April 30, 2020

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cornell Democrats endorse Tracy Mitrano for Congress and Leslie Danks Burke for N.Y. State Senate

Print More

To the Editor:


The Cornell Democrats are proud to endorse Tracy Mitrano for New York’s 23rd Congressional District and Leslie Danks Burke for New York’s 58th State Senate District. We believe these candidates have the experience, passion and momentum to unseat Tom Reed and Thomas O’Mara in 2020, and we are excited to support their campaigns.

Mitrano’s background in diverse fields like education and cybersecurity speak to her ability to unite a wide range of constituents. She has proven time and time again that she is committed to developing comprehensive solutions to the problems facing N.Y.-23 residents and the nation at large. She will bring much-needed cybersecurity and digital policy expertise to Congress, and she has consistently advocated for increasing access to fast and reliable Internet across the district. As students, we believe in the importance of investing in education by making it more affordable and accessible at all levels. Mitrano has advocated for increasing public school funds to pay K-12 teachers competitive wages, expanding Pell Grants and making student loans interest-free. As a former Cornell faculty member, Mitrano is uniquely positioned to understand the issues that matter most to students. She also recognizes climate change as a major threat to all Americans, and she will work to mitigate the effects of unpredictable weather patterns on local farmers. Mitrano has always worked to alleviate the struggles of farmers and small-town business owners, and she is actively working to understand the economic needs of working class Americans in order to help them bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis.

Following her loss in 2018, Mitrano implemented several campaign changes that will make a huge difference in 2020. She has gained greater name recognition by traveling throughout our district and holding town hall discussions, virtual talks and “Tracy’s Listening” events — where she hears directly from N.Y.-23 residents to better understand their concerns. Since her first campaign, Mitrano has made a conscious effort to engage with the Cornell community, speaking on campus often and listening to our experiences and concerns. We are confident that Mitrano’s campaign has only gotten stronger since 2018 and is on the path to defeating Tom Reed this November.

Danks Burke has a background in civil rights litigation and a long history of standing up for social equality, through her women’s advocacy efforts, developing her regional community college, and creating an organization to help local level candidates. She is committed to voicing the interests of workers and residents of the 58th District and will stand up to powerful corporate interests. Danks Burke advocates for comprehensive policies to promote job growth, such as increased funding for infrastructure, clean energy development, and tax reform for farmers and small-business owners, all of which is imperative during the COVID-19 pandemic. She advocates for healthcare reform by demanding universal healthcare for all New York residents, and she will fight to get funding to upstate schools, at all levels, so that all young people have equitable access to the education they deserve.

The Cornell Democrats are proud to endorse Tracy Mitrano for Congress and Leslie Danks Burke for New York State Senate. Mitrano will fight for affordable healthcare, better access to education, and comprehensive climate action. She will be the advocate New York’s 23rd District deserves in Congress. For N.Y. State Senate, we support Leslie Danks Burke because we believe she will fight for our district, promoting job growth and expanding access to quality education. We are confident that these women will not only unseat the Republican incumbents but will also pave the way for a better future in our community and beyond.


Jaia Clingham-David ’20

Vale Lewis ’21

Elizabeth Sherman ’21

Logan Morales ’22

Katerina Karaiskos ’22

Jack Ross-Pilkington ’21

Marianella Herrera ’22

Aidan Maddigan ’23

A previous version of this letter included a Sun editor as a signee. Although this Sun editor is an executive board member of the Cornell Democrats, their name has since been removed.