Laura Palisano Hackathorn today announced her candidacy for New York’s 60th Senate District. Hackathorn is a life-long resident of the village of Hamburg and a small business owner who currently serves on the Village Board of Trustees. Over the past decade she has helped spearhead the remarkable economic revitalization in the village.
“I am running for New York State Senate because I have seen firsthand what can be achieved when we work together,” said Hackathorn. “Over the past few years our region has made remarkable progress on the waterfront and along the medical corridor, and there is hope that we can make Western New York a vibrant, growing community again. I am here to tell you that it is possible, because I have been a part of a community revitalization that can serve as a model for the entire region. I know the power of planning and of money well spent and I want to bring that expertise to Albany on behalf of the residents of the 60th District.”
Through Laura’s initiative, and with the support of the Hamburg Development Corporation, the village’s Economic Development Committee has been awarded $800,000 in competitive NY Main Street Grant funding from the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Because this is a 50% matching grant, the funding received by the state generates at least $1.6 million in building investment along Main and Buffalo Streets.
The village’s program has far exceeded the state’s required 50% private investment match. The $800,000 in public money was leveraged with an additional $7 million in private investment. The business district has seen a renaissance and dramatic visual change brought about by nearly forty building renovations. Over a five year period, building permits increased from less than twenty to more than one hundred per year.
Laura began her service to her community in 2001 as a strong voice and volunteer on the village’s award-winning and transformative Route 62 Reconstruction Committee, which incorporated context-sensitive solutions, traffic calming and walkability features like modern roundabouts, 10-foot driving lanes, public art and dramatic streetscape changes. Property values along Route 62 in the village increased by 169%.
Under her leadership, the village adopted Building Design Standards for the central business district and other commercial areas. These standards further improved the esthetic quality of the business district by guiding new construction and renovations to follow the village’s traditional design patterns and retaining the visual appeal and character-defining features of existing historic buildings. The standards have attracted the attention of surrounding communities and have become a model.
In 2005, Laura was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the village for her commitment and community service by partnering with the Village and the NYS Department of Transportation to receive the 2005 Livable Community Award from Partners for a Livable Western New York. In 2008, she received a Friends of Business Award from the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, she received a Professional Award for Distinguished Leadership by an Elected Official from the American Planning Association, NY Upstate Chapter, WNY Section. That same year, she was named along with the Village to receive a 2010 Director’s Choice Professional Award from the American Planning Association for Design Guidelines. In September 2010, Laura received the Distinguished Leadership Award for an Elected Official from the American Planning Association, New York Upstate Chapter.
Her professional background includes Marketing Coordinator for The Mentholatum Company, Inc., International Division, and Sales and Marketing in the Company’s U.S. Division. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the SUNY at Buffalo School of Management.
New York’s 60th Senate District is includes of parts of the City of Buffalo, Grand Island, the City of Tonawanda, the Town of Tonawanda, Lackawanna, Orchard Park, Evans, and Brant.