Alderperson J.R. Clairborne (D-2nd Ward) became the third Democrat in the race for mayor of Ithaca on Friday. He will face fellow Common Council member Svante Myrick ’09 (D-4th Ward) and Tompkins County Legislator Pam Mackesey ’89 in a primary election in September. Under the slogan “It’s all about the People!” Clairborne announced his candidacy to a crowd on the Commons.According to the text of Clairborne’s speech on his website, he stated, “I’m here today because Ithaca is coming to a time of change; a time of economic uncertainty and a change in leadership.” For Clairborne, in order to face these challenges effectively, Ithaca needs “a leader who can deliver on a platform designed to promote a government about its community; a city about its people.”According to his campaign website, Clairborne’s vision for Ithaca consists of using the city’s intellectual capital and natural resources to support its economic advancement and to enhance residents’ quality of life. “As mayor, I will be able to elevate my working relationships with the police department’s chiefs and top officers to bolster people-based connections with their officers throughout our community,” Clairborne said. “I will [also] take my advocacy of affordable housing and community benefit to a new level … [an] increase in housing options and business offerings will help bring more residents, jobs, and sales tax revenue to our city.” Clairborne also says he will reduce the current tax burden by encouraging people to relocate into Ithaca city limits, increase the involvement of city residents, colleges and businesses within the local government and strengthen the city’s cohesion as a diverse community. “We have many people, like all of you gathered here today, who have various talents and areas of expertise. Your involvement can make a difference today and going into the future,” he stated on his website. Clairborne was first elected to represent the 2nd ward in the Common Council on November 8, 2005 and is the husband of Tompkins County Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne. Besides being involved in local politics, he worked at The Ithaca Journal for six years as a reporter and a local editor.
Original Author: Patricio Martinez