Jason Wu/Sun Senior Editor

Clyde Lederman '26 speaks during a Student Assembly meeting on Feb. 9, 2023. Lederman narrowly won his seat to represent the Fifth Ward on the Ithaca Common Council.

November 16, 2023

Clyde Lederman ’26 Wins Fifth Ward Common Council Seat

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Clyde Lederman ’26 (D) was successful in his bid for the Fifth Ward’s two-year Common Council seat. Lederman, who beat out Jason Houghton in the June primary by only 10 votes, faced off against Houghton again in the general election, narrowly winning by more than 20 votes. 

Lederman officially launched his campaign on Sunday, Jan. 8, with a fundraiser in his hometown of Nyack, New York where he was joined by former Congressman Mondaire Jones.

He works closely with newly-elected Fourth Ward alderperson Patrick Kuehl ’24 on the Student Assembly and the pair are reportedly friends. Kuehl launched a surprise write-in campaign that most learned about on Election Day.

Lederman aims to increase the reliability of the bus system and bring affordable housing to Ithaca. As a student himself, Lederman finds student interests important to consider.

“Students are a transient population with permanent interests,” Lederman said in a prior interview with The Sun.

As a representative of the city’s re-drawn Fifth Ward, Lederman will represent heavily student populated areas, spanning Cornell’s North Campus along with University Hill and Cornell Heights. 

Throughout his campaign, Lederman has called for greater funding for the TCAT.

“[TCAT] is not sustainable,” Lederman said in a previous interview with The Sun. “It’s about increasing funding so that we can reduce headways in the routes so buses run more frequently.”

Lederman also said in the interview that he supports the construction of accessory dwelling units to mitigate Ithaca’s one percent rental vacancy rate, just one symptom of Ithaca’s ongoing housing crisis.

“[Accessory dwelling units] are the opportunity to create zoning permissions that would allow anyone to turn [a space] like a garage, basement or attic into an additional unit,” Lederman said. “They’ve done this in California, and it’s been really successful in increasing the housing stock.”

But as a longer-term solution, Lederman advocated for the use of rent stabilization in Ithaca, citing success elsewhere.

Lederman, a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, currently serves on the Cornell Student Assembly as the clerk for the Office of Assemblies. When Lederman takes office on Jan. 1, 2024, he will be the youngest member currently sitting on the Common Council at just 19 years old.