This is a letter to the editor. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To see other endorsements for Election 2018, click here. To submit an opinion piece, email Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor at

As a Cornell student-voter registered in Tompkins County, I am looking forward to an especially diverse ballot on November 6. I cannot remember the last time I had the chance to vote for a Sheriff like local journalist and activist Josh Brokaw.

Unlike your run of the mill cops and lawyer types who typically hold office year after year thanks to uncontested elections, Josh gathered thousands of petition signatures to run as an independent, civilian candidate. Besides Josh’s relatability, I am voting him in because his platform reflects the sort of progressive, sensible, reform politics valued by many Cornellians. A critic of S.W.A.T. no-knock warrants, Josh wants to end the failed War on Drugs in Ithaca county. Josh Brokaw also values education—he wants to put a library in every prison, and he will introduce de-escalation and mediation training for all of his officers.

Most importantly, Josh is running for civilian involvement in sheriff’s office hiring and firing as well as increased transparency. For an independent like Josh to even get on the ballot in a contested election is a feat in and of itself. Such a candidate as Sheriff Brokaw represents a once in a lifetime chance to make your voice for progressive change heard. Cornellians, get out there on November 6 and vote for a real no-nonsense, stand-up guy with great hair, hats, and progressive politics—Josh Brokaw for Sheriff! Because this guy gets it.

Alessandro Powell

MILR, 2019

Featured image: Josh Brokaw canvassing at Trumansburg Farmers Market, August 1, 2018. Photo courtesy of David M. O’Neill.