Shore of Suffolk County, Barde has always wanted to devote herself to service, inspired by her both of her grandfathers fighting the Nazi threat during WWII and her uncle joining the Navy. After she graduated Lindenhurst high school, she commenced a paralegal program at Briarcliff College, intending to work in the civil rights litigation area, a goal which has transformed to a more general desire to serve her community.

Before starting her family, Barde worked as Head of Customer Service in the South Shore boating industry, learning how to address the needs of that industry. In 2008, she lost her health insurance when she was pregnant with her first child, Anthony, because pregnancy was deemed a pre-existing condition, which made her realize how precarious health care was in America, something that left a deep impact on her.

While Barde and her husband grew their family, she stayed at home with the children and went back to school to complete her paralegal degree.

As a stay at home parent to four children, she has also devoted time to political and local activism. Barde volunteered for the Barack Obama re-election campaign, the Monica Martinez primary campaign, the Martinez re-election campaign, the Martinez Senate campaign, and the Sammy Gonzalez special election campaign. Every campaign that Barde worked on has come out victorious. 

Barde has volunteered with the Knights of Columbus of Central Islip Thanksgiving Feed the Needy event for four (4) years, the last two (2) years with her oldest son, Anthony.

Barde has been deeply involved in the Central Islip PTA and Special Education PTA. She has recently become an alternative delegate for the PTA. This experience has demonstrated to Barde that the Central Islip school district needs a lot more resources and services. Barde has also advocated with the school district for her own children, two of whom have special needs, a process which was lengthy and dispiriting, although successful.

Barde has coached the Central Islip Little League since 2014 and then became the VP of the organization. Barde knows it is incredibly important to give the local children a meaningful activity to keep them engaged but it is a struggle because the League does not have enough funding or equipment. The community is also plagued by the crumbling local parks, something Barde passionately cares about changing. 

Barde cares deeply about the children in her community. When the bodies of the four young men were found in Central Islip on April 12, 2017, deaths that were connected to MS-13, it was mere hours after Barde had been in that park with her children, a thought that has kept her up at night. This incident really underscored just how vital it is to have services to keep children engaged to keep them out of the hands of the gangs as they grow up. Barde believes that teenagers may make stupid decisions but they are just looking for somewhere to belong and it is the Town’s duty to provide that somewhere before the gangs do.

Barde worries because there are no children’s programs in Central Islip and Brentwood because there is no funding or infrastructure. In fact, the much-needed community recreation center is long-overdue. There is also no affordable day care in these communities since Central Islip has lost the Head Start program.

In the process of advocating for the children in her community, Barde realized that it was time to change things in Town Hall for all the Town’s children. Ultimately, that’s why she decided to run for the Islip Town Council.

“It’s time for the Town to be fair to everyone, not just some,” Barde has said. As a Council Member, Barde will see Islip meet the needs of its residents with safe streets, functional parks, clean beaches, and investment in local businesses. 



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