On their July 1 meeting, the Common Council discussed Ithaca’s pandemic-driven $2 million deficit, 5G internet and a commemorative marker for writer Alex Haley. Comments and questions were also brought up on the national debate over defunding the IPD.
During a May 6 Common Council meeting, the city discussed paying for residents’ rent with federal funding from a grant program. The council also discussed the planned 5G installation and responded to residents’ concerns.
With the COVID-19 outbreak requiring most New York State residents to stay home and stripping thousands of workers of their jobs, activists are calling for a rent freeze to protect Ithacans who have lost income.
The demonstrators stood in support of Christine Barksdale, a former Ithaca Police Department investigator and member of the Tompkins County law enforcement community for 25 years, who was terminated as senior investigator by the IPD in response to her department’s failure to investigate crimes.
After months of revisions, proposals and back-and-forth, the City of Ithaca has finally settled on a budget for the upcoming 2020 year. Passed at a meeting of Ithaca’s Common Council meeting last Wednesday, the plan — which lists $80,397,578 in total spending — carries few surprises.
For Ellie Pfeffer ’23 and Alec James Martinez ’18, October was a busy month. From her dorm room on North Campus, Pfeffer launched a write-in campaign for the 3rd Ward seat on the Ithaca Common Council against incumbent Rob Gearhart, advocating for increased resources to be put towards the Ithaca Green New Deal. In his hometown of Laredo, Texas, Martinez co-founded Red Wing Laredo, “An organization devoted to ensuring tierra, democracia, y libertad for everyone,” in response to a clean water crisis in the town almost three times the size of Flint, Michigan that resulted in a boil-water notice in late September. You’d be easily forgiven for not knowing about these efforts, given that they occurred in the context of an escalating impeachment inquiry in the House. In fact, that impeachment inquiry may have distracted you from the fact that there were statewide elections this year in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, as well as local elections across the nation (including the one that Pfeffer participated in in Ithaca itself).
Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 intends to create a new commission to holistically assess long-standing housing issues in the city, including the lack of enforcement mechanisms, affordable housing and preventing landlords from requiring leases to be signed over a year in advance.