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March 12, 2018
Authentic: Diane LeBold
President, West Chester Borough Council
Though she’s served six years on the West Chester Borough Council, and is currently the Council president, Diane LeBold says with a laugh, “I got into politics by accident. I was just looking for friends and suddenly found myself running for Borough Council.”
Before settling in West Chester in the late 1980s, Diane’s life and career took her around the country. Her warm and comfortable home is filled with art made by friends she made along the way, and a collection of guitars. “I haven’t been playing as much, so I’ve lost the calluses on my fingers,” she says.
Working with Civic Action Southeast, Diane found herself petitioning for causes such as rental reform. She ran for council from Ward 2 — and won — in 1999, despite having an opponent who was well-known in the ward.
"Women tend to put aside their own interests in favor of the greater good."
As a Council member, Diane’s had a deliberate impact on quality of life in the borough—from the restriction on student rentals and creation of the Business Improvement District in her first term to championing the renovation of the borough hall and initiatives in sustainable and healthy growth in her current term (and first as president). Diane knows the value of government. “West Chester is a small town, but we live cheek-by-jowl—we’re one of the most densely populated municipalities in the state,” she says.
She sees a great future for women in elected office at every level. “We’ve always had strong women in West Chester’s government,” Diane says. “But we saw more women elected to county and state office in 2017, with more saying they’re going to run. That’s great because women tend to put aside their own interests in favor of the greater good, and that’s what we need. It’s something important I’ve learned in my time in government.”