Ithaca is consistently rated among the most beautiful and pleasant small cities in the country – as well as registering a cost of living that makes it one of the least affordable. Prohibitively high rents and stark income disparities are as much a part of our identity as our local foods, social consciousness, and amazing scenery.
Our local leadership could do a lot more to help our poorest citizens. In the absence of this, our chapter organizes and agitates for affordable housing, an end to unjust policing and incarceration, a better healthcare system for all, fair wages, and environmental justice. We work with community groups and activists to create a better world, in opposition to the comfortable, complacent neoliberal status quo.
Our chapter is one of the oldest in the country, formerly functioning as part of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee before it merged with the New American Movement to form DSA in 1982. Ithaca’s mayor from 1989 to 1995 was Ben Nichols, a member of DSA and one of only a few open socialists to hold elected office at the end of the 20th century.
It’s not enough to celebrate this legacy. We are determined to play a role in the development of socialism in our region and our country as we build a better world for all.