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> Legislature - Legislators - Dawson

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Catherine Covert, Clerk
Governor Daniel D. Tompkins Building
121 E. Court Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 274-5434
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Tompkins County Legislator

Deborah Dawson (D)

District 10 - Village of Lansing, Village of Cayuga Heights

Contact Information for Legislators

Deborah Dawson is a recovering attorney whose roots in Upstate NY go back to growing up in Western NY and attending Wells College, where she graduated in 1973.  However far and wide she wandered since then, she never forgot how much she loved Ithaca and Cayuga Lake, and moved here just as soon as she and her husband retired in 2009.

Between college and retirement, Deborah was a social worker, Army Reservist, and law student in her hometown of Buffalo.  She worked for the Department of Justice (Tax Division) in Washington DC, a large private law firm in Winston-Salem NC, the Resolution Trust Corporation in Tampa FL, the FDIC in Dallas TX and Pasadena CA, and the FTC in Dallas.  She has litigated civil cases in Federal courts, criminal cases in the Federal Courts of Appeals, and managed litigation in state and Federal courts around the country. She has also served as an administrative assistant to the Deputy Assistant Attorneys General of the Tax Division, general counsel for S&L’s in Federal receivership, and an advisor to an FDIC business committee overseeing the management of an $8 billion pool of distressed bank assets. 

At various times, Deborah has been a union steward, officer, and contract negotiator at the FDIC, whose employees were unionized. Most recently, she served for several years on the Village of Lansing Planning Board, and helped found the Tompkins County Progressives, a local chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network.  She is also a member of the Coalition for Sustainable Economic Development and the Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Network.


Legislators are elected and serve for four years. Current terms run from 2018 through 2021.