Ithaca Common Council Passes 2020 Budget

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.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pushing Forward the City’s Green New Deal

To the Editor:

There is concern among a number of us who support the goals of the city’s Green New Deal but watch the city advance development that is inconsistent with the necessity to reduce — not increase — local greenhouse gas emissions. The latter concern is exacerbated by the comments of several alder persons who voted for the GND but now question even the extraordinarily minor budget commitment to make their pronouncement substantive. Months ago in the wake of the contention over Cornell’s North Campus Residential Expansion, the Planning and Economic Development Board wrote the Common Council asking for training to competently analyze projects for their greenhouse gas and climate change implications — a request which has apparently been ignored. Recently, the director of planning and economic development admitted that she and her current staff could not produce a substantive GND. Moreover, we all know that it has taken existing staff and local consultants three years and running to create a Green Building Policy with codification and implementation still months off.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Sky Falls Only if You Let It

To the editor:

There’s an earthquake of student action regarding climate change going on. One great example of this is the Juliana v. United States Youth Climate Lawsuit, which is headed for the Supreme Court. Young people filed a lawsuit against the United States federal government in 2015 for violating their and future generations’ right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” by refusing to seriously tackle climate change. Cornell students will surely join in on this scale of climate justice activism. But there’s something missing here.