This is a letter to the editor from Michael E. Moritz, Ithaca. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor at

Acknowledge: we are on unceded native land, Cayuga Nation.

One of the reasons, as a young 20-year-old, I am in the middle of the fight around a Green New Deal on a national and local scale is because I. Don’t. Trust. (Many) Adults. And I do not trust our local political leaders to actually understand what needs to happen. Sunrise Ithaca has amazing adult allies, mentors and leaders- for whom we trust deeply. But the rest of you? This is partly why young people are rising up.

In Ithaca, we are seeing the beginning of a groundswell: young people are finding our voice to speak out and in dissent of adult, neo-liberal practices. Did you see the Sept. 20 Climate Strike? We are just getting started. When Sunrisers show up to Common Council in a group of 20- that is just the beginning. This is a call to all young people: the time is now to organize for justice in all forms- it is longoverdo. We think about our fellow Common Council members that vote for the Green New Deal but then use their efforts to vote against affordable housing by limiting zoning to keep status-quo. We recognize that for us, for young people, it’s black and white: you either are for justice in all forms, or you’re content letting our planet and futures’ burn.

Right now, Ithaca is proposing to add one additional staff to coordinate Green New Deal work in the Planning Department: Weak. This is a Climate Emergency. It is also an example of why I don’t trust neo-liberal baby boomers, which is most of the Common Council. There, I freaking said it. I don’t need you to tell me that “you don’t want to invest City money into unclear positions”. I just need to know that you are willing to go that far, and support the most progressive policies to get this done. Show your unwavering championship for investing a Green New Deal; we will figure out all the details, but we need the money first.

And most importantly today: no young person wants a new “crime scene vehicle” for the IPD: get outta here, bro. So I’ll start this dialogue right here: Ditch the proposed new police vehicle and put that money towards the Green New Deal. #StepUporStepAside

Young people can find Sunrise Ithaca General Body meetings on our social media.

Michael Moritz