Nguyen

ITHACA, N.Y. — Candidate for Common Council Ducson Nguyen won the Democratic primary for Ithaca’s Second Ward by a 66-33 margin Thursday night.

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He said in an interview Friday morning that Ithaca’s much discussed housing crisis was the issue that most “resonated” with voters on the campaign trail.

Nguyen

“I met many people — renters who feel their rent is spiraling beyond their ability to pay it; a lot of long-time home-owners … who can’t meet their property taxes,” Nguyen says.

Nguyen beat Isabelle M. Ramos by a vote margin of 156 to 79, according to the Tompkins County Board of Elections; he credited his victory in part to his message on expanding city housing. (Sean Gannon will be running as an independent in the general election.) He also said he contacted over 1,000 people either in person or by leaving a door-hanger.

Nguyen’s stance on the housing crisis has lined up closely with that of Mayor Svante Myrick and other City Hall officials, who say that increased density in the city’s downtown core is essential to driving down rents by increasing overall supply.

That’s not, Nguyen recognized, a vision shared by all of the city’s residents. Nguyen told one story of being nervous to knock on the door of a resident living across from the large affordable housing plan for 210 Hancock Street, which has spurred some opposition from the project’s neighbors.

Click on the Ithaca Voice Story Database to learn more. Stories on this topic are filed under “Affordable housing crisis in Ithaca.”
Click on the Ithaca Voice Story Database to learn more. Stories on this topic are filed under “Affordable housing crisis in Ithaca.”

“I was a little fearful, to be honest,” Nguyen, who supports the project, said about approaching the female resident. “She will bear the brunt of the construction noise and the pile driving.”

Still, Nguyen said, he decided to give it a shot and talk to her. To his surprise, he discovered that the resident was an ardent supporter of the project as well.

She had grown up poor and a commuter into the city, and didn’t want others to be forced to live outside the city as well.

“That conversation was amazing,” Nguyen said. “I thanked her profusely for her support.”

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.