A Statement of Gratitude for Tee-Ann Hunter’s Service

The Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee would like to congratulate Tee-Ann Hunter on her retirement from the Town of Ithaca Board and thank her for her many years of distinguished public service. Tee-Ann served on the Board for over 12 years, after having served for 6 years as Town Clerk. During her tenure on the Board, Tee-Ann became a knowledgeable and accessible representative, often prioritizing residents’ concerns in the formulation of public policy. Tee-Ann recognized the nutritional and general wellness benefits of gardening and catalyzed the creation of the West Hill Community Garden, which, with modest Town support, provides agricultural opportunities for members of our community who might otherwise not have ready access. Her love of the natural environment, her sense of its fragility, and of its value to the larger community inspired her to re-energize the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization, transforming it into a thriving and forward-looking State-relevant planning entity. Tee-Ann also took a keen interest in sound long-range fiscal policy, championing the use of asset management practices and capital improvement planning as a way of efficiently anticipating and preparing for large-scale expenditures. Likewise, her appreciation for and understanding of land-use planning and architectural aesthetics made her a […]

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A Statement of Gratitude for Pat Leary’s Service

The Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee is grateful for the service of Pat Leary, who retired in December after a total of 24 years as a member of the Ithaca Town Board. Pat was first elected in 1985 and served two four-year terms. She was elected again in 2005 and served four terms. Pat was appointed Deputy Town Supervisor from May 2008 through December 2009. During her tenure Pat served on a variety of committees, including the Budget, Planning, Codes and Ordinances, Public Works, Sidewalk, and Short-Term Rental Committees. In each of these roles she worked tirelessly to ensure the quality of life of Town residents. Pat was particularly dedicated to making affordable housing available to Town residents and believed neighborhoods within the Town should foster a sense of community. Pat was committed the well-being of the Town’s staff. She felt that as an employer the Town has a moral obligation to treat its workers fairly and never forgot that Town employees are often called upon to do difficult work under dangerous conditions. As a result, Pat strongly advocated for living wages and good benefits, as well as a safe and satisfying work environment. Pat will be missed by her […]

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Summer 2022 Update from Tompkins County Board of Elections

Primary Elections The June 28, 2022 Primary is no longer a Federal Primary This primary is for registered Democrats and Republicans in Tompkins County. The contests are: Candidate for Governor (D & R) Candidate for Lieutenant Governor (D only) Candidate for City of Ithaca 4th Ward Alderperson (D only) Absentee eligibility for this election includes: civilian, permanent, UOCAVA, and military. Absentees must also be enrolled in the party having the primary. The Federal Primary is currently scheduled for August 23, 2022 It is not yet known which parties will have a primary for the Congressional Representative Candidate(s) or which district number will be the final approved for Tompkins County Voters. When the district information and dates are settled, we will share that information with the public. This primary date may include Candidate for State Senator. Federal Voters are eligible to vote for Candidate for Congressional Representative only. Civilian, permanent, UOCAVA, and military absentee voters are eligible to vote for both contests in this election. Special Election for Representative in Congress 23rd (current) District It is expected that an election would be held for the remainder of the term (through 2022) for Representative in Congress, 23rd District, a seat vacated by Tom Reed. All […]

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Expanding the Bottle Bill

Submitted by Rachel Kennedy for the Democratic View  published in the Tompkins Weekly for April 2022.   Rachel Kennedy lives in Trumansburg with her family. She has served there on the Village of Board of Trustees and the Board of the Ulysses Library. She enjoys making mosaics, growing things, theater, reading and British TV.  I took a bit of a dive this week into the topic of RECYCLING. The landscape is complex. I participate, certainly, as a curbside recycler, occasional redeemer of bottles and cans, and a gloomy but mostly passive receiver of news that an ever-increasing volume of my recycling efforts are fruitless. The scope of the solid waste mess is shocking.  A number of bills are currently in NYS legislature committees to tackle the problem from a number of angles. Among them: A7668 (Sponsor: Englebright), to prohibit recycling symbols on items that are not truly recyclable; S7718 (Kaminsky), to establish Extended Producer Responsibility; and A8668 (Cahill), to provide for expansion of the NYS Bottle Bill. All fascinating, and I’m zeroing in here on the Bottle Bill. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the original NYS Bottle Bill, the incentive-based program designed to ease burden on waste facilities, encourage recycling, and […]

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Cryptocurrency Industry Slithers Into our Region

Submitted by Ann Reichlin for the Democratic View  published in the Tompkins Weekly for May 2022 Ann Reichlin is an artist who exhibits her work  throughout the United States including her current site-specific sculpture, Transient Room at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Philadelphia, PA.  Ann served on the Ithaca City School District Board of Education from 2015 to 2021. She has lived and worked in Ithaca since 1997.  As residents and communities attempt to meet New York State’s ambitious  clean energy goals, Greenidge Generation–a cryptocurrency mining facility situated on Seneca Lake– takes us in the opposite direction. If energy efficiency and transitioning to renewables is part of the solution, then the Greenidge plant’s massive use of fossil fuel is part of the problem. In the same way that the fracking industry tried to sneak into New York State about a decade ago, the proof-of-work cryptocurrency industry is slithering into our region hoping nobody will notice. Greenidge Generation should have been a positive clean energy story. The original facility used coal to produce electricity. When the coal plant was closed it was an environmental win. In an effort to re-use the site, the facility was converted to natural gas to […]

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Attention Absentee Voters: Important Information Regarding Changes

New York State has recently enacted a law that will change the ability of voters who have applied for an absentee ballot to vote in person on the voting machine. In the past, voters who applied for an absentee ballot could change their minds and vote in person on a voting machine either during early voting or on Election Day. Their absentee ballots, if completed and sent in to the Board of Elections, would then be set aside unopened. With this new law, voters who have applied for an absentee ballot may still go to the polls on Election Day, but they will no longer be able to vote on the machine. If they wish to vote in-person, it will be by affidavit ballot only. If you have any questions about this law, please call the Board of Elections at (607) 274-5522. Qualifications To Vote By Absentee Ballot 1. Absent from your county on Election Day. 2. Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability, 3. Unable to appear because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled. 4. A resident or patient of a […]

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Draft election districts have been released

The election districts for US Congress as well as for the New York State Assembly and Senate had to be redrawn. A draft version is out. See newyork.redistrictingandyou.org/ for the maps and the https://ithacavoice.com/2022/05/nys-draft-congressional-maps-released-a-special-election-adds-pressure-to-ny19/ for commentary.

