ITHACA, N.Y. — As The Ithaca Voice approaches its third birthday on June 15, we are revving up to organize our next in-depth series, and we want you to help us decide what that series should be about during our Spring 2017 month of giving.

If you’ve been keeping up with The Voice over the past few years, you might remember that we launched a similar project in the winter of 2015, which led to a nuanced look at homelessness in Ithaca. We’ve also launched a number of series pieces over the years, including reporting about refugees in Ithaca, a 10-part series on veterans in Tompkins County, and an ongoing series about the housing crisis in Ithaca.

Related — Spotlight: The crisis of Ithaca’s homeless

It is our genuine passion to provide the community with work that encapsulates major issues in ways daily coverage just wouldn’t cut it. But like all things, producing these series pieces means one of two things — The Ithaca Voice has to either hire a person to write the series or rely on people’s good will to provide timely content to us.

In this case, we hope we can count on our readers to donate enough money to bring Ithaca Voice reporter Alyvia Covert onto our staff full-time for the summer while current Managing Editor Jolene Almendarez takes a leave of absence from daily reporting duties to work on the series.

We are currently accepting suggestions about what the series should be! If you have a story idea, please leave your story pitch in the Facebook comments section of this article. You can also email your idea to tips@ithacavoice.com. You can leave your name or remain anonymous.

Our own ideas for the series so far, which will be part of the voting options, are as follows:

  • Human trafficking in Tompkins County
  • Disability in Tompkins County
  • The opioid epidemic
  • Alternatives to incarceration, re-entry and other programs that impact the local jail population
  • Food insecurity in Tompkins County

We will be taking suggestions about the series for the next three days and announce the final selections during a live segment on The Ithaca Voice Facebook page at noon Friday. Then, you will be able to cast votes for the series until June 9.

Why June 9?

June 9 is The Ithaca Voice official public birthday bash at Lot 10 where you’ll be able to eat, drink and be merry — our way of saying thank you for reading The Voice over the past three years.

Until then, we are going to be doing something special every week to stay in touch with people and keep you all updated on the series votes and our fundraiser.

The first, as mentioned above, is the live segment that will be happening on our Facebook page Friday. During that time, Managing Editor Jolene Almendarez and Reporter Kelsey O’Connor will kick off a commentary and Q&A with readers who have questions about The Voice or want to talk about local issues. We’ll likely start by talking about interesting suggestions from the readership survey we launched last week. We will be live for at least 30 minutes, but can commit to being online until 1 p.m. if we have high participation.

We will also, of course, announce the voting options for the series.

How to contribute?

From 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Wednesday, you can contribute to The Ithaca Voice on the local platform GiveGab, during their Giving is Gorges Day (Hey, we’re local and we like local stuff.). You can also check out other nonprofits in the area, such as the SPCA of Tompkins County, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, and the Advocacy Center, among many, many more.

Our page can be found by clicking here, but seriously take the time to think about also donating to others in the community if you have the means.

For the rest of the month, you can donate to The Ithaca Voice by clicking here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.