Letter to the editor.
This is a letter to the editor from City and County officials. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Managing Editor Thomas Giery Pudney at tgpudney@ithacavoice.com.

As local government and law enforcement leaders we are strongly discouraging attendance at any political rallies planned in downtown Ithaca for this weekend.

Planned rallies have not applied for or received permission to hold a lawful assembly – and we have serious concerns about potential violent conflict.

City and County law enforcement officers will be on hand, but we cannot guarantee the safety of participants.

Our community has always prized the First Amendment right to free speech. Over the last several months we have demonstrated an understanding and willingness to allow even disruptive protests. Any acts of violence take away from the ability for movements to be heard and for conversations to be had. We are looking forward to more constructive conversations with community members moving forward.

As the leaders of local government and law enforcement, we all feel that tempers are quickly spiraling out of control. We implore our community to please work to find other outlets for political expression and help us avoid a potentially tragic clash in the heart of our City.

Chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature Leslyn McBean-Clairborne

Mayor Svante Myrick, City of Ithaca

Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne

Ithaca City Police Chief Dennis Nayor

Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino