Chris Jacobs represents Western New York in the New York State Senate. The 60th Senate District includes part of the City of Buffalo, all of the City of Tonawanda and the towns of Brant, Evans, Grand Island, Hamburg, Orchard Park and Tonawanda, and a portion of the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation. Raised in Buffalo, Chris Jacobs has been a vocal advocate for expanding local business development and improving educational options. Prior to his election Chris owned Avalon Development, a real estate development company that focused on redeveloping older vacant buildings in Buffalo’s Theater, Cobblestone and Larkin Districts.
Chris is a co-founder of the BISON Scholarship Fund. BISON has raised over $23 million dollars over the last 22 years, awarding nearly 28,000 scholarships enabling low and moderate-income families to send their children to private grammar schools. Chris was also the co-founder of The South Buffalo School, one of the first charter schools in Western New York. The South Buffalo Charter is now a full K-8 grammar school and has been recognized as one of the best performing charter schools in the region.
Chris was elected to the Buffalo Board of Education in 2004 and re-elected in 2009. While on the school board, he was a strong voice for reform through increased educational choice for Buffalo children and their families.
In 2006, Chris was appointed by then Governor George Pataki as New York Secretary of State. Chris also worked for several years in Washington with former Congressman Jack Kemp when he was cabinet secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While at HUD Chris worked on the Kemp’s flagship legislation called Project HOPE (Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere) which gave public housing residents homeownership and entrepreneurship opportunities.
In 2011 he was elected to his first of two terms as Erie County’s ninth County Clerk. Chris was the first Republican Erie County Clerk in 40 years.
Active in the community, Chris serves on the Boards of Buffalo Place, the Freedom Station Coalition and is a past board member of the Catholic Academy of West Buffalo and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. Chris has received numerous awards for his service to the community including the Pathfinder Award, The Rising Star Award, Business First’s 40-under-40 award and the Buffalo Urban League. He was also chosen in this year’s Business First 200 most influential people in WNY.
Law Degree : SUNY Buffalo
MBA : American University in Washington, DC
BA: Boston College