Barbara Collura, Capital Region Lead
Barbara Collura earned her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1985, and law degree from Albany Law School in 1988. Barbara served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Schenectady prior to acting as Counsel to the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials from 1989 through 1998. She served as Counsel to the City of Albany Common Council from 1998 through 2017 and as Deputy Counsel to the Majority Leader of the Albany County Legislature from 1998 to 2018. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the New York Planning Federation until 2022, seeing the organization successfully through the pandemic. Barbara is also a professional voice actor and runs an online clothing business.
In addition to writing over 75 handbooks and magazine articles for publication in municipal journals and American and New York State Bar Association newsletters, she is a contributing author to Warren’s Weed New York Real Property, Steinman’s Bergerman & Roth, New York Real Property Forms, and Salkin, New York Zoning Law and Practice. Barbara is also a former editor of Pass It On, the newsletter of the ABA Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division, and Perspective, the newsletter of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section.
Barbara served on the NYSBA Committee on Mandatory CLE, the NYSBA Committee on Gender Equity, and the NYSBA Committee on Student Loan Assistance and is a former member of the NYSBA Committee on Legislative Policy, the Executive Committee of the NYSBA Municipal Law Section and the NYSBA House of Delegates. She also served as the President of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section. Barbara was a member of the NYS Commission on Rural Resources State Land Use Advisory Committee, which has been responsible for the revision of the state’s zoning and planning laws. She is a former member of the Albany County Democratic Judicial Screening Committee and the Committee on Character and Fitness, Appellate Division, Third Department. Most recently, she became a Mayo Clinic WomenHeart Champion Class of 2023.
Barbara has been involved in the movement to advance a viable third party since 2018. After working with New York State local governments for over 30 years, Barbara saw first-hand how politics has changed the way government worked. Governing became about grabbing headlines, pleasing the political party bosses, and vanity projects. It needs to be about transparency, sound public policy, and representing the people. Until 2021, when it failed to qualify as a political party in NYS, she worked as the State Vice-Chair of SAM (the Serve America Movement.) In January of 2022 she became a State Lead of the newly formed Forward Party. She truly believes that we are at a unique point in history to stop having to choose between the lesser of two evils and to open our democratic process by advancing reforms to allow more people to run for office, implement term limits, ranked choice voting, and open primaries, and give voters in NYS the power of initiative and referendum.