ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca woman and freelance journalist Aryeal Jackson is running for the 5th Ward seat of the Ithaca Common Council, and is working to gather enough signatures to be on the ballot this fall.

Jackson said in a news release, ““I’m running because sitting, standing, and even walking aren’t enough anymore. I’m running because real substantial change happens in city centers and at dining room tables. I’m running because I believe that Ithaca can be an example for the rest of the state and the nation of how people can live and grow and change together while staying true to core values.”

Jackson is vying to fill outgoing 5th Ward Alderwoman Josephine Martell’s seat, who is resigning from the position with two years left in her term.

According to a news release from Jackson, she had a master’s degree in comparative literature from Binghamton University and was a professor of English and Communications before moving to Ithaca with her two sons, who are four and five years old.

Over the past two years, she had had a variety of jobs, including working as a project manage, starting a non-profit, and helping people reorganize home and work spaces. She is also a freelance journalist.

Jackson said she is running because she believes the public should have the opportunity to have input in decisions being made in the community. She said she would work to bring local issues to her constituents for feedback before she casts major votes.

She wrote, “We all fundamentally want the same things; safe streets, great education, clean air and freedom to raise our families as we see fit.  So how can we build a city that reflects the best version of those ideals?”

 Jackson will be hosting a meet-and-greet for 5th Ward residents on Thursday at the Fall Creek Elementary school playground from 3-5 p.m.
Aryeal Jackson can be followed on Facebook here.

Jolene Almendarez

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