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Linda Hoffmanl

Chair’s Message

Linda Hoffmann, Chair, TCDC So much has happened in the news over these past two months: a new Lt. Governor has been appointed, news about redistricting both statewide and locally, new organizational meeting requirements, a possible new petitioning cycle with an additional August primary and so much more political upheaval. We spend this Newsletter reporting the latest news on these fronts to you. Additionally, we have been busy with a robust fund-raising effort for Democratic Sponsors. The issues committee is set to look at some bylaw revisions, we look forward to our June 11th Wine and Cheese Event at the Cherry, TCDC and watch for the announcement for our TCDC General Meeting and a forum on the Lt. Governor’s race. I am so thankful for the work that all of you do for the Tompkins County Democrats. I urge all of you once again to take care in the way we address our concerns to one another. Whether we are speaking face to face or writing an email take the time to ask open ended questions. Email communication can sometimes be especially misunderstood. Please know that I am always open to hearing and listening to your concerns. We, as democrats […]

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Virtual Town Hall on Voting Rights March 23

Don’t miss this important virtual town hall featuring our own Anna Kelles, Stacey Dimas and others. Although seen as a progressive state, New York has some of the most restrictive voting rights laws in the country and a long history of discrimination, especially against Black and Brown voters. JOIN US  on Wednesday, March 23rd at 6pm for a virtual town hall on this issue and why we need the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York (NYVRA) A6678A. NYS Assembly Member Kelles, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the New York Civil Liberties Union and more will gather to discuss what this bill means for New Yorkers, our communities, and how you can support it. The NYVRA (S.1046A/A.6678A) will provide the strongest protections of any state law against voter suppression, discriminatory election structures, and voter intimidation, while offering nation-leading measures to provide transparency in election administration and support to voters whose first language is not English. After years of lagging on voting rights, now is the time for New York State to lead.RSVP HERE Zoom Video Communications Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: NYVRA Town Hall . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about […]

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Linda Hoffmanl

Chair’s Message

Whether being new, a seasoned petitioner or somewhere in between, the commitment to petitioning is an important mission of the Tompkins County Democrats.  The petitioning calendar opened on March 1st with a flurry of petitions being shared across the five wards and nine towns. The concept and practice of petitioning has a long and rich tradition that is noted as far back in human history in the records of ancient Egyptian workers petitioning for improved working conditions.  Petitioning in 18th century America was instituted by the framers of the constitution to be included among the rights protected by the First Amendment. The world of petitions encompasses four types: political (what is being undertaken in Tompkins County with the Designated Petitions),  legal, public purpose, and Internet.  The latter is most effective to raise public awareness on an issue. As each of us continues the task of petitioning into our neighborhoods, know you are asking the Democratic voters to sign a petition as being part of  a long tradition of pursuing civic and political action to achieve a much larger political social goal.  Our purpose is in getting candidates in contested races on the Primary Election Ballots for NYS Senate 53rd and […]

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February New Chair’s Message

A Special Hello to Members and Volunteers, On the evening of January 27 at the TCDC General Meeting I was elected to serve as the chair of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee. I accepted this position with a commitment to enhance the mission of our county committee with the recognition of the needed support of you, members, volunteers, and community groups. Being chair of the Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee and the Political Action Team provided me vast experiences and has fostered a strong commitment to being politically engaged. I would like to extend to Stacy Dimas, our first Vice-Chair a warm thank you for stepping in under such sad circumstances. We know how proud Jim was of you Stacy, but also how thankful we all are for your leadership and unwavering abilities to organize under pressure. As the calendar turned from January to February, the floodgates opened to finalize “Redistricting” across the local, state and federal governmental voting districts. New York State released district lines with the spotlight in Tompkins County on the NY State Senate District 58 now the 53rd which will span the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Central New York and appears to include Tompkins, and […]

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Meet the Congressional and NYS State Senate Candidates, Feb 20-21

Please join us for two NYS Candidates Fora: NYS Senate 53rd District Candidates Forum, Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 7:00 p.m., and 22nd Congressional Candidates Forum, Monday, February 21, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Both fora will be live-streamed via YouTube links listed below. The format will involve each candidate delivering an opening statement with a series of question and answers. Each candidate will deliver closing remarks to finish. NYS Senate 53rd District Candidates Forum – Sunday, February 20, 2022 – start time 7:00 p.m. Meet the candidates running for the NYS Senate 53rd District: Leslie Danks Burke, Lea Webb, and Ammitai Worob. https://youtu.be/1V8PQWUi1DA 22nd Congressional Candidates Forum – Monday, February 21, 2022 – start time 7:00 p.m. Meet the candidates running for 22nd Congressional District: Francis Conole, Vanessa Fajan-Turner, Sarah Klee Hood, Steve Holden, Chol Majok, Josh Riley, and Sam Roberts. https://youtu.be/JZ62URdaRMw We truly hope you will join us for both of these events.

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